5 Ways to Find Complete Freedom When You Worship God

Have you ever been to one of those churches with the contemporary Christian songs, lights flashing, music blaring, people jumping up and down, throwing their hands in the air, and shouting praises to God?

How did it make you feel?  

Were you right there with them, loving every second?

Or were you standing in the back thinking they had all lost their minds and you must have walked into crazy town?

If you are in that second camp, this post is for you!  I hope to share a bit of my story and tell yall how I found the biggest freedom of my life when I surrendered to the “craziness” and then give you 5 ways to find your own freedom in worship.Have you ever felt pulled to worship God on a deeper level, but held back? This story is sure to help you push past the fear to find freedom in worship.

My Story

When I first started on my Christian journey, we were going to a tiny little church.  I loved worship time there.  It was small, quaint, and peaceful.  We had an organ, sometimes a guitar, and our worship leader with her microphone.  We all sang along to 2 or 3 really traditional gospel songs, then we sat down and listened to the message.

There was one little old lady that always stood in the front, and always raised her hands (both of them) and just seemed to be on a whole other level with God.  I got to where I would seek her out to watch her because, honestly, it was weird.  She was the only one who did it, and boy did she ever stick out!  I couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever want to stick out for a weird reason like that…  I know I sure didn’t!

So, even though I was completely drawn to her, always wondering why she did that, I avoided her like the plague!  I was terrified to talk to this lady because I really thought she would try to recruit me into some terrifying and freaky cult life.  I never did meet her, to this day, I don’t even know what her name was.

Then, God moved us across the country and called us to a completely different kind of church experience.

The first time I walked in to our new church, I had an overwhelming sense that we had found our home.  Even so, some things still seemed very strange to me.  First of which, was worship time.

This particular church was huge, we had an auditorium style sanctuary that seated several thousand people (a far cry from the 50 we had been used to).  The first night we went, we sat about 3 rows back from the front of the stage.  When worship started, I was both terrified and delighted at once!

They turned the lights way down, and turned the music way up.  People on every side of me began to worship God in a way that I had never witnessed before.  Hands went up everywhere, some people danced, some people jumped, some stood still, and they all carried a look of peace and total freedom on their faces.

Even though I had this rush of panic over what was happening all around me, I also had this incredibly calm peace somewhere inside me whispering that it was going to be okay.

For a long time after that, we would sit up high in the auditorium and experience worship as more of a “spectator sport”.  We would sing along, but mostly we were watching everyone else engage in this strange, but intriguing style of worship.

After several more months passed by, I stopped paying so much attention to everyone else and really started to let the words I was singing minister to my own heart

That was my first breakthrough.  

I felt walls start to come crashing down as I let the truth I was singing really wash over me.  It sunk down deep to a place that it stuck.  Those words had SO MUCH TRUTH and SO MUCH POWER!

That was at a time when I was still very distant from my Bible, I had read a little here and there, but not much.  I certainly didn’t have God’s Word rooted deep inside me yet.  Those songs were the thing that first started to help me hide God’s Word in my heart.  [bctt tweet=”When you’ve got God’s Word hidden in your heart, things start to change.”]

Try it for yourself, check out this video, listen to the words, and let them really minister to your heart.

Fast forward about a year…  I had been perfectly happy with the level of worship that I had achieved.  I sang along and I really felt like I was praising and honoring God when I did.  I didn’t feel the need to do anything more, or so I tried to convince myself.

I started to notice that during worship I would have this strong urge to raise my hands and cry out to God.  BUT  I had an even stronger urge for “self-preservation”.  I was terrified of what everyone around me (especially my husband standing right next to me) would think.  It was that thought that held me captive for another year!  A YEAR!

(And even though the major thing holding me back was that fear factor, I also had a heart-felt desire for “genuine worship”.  I desperately did not want to put on a show or an act for other people and I was so scared that if I began to worship in that way, I would be doing just that.)

Then our Pastors did a series on worship, and they would have breaks during the middle of service to give us an opportunity to find our own freedom.  MY SPIRIT WANTED FREE SO BADLY!

It was a dreadful battle for me between soul and spirit.

My spirit wanted freedom… my soul wanted dignity…  and my body sided with my soul…

Just after that series wrapped up, our church hosted their annual women’s conference.  I went, by myself, and sat near the front determined that night would be my next breakthrough.  I was ready for a spirit victory.  There was no one I knew anywhere near me.  When worship started, I let the music wash over me and I gave in and let my spirit have its way.

I HAD NEVER FELT MORE FREE IN MY LIFE!

And that’s when I finally got the point of worship.

It’s not about me, or the songs, or the manner in which I worship… it’s all about Him.  

It’s about letting my spirit be free to praise Him for who He is, for who He’s been, for who He will always be.

My heart broke into a million pieces that night.  It was yet again, one of those moments where I left with “ugly tears” because God had finally won me.

I finally realized what it meant to surrender my entire life to Him and trust in Him to pick up the pieces.

My pride was shattered that night as I surrendered everything I was afraid of and holding back in order to put God first.  And I have never been the same.

I found my freedom in worshipping my Saviour with every ounce of who I am, throwing all of my sin and wickedness on the altar at His feet and magnifying His glory and mercy.

There really are not enough words to describe that level of freedom.  My prayer for you, friends, is that you will find it and then spend the rest of your lives being changed by it.

Psalm 51 from the message Bible captures freedom in worship perfectly.  This is a psalm that David wrote after he had been confronted by Nathan about his affair with Bathsheba.

“Generous in love—God, give grace!  Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.  Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.  I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.  You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil.  You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair.  I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born.  What you’re after is truth from the inside out.  Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.  Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.  Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing.  Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health.  God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.  Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.  Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!  Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home.  Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.  Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.  Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.  I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

5 ways to find your own freedom in worship

  1. Let the words minister to your heart – Don’t just sing without listening.  And listen carefully, I would caution you to only sing songs that are speaking truth.  Remember, these are words you’re speaking over yourself, so you should be sure they are Truth.  Once you are sure of that, then let that truth sink in deep and minister to your heart.
  2. Let His spirit be in the lead – when you feel that prompting on the inside to go a little deeper, to take the next step in your worship, listen to it.  You can be sure that is the Holy Spirit prompting you to find a deeper level of worship; I promise, the devil’s not going to “trick you” into worshipping God!
  3. Forget about everyone else around you – worship’s not about them, and it’s not about you, it’s about Him.  Focus solely on Him and forget everyone else.  Close your eyes if you have to, move to a different seat if that helps, get to a place where you can worship by yourself if you need to.  Do whatever it takes so that you can stop focusing on everyone else, and start focusing COMPLETELY on God.
  4. Don’t force your worship “Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.”  God’s not looking for your best performance, and He’s certainly not looking to see how well you “out-worship” your neighbor.  He is looking for a pure heart ready to rejoice in Him.  John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  Let your worship be honest and real and led by the Spirit.  He will guide you into all truth and He will show you the best way to honor God in your worship time.
  5. There is no perfect way to worship – God has uniquely designed each and every one of us with different gifts, talents, and quirks.  If we were all to worship the same way it would be meaningless.  Worship doesn’t even always come through singing, it can come in many other forms, such as dancing, writing, or painting. Whatever your way, worship God with all that you have and all that you are and let that be enough.  He will continue to guide you and shape you.  There will always be a next level of worship.  Stay open to it, but don’t force it.  Let Him lead you in His timing and in the meantime, worship Him with everything you have.

When you  have reached that point of freedom you will know it because you will be transformed and then you will never be the same again!

Don’t shut yourself off from God out of fear and doubt.  Instead, find the ultimate freedom and catapult yourself into the next level of your relationship with Him!

Now go and break free in the best worship session of your life!

Here’s another of my favorites to help you get you started

Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.  I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

Psalm 51:14-16 (MSG)

 

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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How to Make Your Money be a Blessing

We used to be burdened by all things money, but now we know the secret to making our money be a blessing to us and to others

This is my tithing story

This is not a post trying to convince you to tithe.  

This is simply my story about when I began to tithe and why I will NEVER STOP!

If you’ve read any of this blog, you probably know that I didn’t grow up in church.  I never even heard the word tithe until nearly a year after I was saved.  And even then, I had no idea what it actually meant.Do you struggle with your finances? I did for a long time until I discovered freedom in tithing. Be inspired by my story to make your money be a blessing.

I can remember going to the tiny little Southern Baptist Church where I got saved and occasionally dropping $10-$20 in the offering plate.  Considering the fact that the only “offering plate” experience I had ever had before that was the rare occasion that we would go to church with my grandma, and my daddy would hand us $2 to put in the plate as it passed down our row…  dropping $10 (or $20 on a good week) made me feel pretty good!  It’s funny too, because occasionally, I would notice some of the older members putting a check in the plate, and I honestly thought it was weird that they had to write a check for $10.

Lol, I know how silly that sounds now.  

But sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know!

Fast forward about 9 months…

It was our first weekend in a new church, in a new town, in a new state.  I don’t remember what the message was about, but I do remember the offering at the end.  It was different from anything I had ever heard before because they kept talking about the tithe.

The tithe?  I wondered what that was…

I felt kind of weird sitting there; like I didn’t belong, because I didn’t have any idea what a tithe was, and I was SURE I was the only one who didn’t know.

Luckily, I only had to wait one week to find out because the next Sunday we heard an entire message on tithing.

(I’m not going to go into all of the details of tithing here.  If you want more details feel free to comment or send me an email.  You could also check out this book, Tithing:  God’s Financial Plan)

On that spring day in that Michigan church, I felt God move for the first time ever

As I sat listening to the sermon my heart was overcome with conviction.  I knew we were about to have to make some big changes.

At that point in our lives, I was the one handling the bills.  So, I had a pretty good idea about how much money we usually had “left over”.  I sat there for a while just thinking this tithing business was just going to have to wait because we didn’t have anywhere near that much money left over every month.

But then our Pastor said something that I totally didn’t expect.  He said it’s not our leftovers that we give to God, its our FIRST 10% we give back to Him.  He really emphasized that “give back to Him” part, explaining that its not my money anyway, that it belongs to God and I’m just giving Him back what is His and then trusting Him to take care of the rest.

The whole idea was completely foreign to me!  It was the first time I ever stopped to consider that everything I have actually comes from God.  It’s not mine, He’s just made me a steward over it.

Right then I knew what I had to do.

But, knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it are two completely different things!

My heart and my head were in complete agreement that there was NO WAY we were going to be able to afford to tithe.  But in my Spirit I knew that we had too, and I knew that we would be okay.

I left with an overwhelming sense of fear about what was about to happen; but at the same time, I felt encouraged and empowered to move ahead and step into this calling.

Make or break time…

As fate would have it, payday was that same week.  When I looked at our bills, there wasn’t 10% left over, in fact there was none left.  To say I was overcome with fear would be an understatement.

I hadn’t even mentioned my plans to tithe to my husband yet because at that time, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have been on board.  (And I was also afraid that he probably would have thought I had lost my mind, considering the fact that we had no money.)

Nonetheless, the first thing I did that day was make out a check to our church for the full amount of the tithe, sign it, put it in an envelope, seal it, close my eyes tight, say a little prayer, and drop it into the mailbox.  

There was no turning back, it was done.

And guess what?  Somehow, someway all those other bills got paid!  I honestly couldn’t make sense of it because it DIDN’T WORK on paper.  I calculated and recalculated (because I’m a reasonable person, plus I’m kind of a math nerd), but every way I worked it, it just didn’t make sense.  There was NO WAY that our bills should have been paid, but they were.  And not only that, there was even a little extra left over!

God is so much bigger than my math skills and my bank account!

Our pastors used to say all the time that “God can bless your 90% more than you can bless your own 100%.”  [bctt tweet=”God can bless your 90% better than you can bless your own 100%. #Tithe #Blessings”]

He certainly proved to me that month that He was faithful to His promises.  He certainly did make our 90% go farther, do more, and last longer than we had ever done with our 100%.

And the same has been true for every single payday since then.

Because we made a choice to honor God’s Word above our own comfort level, we have been blessed more times than we can count.  We were able to go from just tithing to giving offerings above and beyond that.  And every season, our offerings have grown, not because of anything we do, but because He continues to fulfill His promises to us.  We started tiny, but now we are able to support global missionaries, and we trust that He has something so much bigger in mind for us as we continue to honor Him with our tithe.

God is so good.  He has completely changed our financial situation for the best.  He has caused favor and blessings to abound in our lives so that His glory can be revealed.

Even though He promised blessings, He DID NOT promise that you would never have financial problems…

We have had countless situations come against us financially, situations that could have (and probably should have) ruined us.  But EVERY SINGLE TIME favor has been on our side.

That’s no coincidence my friend.

That’s a promise from His blessing.

Malachi 3:11 says “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”

That’s such a huge promise from God.  When we are faithful to tithe, He REBUKES THE DEVOURER FOR US!  Do you get just how gigantic and amazing that promise is???

God just promised us that we will NOT be financially ruined. As it applied to the people of that time, He was promising them a good growing season and also that He would keep away the pests and the natural elements that could ruin their harvest.

As it applies to us today, He is promising to bless and establish the work of our hands and hearts.  And on top of that He is promising to keep the enemy’s hands off of it!  Every single time we have had a financial situation arise against us, we remind God that we are faithful tithers and because of that He has promised to rebuke the devourer for us.  Then we remind the devil that his hands are tied because God is on our side!

And like I said before, every single time we have been shown favor.

God’s promises are REAL my friends.

I know that God is on my side, fighting for my prosperity and welfare.  And that is why I am so thankful for God giving me the gift of the tithe and the opportunity to serve Him with the resources He has given me.

So there you have it, my blessings are all the proof that I need.  I will FOREVER and ALWAYS be a faithful tither!

I hope that you know this incredible blessing in your life and how to make your money be a blessing to you and to others.

And if you don’t, there’s no better time to start than right now!

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

Malachi 3:10

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

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How to Deal With Guilt – Learning to Accept Freedom

How to deal with guilt when it sneaks up on you

Romans 8:1-2 is one particular passage of Scripture that is on my list of favorites because it has brought me so much freedom!  It says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.”  

But guess what?  I have been living under MAJOR GUILT AND CONDEMNATION and I didn’t even know it.

I heard a life changing sermon preached at church last week that really made me stop and evaluate the voices of guilt and condemnation I have been hearing.  So for a few moments, instead of just pushing them away, I stopped to listen and I was pretty surprised by what I heard.

I realized that I have been living under constant condemnation that I can NEVER be good enough.  I found hidden fears and anxieties of all sorts:

fear that I am not a kind person…

fear that I don’t love people sincerely…

fear that I don’t serve my church enough…

fear that I am not making a difference in my community…

fear that people don’t like me…

fear that I am not a good wife…

fear that I’m not “qualified” to homeschool my kids…

fear that I am missing the mark raising them to know God…

guilt that my house is never in order…

guilt that my time management skills are MIA… 

I seriously couldn’t believe I had been harboring all of these things and allowing them to speak to me

For being a person that tries so hard to walk out the truths of the word, when I realized I was living under such heavy condemnation, I didn’t even know what to do and I certainly didn’t know how to deal with guilt that I never saw coming.

I felt like I was taken by complete surprise!

But luckily, if there is one thing I know is true in this world, its God’s Word, and there is always an answer there.  [bctt tweet=”If there is ONE thing true in this world, it’s God’s Word. #BelieveIt”]There are only two simple steps you need to know for how to deal with guilt. If left alone, guilt will destroy you, but there is a way to be set free!

How to know if you are living under guilt and condemnation

Sometimes, you don’t need a test, you just know.  Some guilt comes out of our own sin and those things are usually obvious to us.

But sometimes guilt comes from things outside of us.  Sometimes it can come from something someone else did to you, or from failures, or unrealistic expectations, and a whole host of other things.

It can be so subtle though.

So much so, that it just silently picks away at your soul whispering lies to you until you finally give in and believe them.

To figure out what these lies are, just listen to yourself.  What do say about yourself?  Is there something you are confessing all of time, like

“I just can’t do it…”

“Nobody listens to me…”

“I don’t understand…”

“I’m never at the right place at the right time…”

“I just can’t catch a break…”

“I don’t fit in anywhere…”

“I’m not good enough…”

Keep a watch for any of those negative things that you are saying, feeling inside, or that other people say to you.  Those are the voices of condemnation trying to convince you that you aren’t good enough for this world.

Guilt will usually begin as a little thought that creeps in and it will ultimately try to destroy you.

You start to believe the worst, and then the worst happens, which reaffirms your mis-belief, and it continues on and on in a vicious cycle.

This is a cruel tactic of the enemy trying to get you to be your own worst enemy.  If he can convince you that you don’t have anything to offer the world then he can keep you trapped in an ugly cycle of guilt and condemnation that keeps you away from walking in the freedom that Christ bought for you.

How to break free

In the Bible there is a story about a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).  She is dragged out in the middle of town and tossed before Jesus to await her punishment: death.  

You’ve probably heard part of this passage before, people quote Jesus all of the time in verse 7 when He says, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  If you know the story, then you know what happens…  Jesus begins silently writing something in the dirt, and eventually every one leaves without throwing a single stone.  While that’s a very important part of the story, the part I really want to focus on here is at the end after all of her accusers have left:

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,”  she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,”  Jesus declared.  “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

“Then neither do I condemn you…”  Man, Jesus has SO MUCH COMPASSION for His people!

Believe that you are free

Here it is, the first thing you need to do to break free from your accusers is to believe you are free!!  Jump in head first with a big dose of CRAZY FAITH and just believe it! God said it, so you can know that its true;  now you have to choose to believe it.

**Remember here, this is a case where this woman was caught in the act of adultry, she really was guilty, BUT JESUS GAVE HER GRACE!!!!

He gave her grace…

He set her free right then and there.  Isn’t that amazing?

Isn’t that just like our God to extend mercy when she deserved death?

God does that for all of us too.

And if He did it for her when she really was guilty, don’t you think He would do the same for you?

It’s so simple, don’t miss it.

You can be set free from that guilt right now by just accepting the simple, but true, fact that Jesus does not condemn you so you shouldn’t condemn yourself.  Grab the promise in John 8:36 and hold tightly to it, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”

FYI:  holding on to your guilt because you think its being humble is dumb.  Yeah, I said that.  It’s dumb.

And it’s actually not humility that you are acting in, its pride.  Humility graciously accepts all that Jesus has to offer with a grateful heart.  Pride denies what Jesus has to offer because it thinks it knows better.

Would you really tell God that your sin is bigger than His sacrifice?

 Holding on to guilt under the false pretense that “I don’t deserve freedom”  is really just puffing up your own pride and allowing the enemy to have a stronger grip on you.

Defeat him right now by believing and accepting what Jesus has to offer. 

God is not a man that He should lie, if He says He will set you free, then He will.

Period.

Now speak the truth!!!

The enemy will always try to convince you to believe a lie, but God will always give you a way out.  [bctt tweet=”The enemy wants you to believe his lies, but God has given you a way out!”]

You are in a great place now that you know how to recognize the lies that have been speaking to you.  So now, when you hear that voice of condemnation, you shout, “NO WAY!!!!  I have been set free, and whom the Son sets free, is FREE INDEED!!!!”

You have the power and the authority to tell that thought no!

I heard Kenneth Copeland use an illustration one time where he told his audience to count in their head to 20, then after just a few seconds, he told them to say their names out loud.  (I of course participated, and I’m glad I did because it drove his point home!)

When you say your name out loud, you temporarily stop counting in your head.  You may go back to counting, but that is a deliberate choice.  The point he made with this is that our words take precedence over our thoughts.  Let that sink in a bit… our words take precedence over our thoughts…

So. when unwelcome thoughts start to creep in, SPEAK!

Speak words of truth

Speak a rebuke

Speak a simple no

Speak whatever you want

but for goodness sake just SAY SOMETHING!!

Get those thoughts out of your head and replace them with truth. Don’t allow the enemy to take advantage of you anymore!

You are free!

Check out these two guides for a few quick Scriptures to rebuke some of these common areas of guilt and condemnation:  You can also download and print it out right here!Are you feeling weighed down by guilt? Renew your mind regarding these common guilty thoughts with the truth of God's Word. Download and print this right now at tiffanysuzanne.com

Grab your copy now!!Are you feeling weighed down by guilt? Renew your mind regarding these common guilty thoughts with the truth of God's Word. Download and print your copy today at tiffanysuzanne.com

Don’t forget to download your copy to keep as a reminder whenever you need it!

 

Have you been living under guilt?  Are you ready to break free and live in the freedom Christ bought for you?

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  ~ Hebrews 12:2-3

Blessings and love,

Tiffany

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like How to Find the Peace Your Heart Longs For

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