Ashley has been a tremendous encouragement to me over the past six months. She is currently serving as a missions intern and has demonstrated a servants heart that models Christ. She also serves as a youth leader at Clover Hill AG . I pray Ashley’s testimony both challenges and encourages you!
Worship is defined by man as reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred. The Bible is very specific when it talks about worship, and God is the only one deserving of our honor, praise, and worship.
I wasn’t raised in a church or taught about Jesus from a young age, so I have spent most of my life not understanding Gods love for me. My adoptive family showed me God’s love through baby steps of trust. At first my relationship with God was fostered and developed through watching my mom seek God in worship and listening to her pray over me. As I work through healing I am now able to worship the God who I know personally and not just the God I watched my mom go after. I feel God’s love in a deeper way because I know His word says He has always been my safety and healer even before I knew Him.
Worship has since changed for me and although I sometimes still fail, I desire to give my greatest praise and honor to the God who gave me life. About a month ago I stood in church on Sunday morning worshiping God. I worshipped Him with my heart but I could only raise one arm. The repeated physical abuse as a child almost caused permanent damage to my shoulder which hindered my ability to raise both arms in worship. I have been giving God half of my worship because of something from my past. I’ve allowed my past abuse to hinder so many aspects of my life, and for the first time I truly saw how it was hindering my full worship, relationship, and trust of God, and I decided to do something about it.
2 weeks later I had surgery on my shoulder. Recovery is looking like a long road, but the ability to worship God with both arms raised in the future makes the pain worth it right now.
Not being able to raise both arms was only part of what was hindering my full worship. My heart was affected too. Everything about my shoulder directly affected my heart. I would try to worship fully but my shoulder was a constant reminder that I had been broken by someone who was supposed to love me. My words were telling God that I was completely His and that I believed He was my healer and He could move mountains, but my heart was wrapped in bitterness and unforgiveness, not allowing those words and the promises of God to become truths in my heart.
It might not be a physical injury, but if there is something in your heart that is hindering your full worship of God, seek Him and he will help you let it go, or help it let go of you. God doesn’t need our praise, He deserves it. 100% of it. The pain now will be worth the full, complete, whole worship in the end.
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