The Lost Stillness / by Elmer Canas

(Original Post April 2011)

In the last two weeks I've come across a freeing truth. Meditation, reflection, truth, honesty, sincerity; these things can change the way we prepare to encounter God in times of worship and communion. We have become accustomed to the loud music with great powerful build ups, which are awesome and definitely propel the church into powerful anthems that bring life, strength and unity to the body of Christ.

"It's all about You!" , we shout when in worship. That's 100% true. But it does take preparation on our behalf. Does a bride come to the altar without prior preparation, both externally and internally? Does a professor stand before a class without an agenda?Does a fireman face a dangerous fire without having prepared his equipment? Do we drive our cars without airing our tires or adding gasoline? In retrospect I've come to realize the importance of meditation and reflection before entering before the Lord, before spending time with Him. It's like a great passionate conversation. God has spoken words into my life through His word, and before I come before Him I need to remember those words, meditate on them, value them and allow them to build me up. It helps prepare my approach, it helps prepare what I have to offer. I can get my thoughts straight, remember what He has done, remember what He can and will do. It adjusts my perspective of Him that at times gets tainted because of the craziness of life.

So why can't we on occasion engage our congregations into moments of meditation during worship time? I ask myself. Imagine if the millions across the world that gather to worship God  weekly, would prepare themselves mentally and spiritually for those special times in His presence. Imagine the change in dynamics. Would there be a need for the lights and loud anthems? Would the crys of the people and anthems of the church drown out the driving guitars and the beating drums? I believe so. Don't get me wrong, I personally love our music arrangements and styles. I write several songs that work off of dynamics that help set the atmosphere through the instruments God has gifted us to play through. But it's just a thought I've been dwelling on here lately.

"Before the water runs, you first must turn on the faucet." Before the power and anointed music plays a huge dynamic in our worship experiences, there must be an inward preparation that consists of meditating and intentionally turning to God. Focusing on Him. (Last Thought) It's like if you were about to run a race, say a 100 meter dash. You get on the track, hopefully you stretch first, then you focus on the finish line, the goal. Making sure that you are well acquainted with the mark. This is a must for all athletes, football players, basketball players, hockey players, etc. You need to know the direction in which you need to go to earn points. You need to know where the prize is at. I believe you get the point. So with all that said, take a moment and practice this on your own. Meditate on God's promises to you, on the things He has done in your life. And if you're in a position where you can lead your congregation, small group or family in doing this, do so. You'll see how worship will no longer be centered around the loud build ups and driving choruses but it will all fall back into line and it will be ALL ABOUT HIM!