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By Ryan Weldon

Where were you the last time you said to yourself, “I’m just not feeling it today”?

A few friends and I thought it would be a good idea to work out together, but we didn’t just want to casually meet at the gym. We were motivated and super serious! So we committed to an intense class through a local fitness program where we would meet at 6:00 a.m. six days a week for ten weeks. That’s right, TEN WEEKS! I know, what were we thinking?

Sometimes I pretend to be a morning person, but the truth is I’m a night owl. I’m wired to stay up late. Ignoring this fact didn’t seem to affect my early morning workout at first. The initial motivation carried me through for the first few weeks, but then it happened. My momentum started to fade. Getting up early became harder and harder. I found myself waking up and thinking, “I’m just not feeling it today.”

I found myself in a similar situation at church one Sunday morning. I lead music at our church, which means I’m there early every Sunday to run through the music before people start showing up for service. This particular morning I was worn out from an aggravatingly long week. You know those kinds of weeks: your work week starts off Monday with an unexpected meeting about how everything is going to change and then the kids are sick when you get home but neither you nor your wife can take the next day off because “people are counting on you….” So there I was after one of those weeks, standing on stage tuning my guitar, trying to forget the week and focus, but all I could think was “I’m just not feeling it today.”

It’s terrible, I know, but it’s the truth. I didn’t ask for it; it just happened.

Whether it’s working out or playing music to worship God, we have to face the honesty of our emotions in those moments. It had been relatively easy for me to discipline myself to get up early to work out even after the initial momentum went away. In fact, I never missed a class. At some level, I had known it would be hard to get up early and go work out for ten weeks straight. I expected it. Even though I didn’t feel like going, it felt normal to ignore my feelings and go anyway.

When I didn’t feel like worshiping God through music on a Sunday morning, something different happened. I felt guilty. It felt wrong. At that moment I felt ashamed. This time I didn’t think it would be okay to ignore my feelings and continue anyway. How could I not feel like worshiping God?

This is the point when God revealed to me what I believe to be the greatest myth about worshiping God. The greatest myth about worshiping God is that you should only do it if you feel like it.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”
(1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT).

This revelation completely changed my perspective. It freed me from my guilt and shame, giving me permission to continue despite my feelings.

We don’t worship God as a response to our feelings. We worship God as a response to His love, His grace, His mercy. We love Him because He first loved us. Above all else, we worship to glorify Him as a response to who He is.

There are still times when I’m not “feeling it.” I expect there will always be. Knowing why I worship has changed my response to my feelings. Instead of listening to my feelings and backing away, I press in and worship God even more. He is worthy to be praised whether I feel like it or not.

Ryan-Weldon-authorboxRyan Weldon is currently on staff as the Music Director at Journey Church of the Open Bible in Des Moines, Iowa. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Regina. The Weldons have one son, one daughter, and one well-behaved dog. Ryan is passionate about leadership development, about showing people how to get out of their own way and realize their God-given potential.

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