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Worshipping Beyond the Restrictions

May 20 2021

It was hard to avoid getting the giggles when thinking about leading worship during the pandemic. I’m sure the restrictions varied across the world, but here in Sydney Australia, we were mostly unable to meet in person, not allowed to sing if we did gather, and often required to wear masks at all times, while remembering to stay socially distanced…wow…restriction updates were coming in hard and fast, and it was often hard to keep up the latest requirement.

It became obvious during this season of countless restrictions that God was impressing upon our hearts that it was time to go deeper in our worship. To push past some of our empty theology and remind our soul of what it means to truly surrender in the presence of God and bring our whole lives before Him. Like Romans 12 says in the message translation, “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” We are required to bring our whole lives before Him. So therefore, it was and is a great privilege to bring my life before Him and then, encourage other believers to do the same. Heading into services right now feels especially Holy. After nearly a year of not being able to gather, now that we can, it means so much more. My awareness of the power of being united in lifting up the Name of Jesus has been heightened. It means more than ever.

My encouragement to anyone reading this today is to keep searching beyond the restrictions. If you are suddenly thrown a curve ball, don’t be discouraged. Ask God what He is doing and where He wants to lead you today. Ask Him to lead you as you choose what songs you will sing in a service. Just last Sunday we went into services and the government had recently increased restrictions requiring everyone to wear masks again and no singing was allowed. As I prepared for the weekend, I had the song Highlands come to mind. How powerful for people to declare in their hearts that we will praise Him on the mountains and praise Him in the valley all the same. As a team we sang our hearts out and prophesied over our church. I received several messages and testimonies from many people afterwards saying how timely that song was for them and how they sensed the presence of God and Him at work in their live. It may seem like a little thing, but again, keep seeking Him as you step out to lead. I believe God is going to open the eyes of your heart to see beyond the restrictions and lead you as we step into new territory.

Hannah Hobbs