The hardest struggle regarding my faith is making sure my intentions are clear — where is my heart at when I do something?
Whether it’s worshipping, praying, or fellowshipping with others, I wrestle with being fully present in the moment and wholly dedicating my time to God.
For example, I’ve always wondered if the way I sing worship songs is correct.
A lot of times, I get really into the emotions of a worship song, like “Good Good Father” or “Oceans”, at church or in a group jam sesh setting. In those moments, I want to raise my hands and lift them high up for Jesus (something like that) and declare boldly how God is above everything else.
But in all honesty, (with my constantly aware unfocused mind), I recognize that my heart isn’t truly on worshipping God — God is not at the center of my worship.
There have been many times when I worship where I didn’t internalize the lyrics of the song at all. In fact, I know I’m singing the music because of the good feel vibes of the song. The constant strum of “Jesus chords”, the well-placed beat of the cajon, and the harmonious rise and fall of singers with the melody bring me to an emotional state that forgets the song lyrics and becomes captivated by the song aesthetics itself instead.
Other moments, I’ve found myself questioning the validity of my worship and where the glory is actually going. With hands trying to grasp the sky and my body dancing to the beat of the song, I’ve wondered — Are these movements really for Jesus, or are they made so people notice a level of “holiness” I have for Jesus?
For Jesus, or for me?
Honestly, my heart wrenches and tears as I think over these things. I wrestle with it constantly. (sad lyfe.)
Even with these blog posts (man going meta O.O) I find myself trying to discern my true intentions for why I do them. Is it for the likes? The momentary acclaim? The silent pat on the shoulder through the internet over a Christian blog post well done?
With these struggles in mind, it can be very easy for me to hesitate whenever I get into situations of wanting to worship, share a testimony, or put myself out there for God. My mind becomes overwhelmed with doubts over my authenticity toward Him, and I wonder whether I should even worship, pray, or do anything at all if my heart cannot be completely pure. If I want to go to the extreme for God, mustn’t I restrict myself to the extreme for God?
As I think more over this, I recognize that I myself cannot fully discern where my heart is at — this is where prayer, the Holy Spirit and faith comes in.
"The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."
- Romans 14:22–23
In those moments that I want to retract my faith or forgo myself the pleasure of glorifying God, I find that I need to pray ever more fervently about the situation, lifting it up to God:
“God, I don’t know my own intentions of why I am doing this, but I trust that you know my heart. Give me discernment through your Holy Spirit so that I may be pointed back towards you. No matter what, though, whether my intentions are good, bad, or a mixture of both, Lord I pray that you will use it for your own glory. For I know that you will work all things for good.”
(Man, what a great prayer.)
It requires for me to surrender to God my doubts and my intentions and trust He will work even in my circumstances.
In other words, I must communicate with Him through prayer so He may work a heart diagnosis through the Holy Spirit before performing a grace-filled transplant on me.
Since God is steadfast in His love (written in almost every Psalm I’ve read in the past several days) and sovereign in His understanding of me (cause he created me), I know He will take my prayer with my current circumstances and work through it so that I may once again praise Him with a full heart.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28 ESV
So, in conclusion, even if my heart may not be in the right place, as long as I give God my heart while living out in faith, no matter whether I feel doubt or absolute understanding, God will work in it a mighty thing for His glory.
And that is something my mind (and heart) can live with.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV