The unrepentant heart cannot worship God. How could it? It is at odds with its creator. It can worship the joy of community. It can try and find some sort of pleasure in music or the intellectual break down of a portion of text, but it certainly cannot worship God.
I sometimes find myself showing up to “worship” God with the church when in reality I am enamored with lesser things. Often times it’s halfway into the service until I’m confronted with my heart idolatry and repent. This is why I love our confessionals. They give us space to look at God’s word and consider who or what is currently the object of our affection. Oh, it is so refreshing at times! When the conviction turns you to repent and find freedom in Christ. It’s like a weight is lifted off and we are able to rejoice and praise God! And here’s the cool thing, we don’t have to wait until after the second song to confess our sin to the Lord. We can do that right now.
The Psalms as Confession: (Read Psalm 32)
A great example of what your personal confession should look like is Psalm 32. In verse 3 and 4 you can see what an unrepentant heart feels like. That weight you feel may be God’s heavy hand of grace upon you pleading with you to not be satisfied with the world. By His grace, he may hide the benefit of worship until your soul is joyfully submitted as the bride of Christ. Look at verse 5. “I said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin”. Now there’s the delight of verse 1 and 2! The heavy heart that was incapable of true worship to God can now not help but to rise in praise to the one that held it there. Truthfully, if you had not been held you would have run away from Him. How much lighter is the load under the yoke of Jesus! You are hidden in Christ. You are made righteous. You are preserved from trouble and surrounded with shouts of deliverance. What a beautiful picture of redemption when the bride of Christ gathers finding themselves collectively hid in Christ so that our souls sing of deliverance in Christ!
What to do when you’re feeling the heavy hand of God:
There is no delight in verse 1 and 2 until we’ve worked through 3 – 5. We must confess our sin to the Lord. Consider vs 6.
“Therefore let everyone who is Godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found.”
Dear brother and sister in Christ. If you feel the weight of sin, if your strength is dried up, if you feel the depression of your sinful nature, know this: The heavy hand of Lord is not there to crush you. He is drawing you near. He is pleading with you to find rest, peace, and joy in Him alone. While your confession of sin doesn’t merit forgiveness, it is necessary for your joy and God’s glory that you repent. When you feel the weight, know that it is at that moment the Lord may be found. Go to Him in prayer open up His word. Pour over Psalm 32. Don’t be like a mule who stubbornly remains in his ways. Remain in God’s word until the weight lifts and your soul sings with the redeemed.
Verse 11: “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
If you have any questions about the topic of worship or would like to learn how to get involved with the worship ministry of North Avenue Church you can email Ian at email@example.com.