I recently went through what I would call a "dry spell" in my relationship with God. While I was still going to church on Sundays, Bible Study on Tuesdays, campus ministry on Thursdays, and leading another Bible Study on Fridays, I was mostly just going through the motions. I wasn't truly connecting with God and opening myself up to Him, and both He and I knew it. While I usually looked forward to spending time with Him, whether it was reading my Bible, journaling, or just talking to Him, I found myself dreading having to set time aside for these things each day. I was seeing them as obligations rather than privileges.
While I was still living a lifestyle that honored God on the surface, I wasn't truly worshipping Him in all areas of my life, which is what He calls us to do. I knew this wasn't good, but I kept pushing aside the nagging voice in my head that told me I needed to stop and run toward God. After all, everything in my life was going well: my classes weren't so stressful, I landed the job I really wanted, and it seemed like everything was falling into place. And if I didn't really need Him it seemed easier to just put off spending time with Him for the next day. Only "the next day" turned into most days.
"Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him." — 1 Chronicles 16:11
No matter how devout of a Christian you are, I think it is all too often that we fall into this mindset of "having" worship God. I have to go to church on Sunday or I have to make time to read the Bible or I have to pray. But in reality, we don't have to do any of these things. We get to do them. Not only are we so beyond blessed to have a God who loves and cares for us unconditionally, but we're also incredibly lucky to live in a place that allows us to freely worship Him.
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." — Matthew 22:37-38
Each time that I choose God over all else I'm reminded of how he rewards us for our faithfulness to Him. He never fails to leave me with a sense of peace and comfort, even on my most difficult days. It is for this reason that we should look at worship as a privilege rather than an obligation. Doing this will not only please God, but will also change your whole outlook on your relationship with Him.
"Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord." — Psalm 89:15