It's not easy to keep going when you're tired. Fatigue zaps us of our strength. Weariness wears on your bones and your soul. How do you keep going when you're all out of "go?" What's the secret sauce to getting your spiritual fervor back?
Honestly, I don't know. It's probably different for everybody. You and God are the only ones who know exactly what you have gone through and what you're currently going through. Even the people going through difficulties with you don't fully understand because they aren't you. They don't have your perspective, history, etc. Your perception and experiences are unique to you.
But let me offer you five ways to worship when you are weary. These aren't fix-all solutions. You won't master them in five minutes. This isn't a secret sauce or magic snake oil. But they do work if you work them. Why? Because…
Worship is a weapon.
Worship does spiritual warfare.
Worship is a nuisance to the enemy.
Worship is not just about God. It's about you. It centers you. It changes your attitude. It stirs up the Holy Spirit inside of you. It makes you more aware of God's powerful presence.
1. Hold out your hands. I don't know about you, but sometimes I need a physical action to display my inward reality. My tendency to clench, clamp down, and control sends me into a posture of tight-fistedness. Instead of white-knuckling it, open up your hands. Stretch your hands out first thing in the morning and give God full access to your life and heart. This outward action will remind you of your inward, spiritual posture.
2. Listen and soak up worship music. I have a "personal soak" playlist of my favorite worship songs. That's exactly what I do with it. I sit and soak. I don't do anything while I'm listening to it. I sip on my coffee and simply breathe while the words and music are sung over me. These songs remind me of God's true, steady character. If you like to sing, sing along - by all means. Soak your soul in the Spirit. There's plenty of great worship music out there. Make your own list and soak daily. If you need a great album to start with, check out The Belonging Co: Cover The Earth album. It is so good.
3. Be still. This is simple enough, but I'm amazed at how many times I reach for my email, social media, or some other distraction. Say no to distraction and set a timer to be still. Listen to yourself breathe in and out. Be reminded that God is on the throne, and your every breath comes from Him. During this time, if you hear God whisper something, write it down. If you do get distracted and think of something you need to do later in the day, write it down quickly. Then get back to being still. I literally set a timer because otherwise I'll just "Squirrel!" my way into some kind of activity.
4. Declare the goodness of God out loud. Maybe you've heard this saying, "Don't tell God about your problems. Tell your problems about your God." I like that. It sounds like positive mumbo-jumbo, but actually it's wisdom. We can focus on our problem, or we can focus on the power, strength, might, and compassion of God that empowers us to get through our problem.
Sometimes our bodies forget how good God is.
When I was at a women's retreat a few months ago, I woke up with severe abdominal pain. In that moment I heard God nudge me to play worship music over my stomach; to actually press my phone into my abdomen. "Tell your pancreas that I am good." What a strange nudge. So I did it, and 20 minutes later, my pain stopped. If you don't know where to start in proclaiming the goodness of God, pick a Psalm and start there. Psalm 27, 97 or 103 are great for declaring His goodness.
5. Read a good Jesus-filled book. Obviously read the Bible, but don't feel guilty if you need something in addition to propel you through your weariness. Find something interesting that will edify and encourage your spirit. Find a truth-packed book that refuels you. Make sure it's enjoyable.
Here are three books I have enjoyed:
- I Am Number 8 by John Gray
- Surprise the World by Michael Frost
- Sozo by Teresa Liebscher and Dawna De Silva
As you head into the busy holiday season, I pray your soul gets rest and refreshment along the way. I challenge you to worship your way through the end of the year!