Worship Even When You Don't Want To

Just admit. Seriously. Admit it right now. We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt it. Now we all just need to admit it. There are times when we just don’t want to worship. Life gets busy. We lose a loved one. We get into an argument with our spouse. Our kids are driving us crazy. Work is awful. Maybe we just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Whatever it is, we’ve all felt that way. This is really where the rubber meets the road for a Christian. This is where the word “Obedience” steps in. This is the point where we move past our emotional self and back toward our commitment to follow Christ. When we take on Christ and are baptized into Him, we make a covenant with God to obey His commands and follow each day. As we learned earlier this week, that’s our spiritual act of worship.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1–2

As we grow in our faith, we learn that daily worship isn’t always the same, but we must continually do it. This past summer I took a shot at “75 Hard.” It’s a mental toughness challenge that has high expectations. There are six basic tasks you must do each day: Follow some form of a diet with no cheat meals, complete two 45-minute workouts each day with one being outside, drink a gallon of water each day, read ten pages of non-fiction that relate to your work or are self-improvement/educational, and take a progress picture every day. None of these can be skipped or missed. If you do, you fail and must start over from day one. There is no room for error. Trust me, there are days when you just don’t want to drink another glass of water, or you don’t want to do a second workout. However, there’s this “thing” that pushes you as you get further and further down the road of this crazy program. Your head gets wired differently, and you refuse to fail. You see the change in your life, and you become obedient to the process because you like what it’s doing.

When we choose to follow Christ, shouldn’t the results be the same? We begin our walk toward discipleship and we start to see changes in our lives. We have different desires, different preferences, we handle frustrations differently. We start to see that we’re wired differently now. Sure. We have those days when we just don’t want to do it, but we need to be obedient to Christ just as He was obedient unto death to His Father.

A lot happens in Luke Chapter 22. It starts off with Judas committing to betray Christ. Then Jesus meets with the Disciples in the upper room to have the first communion with them. They talk about who will be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him. Jesus then lets them know that Scripture must be fulfilled in Him. They then go to pray on the Mount of Olives, and Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Jesus is then arrested. Peter denies Him three times, and Jesus is mocked, beaten, and brought before the religious leaders. In the middle of all of that, there are four verses that show the humanity of Jesus.

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:41–44

Jesus knew what was coming, and he preferred NOT to do it. He prayed that His Father would “take this cup” from Him. In other words, he didn’t want to suffer and die on a cross. He knew what the pain would be like, and He had no desire to do it. However, in obedience, Jesus followed through. In spite of anguish so deep that “his sweat became like great drops of blood”, Jesus understood that it was His Father’s will for Him to go to the cross. Even Jesus didn’t want to do everything that was expected of Him, but He was obedient.

We would be lying if any of us said that we are the model of consistency in every part of our daily worship of God. There are days when I don’t pray like I should. There are days when I don’t open my Bible. There are Sundays when the last thing I want to do is sing. However, it is for His glory that I continue even when I just don’t want to. Is it possible that the greatest form of worship we can offer God is our obedience? Maybe true worship happens when we do it on the days we just aren’t feeling it. Maybe it’s in our low points when our willingness to do something overshadows our desire to.

C.S. Lewis says in his book Mere Christianity, “The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him… There is, indeed, one exception. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his ‘gratitude’, you will probably be disappointed (p. 131).” 

Understand, this isn’t a “fake it till you make it” philosophy. Simply, we need to put into practice what God has taught us through His Word. “Feeling like it” isn’t the most important part of our daily worship. Obedience is. Instead of avoiding what brings us closer to God, we need to draw closer and expect our hearts to follow. We need to choose to love Christ, and we need to choose to worship Him.  


Emily - January 22nd, 2024 at 7:37am

The great form of worship is when we don’t feel like it. Personally, that’s when we need it the most, when we don’t feel like singing, we don’t feel like going to church, but once we do, satan flees and we are so glad we did.

Thank you for this

- January 22nd, 2024 at 9:34am

When we choose to worship, we invite the Holy Spirit to do His work.