unhinging your heart
by Courtney Morgan
As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.Luke 7:38 (NIV)
The song is causing everyone in the room to turn their hearts toward God. The auditorium is loud with the congregation belting out the song’s passionate lyrics. Most have their hands raised in worship. But one particular woman looks a little different. Her face tilts up toward the ceiling, eyes closed. One might think she isn’t engaged in worship because she isn’t even singing the song, but tears are streaming from her eyes, and her hands are lifted up in surrender. The people closest to her can hear soft whispers of praise being prayed to the Lord. The door of her heart is unhinged, and she is lost in His presence.
Have you been there before? A time of worship so intense, so self-giving, so raw, that you feel as if your insides are being pulled out and laid before God’s throne? Your heart pounds and tears fall from your eyes. Your posture is that of someone so in awe … so in love. But there’s so much peace, and joy completely surrounds your heart. Nothing else in the world matters at that moment in time. You are extravagantly worshipping your king, your heavenly Father. This moment isn’t about you. Your heart knows this is all for Him.
Passionate worship happens when you choose to lay down everything at once—your heart, pride, plans, dreams, distractions—and go allout in your love for a Savior who loves you more than you could ever know. Passionate worship should be a spiritual expression similar to that of an earthly marriage relationship. No passionate marriage relationship ever began with a spouse who one day simply declared: “Today, I will be passionate for my spouse.” No, the passion in a marriage is fueled out of rich love that stems from affection. And that love and affection comes out of time spent with each other and hearts yielded to the desires of one another.
In the same way, our passionate worship grows out of time spent with the Lord and when our hearts are 100% yielded to Him. Some acts of worship are so intimate they should be reserved for times alone with the Lord. Publicly displayed acts of passionate worship shouldn’t distract others from their own worship; rather, they should be expressed in such a way that those with us and around us are inspired to respond in the same manner.
The Bible prescribes a worship that is very physical and expressed outwardly through clapping, singing, shouting, etc. Passionate worship begins in the heart, stirs our emotions and is usually expressed out of the overflow of our hearts. When your heart is in this open state—not focused on earthly distractions or hang-ups—the Lord is free to do a new work in you, because passionate worship opens the door to a new move of the Lord in your heart.
One major hindrance to passionate worship is pride or false humility. Unhinging your heart of love for the King requires tearing down walls of pride, because He is worthy of everything behind those walls. Though there are rewards from extravagant worship, it will almost always cost you something. It might be your time, your pride or your plans. Whatever it may be, I promise it’s more than worth it.
Each of us gets the wonderful privilege of showing our adoration for a Savior who was willing to show His love for us extravagantly on a cross. His price was His life. And while the church as a whole is filled with many passionate worshippers, imagine what would happen if the entire Body of Christ was filled with people loving God with reckless abandonment! Why would the world ever want to follow a God whose followers only worship Him in a halfhearted, lackluster manner? Our God is the best! Our God is the biggest! And He deserves nothing less than the overflow of our hearts!
The Holy Spirit is calling us to excessive worship. We’re to be overgenerous in our praises to God. Extravagant worship means to be elaborate in our offering of admiration to Him; our worship is to be over and above reasonable limits previously established.Darlene Zschech
Lord, I long to worship You passionately, holding nothing back. Please help me to lay down my pride and humbly seek Your face. Thank You for sending Your Son to die for me so I can have direct access to Your presence and intimate times with You. I commit to worship You extravagantly, with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Challenge yourself by going one step further in worship than you have before. Whether that involves lifting your hands for the first time or surrendering the one thing the Lord’s been asking you to surrender for a long time, take a new step in worship.
- Start with a heart of gratitude. What are you thankful for? Meditate on specific times when God came through for you, or simply reflect on reasons why He is worthy.
- Be bold in your worship. Even if you aren’t “feeling” passionate in your worship, come to Him with a surrendered heart. He will meet you where you are.
For Further Study
- Psalm 95:6
- Romans 12:1–2
- 2 Samuel 6:14
- Luke 7:38 (NIV)