Experience the Power of Soaking Worship | Bible Study On Worship 6

Soaking Worship – Bible Study On Worship 6

Pastor Duke Taber

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Introduction

Soaking worship, also known as contemplative or devotional worship, is a practice that has gained increasing prominence in recent years. It involves setting aside extended periods of time to rest in God’s presence, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to the depths of our being through gentle music, prayer, and meditation on Scripture. As we explore the topic of soaking worship, we will delve into its biblical foundations, examine its unique characteristics and benefits, and discover how this practice can profoundly impact our spiritual lives.

In this comprehensive Bible study, we will explore the concept of soaking in God’s presence as seen in Scripture, from Moses’ encounter with God on Mount Sinai to Mary’s posture of worship at Jesus’ feet. We will also investigate the principles and practices that can help us cultivate a lifestyle of soaking worship, both personally and in corporate settings.

As we embark on this journey, may we approach the subject with open hearts, a desire for deeper intimacy with God, and a willingness to carve out intentional space for His presence. Let us quiet our souls, tune our hearts to His voice, and prepare to receive the refreshing, transformative power of soaking in His love.

Reflective Questions

  1. What is your current understanding of soaking worship, and have you ever practiced it before?
  2. What are your expectations or hopes as you approach this study on soaking worship?
  3. How do you typically respond to extended times of quiet or contemplative worship?
Soaking Worship - Bible Study On Worship 6

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Biblical Foundations of Soaking Worship

While the term “soaking worship” is not explicitly found in Scripture, the principles and practices it embodies are woven throughout the biblical narrative. From Old Testament encounters with God’s presence to Jesus’ own rhythm of withdrawing to spend time with the Father, we find numerous examples that point to the value and significance of soaking in God’s presence.

One of the most compelling accounts of soaking worship is found in Exodus 33, where Moses meets with God in the tent of meeting. The Scripture tells us that “the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11). This intimate, prolonged encounter with God’s presence transformed Moses, causing his face to radiate with the glory of God (Exodus 34:29-35). This passage highlights the transformative power of soaking in God’s presence and the depth of relationship that can be cultivated through extended times of communion with Him.

The Psalms also provide rich insights into the practice of soaking worship. David, the great worshipper, often speaks of seeking God’s face, meditating on His Word, and finding rest and refuge in His presence. Psalm 27:4 captures the heart cry of a soaking worshipper: “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” This verse emphasizes the singular focus and longing to abide in God’s presence, not for any external benefit but simply to behold His beauty and seek His face.

In the New Testament, we see Jesus Himself modeling a lifestyle of soaking worship. The Gospels frequently mention Jesus withdrawing to solitary places to pray and commune with the Father (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35). These extended times of solitude and intimacy with God were essential to Jesus’ life and ministry, providing Him with strength, guidance, and deep connection to the Father’s heart.

The early church also placed a high value on soaking worship. In Acts 13:2, we read that “while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” This passage suggests that extended times of worship and waiting on God can create a space for the Holy Spirit to speak, guide, and impart divine direction for our lives and ministries.

The apostle Paul also speaks of the importance of dwelling in God’s presence. In Ephesians 3:16-19, he prays that the believers would be strengthened in their inner being, rooted and grounded in love, and filled with the fullness of God. This prayer reflects the essence of soaking worship—being immersed in God’s love, strengthened by His Spirit, and filled with His fullness.

Throughout church history, countless men and women have testified to the transformative power of soaking worship. From the contemplative practices of the desert fathers and mothers to the intimacy with God experienced by mystics like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, soaking worship has been a means of deep communion, revelation, and spiritual formation for generations of believers.

Reflective Questions

  1. Which biblical examples of soaking worship resonate with you the most, and why?
  2. How do the prayers and practices of Jesus and the early church inspire you to prioritize soaking worship in your own life?
  3. What can we learn from the transformative encounters with God experienced by biblical figures like Moses and David?

The Characteristics and Benefits of Soaking Worship

Soaking worship is characterized by several distinct qualities that set it apart from other forms of worship. These unique features contribute to the profound impact that soaking worship can have on our spiritual lives, fostering deepened intimacy with God, spiritual renewal, and personal transformation.

One of the primary characteristics of soaking worship is its emphasis on being rather than doing. Unlike more active or expressive forms of worship, soaking worship invites us to simply be still in God’s presence, letting go of striving and performance. It is a time to quiet our souls, slow down our thoughts, and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us in the depths of our being. This posture of rest and receptivity creates space for God to speak, heal, and refresh us in ways that we may not experience in the busyness of life.

Another key aspect of soaking worship is its contemplative nature. It involves focusing our attention on God, meditating on His Word, and listening for His voice. This practice of contemplation helps to quiet the noise of our minds and attune our hearts to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit. As we soak in God’s presence, we create space for divine revelation, insight, and guidance to emerge, often in subtle and unexpected ways.

Soaking worship is also characterized by its intimacy and vulnerability before God. As we linger in His presence, we are invited to let down our guard, be honest about our struggles and longings, and allow God to minister to the deep places of our hearts. This vulnerability fosters a profound sense of connection and trust, as we experience the tender love and acceptance of our Heavenly Father.

The benefits of soaking worship are numerous and far-reaching. One of the most significant is the deepening of our relationship with God. As we spend extended time in His presence, we come to know Him more intimately, understand His heart more fully, and experience His love more deeply. This growing intimacy transforms us from the inside out, shaping our character, desires, and priorities to align with His.

Soaking worship also has a powerful impact on our emotional and mental well-being. As we rest in God’s presence, we find peace, comfort, and healing for our wounds and anxieties. The gentle melodies, prayerful atmosphere, and focus on God’s love create a safe space for inner healing and restoration to occur. Many people have testified to experiencing profound emotional breakthroughs, deliverance from fear and trauma, and a renewed sense of wholeness through soaking worship.

Another benefit of soaking worship is the cultivation of spiritual sensitivity and discernment. As we practice listening for God’s voice and attuning our hearts to His Spirit, we become more adept at recognizing His leading and guidance in our daily lives. This heightened spiritual awareness enables us to make wiser decisions, respond to challenges with greater faith, and walk in closer step with the Holy Spirit.

Soaking worship also has a transformative effect on our character and lifestyle. As we encounter God’s love and holiness in the secret place, we are changed from the inside out. Our desires, attitudes, and behaviors are gradually conformed to the image of Christ as we marinate in His presence. This ongoing process of transformation empowers us to live with greater integrity, compassion, and kingdom impact.

Finally, soaking worship can serve as a powerful source of spiritual refreshment and renewal. In a world that is often draining and depleting, taking time to soak in God’s presence can replenish our weary souls, reignite our passion for God, and infuse us with fresh strength and vision for the journey ahead. It is a means of abiding in the vine (John 15:4), drawing from the endless reservoir of God’s love and grace.

Reflective Questions

  1. Which characteristics of soaking worship resonate with you the most, and why?
  2. How have you experienced the benefits of soaking worship in your own life, such as deepened intimacy with God or emotional healing?
  3. In what areas of your life do you feel the need for the refreshment and renewal that soaking worship can provide?

Cultivating a Lifestyle of Soaking Worship

While soaking worship can be practiced in corporate settings, such as in church services or worship gatherings, it is ultimately a lifestyle to be cultivated in our personal relationship with God. By integrating principles and practices of soaking worship into our daily lives, we can experience the ongoing benefits of dwelling in God’s presence and being transformed by His love.

One of the foundational aspects of cultivating a lifestyle of soaking worship is setting aside intentional time and space to be with God. This may involve carving out a dedicated “soaking time” each day, whether in the morning, evening, or during a lunch break. The key is to prioritize this time as a non-negotiable appointment with God, protecting it from the distractions and demands of daily life.

Creating a conducive atmosphere for soaking worship can also be helpful. This may include finding a quiet, comfortable space where you can be alone with God, free from interruptions. Some people find it helpful to create a “soaking room” or corner in their home, adorned with meaningful symbols, Scripture verses, or artwork that helps to focus their attention on God’s presence. Soft lighting, candles, or a cozy blanket can also contribute to a sense of warmth and intimacy.

Music is often an essential component of soaking worship, serving to quiet the mind, usher in God’s presence, and create an atmosphere of peace and reflection. Choosing worship music that is gentle, contemplative, and Spirit-led can help to facilitate a deeper connection with God. Many soaking worship playlists and albums are available, featuring instrumental music, spontaneous worship, or songs with minimal lyrics that allow for extended times of reflection and listening.

In addition to music, incorporating other elements such as Scripture meditation, prayer, and journaling can enhance the soaking worship experience. Reading a passage of Scripture slowly and prayerfully, allowing its truths to sink deep into your heart, can be a powerful way to hear from God and align your thoughts with His. Engaging in conversational prayer, sharing your heart openly with God and listening for His response, can deepen your intimacy and trust in Him. Journaling your prayers, impressions, and insights can also help to solidify what God is speaking and revealing to you during your soaking times.

Cultivating a lifestyle of soaking worship also involves learning to bring a posture of rest and receptivity into the everyday moments of life. This may mean pausing throughout the day to take a few deep breaths, quieting your soul, and acknowledging God’s presence with you. It may involve practicing the discipline of “breath prayers,” silently whispering a simple phrase or Scripture verse as a means of staying connected to God amidst the busyness of life. By integrating these small acts of turning our attention to God, we can carry the essence of soaking worship with us wherever we go.

Another key aspect of cultivating a lifestyle of soaking worship is learning to surrender control and trust in God’s leadership. Soaking worship requires a willingness to let go of our agendas, expectations, and desire for immediate results. It invites us to rest in the slow, gentle work of the Holy Spirit, trusting that He is doing deep and lasting work in us, even when we may not see or feel it in the moment. This posture of surrender and trust can extend beyond our dedicated soaking times, shaping our approach to prayer, decision-making, and navigating the challenges of life.

Finally, cultivating a lifestyle of soaking worship involves being part of a community that values and supports this practice. Engaging in soaking worship with others, whether in a small group setting or a corporate worship service, can provide encouragement, accountability, and shared wisdom for the journey. By surrounding ourselves with like-minded believers who prioritize intimacy with God and the transformative power of His presence, we can find strength, inspiration, and continued growth in our own soaking worship practice.

Reflective Questions

  1. What practical steps can you take to set aside intentional time and space for soaking worship in your daily life?
  2. How can you create a conducive atmosphere for soaking worship, both physically and spiritually?
  3. In what ways can you integrate elements of soaking worship, such as rest and receptivity, into the everyday moments of your life?
  4. How can being part of a community that values soaking worship support and encourage your own journey of cultivating this lifestyle?

The Transformative Power of Soaking Worship

As we explore the biblical foundations, characteristics, and practices of soaking worship, it becomes clear that this form of devotional worship holds immense transformative power for our spiritual lives. By cultivating a lifestyle of lingering in God’s presence, we open ourselves up to deep and lasting change that extends far beyond the moment of worship itself.

One of the most profound ways that soaking worship transforms us is by reshaping our understanding and experience of God’s love. As we rest in His presence, allowing His Spirit to minister to the depths of our being, we encounter the height, depth, width, and breadth of His love in ways that surpass intellectual knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19). This experiential revelation of God’s love begins to heal our wounds, dispel our fears, and anchor our identity in the unshakable reality of His affection for us.

Soaking worship also transforms us by aligning our hearts and minds with God’s perspective. As we meditate on His Word, listen for His voice, and allow His Spirit to speak truth into our lives, our thoughts and attitudes begin to be renewed (Romans 12:2). We start to see ourselves, others, and the world around us through the lens of God’s kingdom, rather than being conformed to the patterns of this world. This transformation of our mindset empowers us to live with greater wisdom, discernment, and kingdom impact.

Another way that soaking worship transforms us is by purifying our desires and motives. As we spend extended time in God’s holy presence, the searchlight of His Spirit begins to illuminate the hidden recesses of our hearts, exposing any selfish ambitions, prideful attitudes, or impure desires. In the gentle, convicting presence of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to repent, surrender, and allow God to purge us of anything that hinders our fellowship with Him. This ongoing process of purification produces a greater capacity to love God and others with sincerity and purity of heart.

Soaking worship also transforms us by equipping us to navigate the challenges and trials of life with greater resilience and faith. As we make a habit of turning to God in the secret place, pouring out our hearts before Him and receiving His strength, we develop a deeper trust in His faithfulness and sovereignty. When storms and difficulties arise, we have a reservoir of intimacy with God to draw from, anchoring us in His peace and enabling us to persevere with hope and confidence.

Perhaps most significantly, soaking worship transforms us by making us more like Christ. As we behold the beauty of the Lord and commune with Him in the secret place, we are progressively changed into His image, from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). The fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—begins to flourish in our lives as we abide in the vine of God’s presence (Galatians 5:22-23). This Christlike transformation is not the result of striving or self-effort, but rather the natural overflow of intimacy with God.

The transformative power of soaking worship extends beyond our personal lives, impacting our relationships, ministries, and spheres of influence. As we are changed in God’s presence, we become agents of His love, light, and healing in a world that desperately needs His touch. Our worship becomes a fragrant offering that draws others to the beauty and goodness of God, inviting them to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Reflective Questions

  1. In what specific ways have you experienced the transformative power of soaking worship in your own life?
  2. How has soaking worship reshaped your understanding and experience of God’s love?
  3. In what areas of your life do you desire to see greater transformation through the practice of soaking worship?
  4. How can the transformative power of soaking worship impact your relationships, ministry, and sphere of influence for the kingdom of God?

Conclusion

In conclusion, soaking worship is a precious gift and a vital pathway for deepening our intimacy with God and experiencing the transformative power of His presence. As we have explored the biblical foundations, characteristics, and practices of this contemplative form of worship, we have seen its potential to profoundly impact our spiritual lives, reshaping our understanding of God’s love, renewing our minds, purifying our hearts, and empowering us to live as agents of His kingdom.

The heart of soaking worship is a posture of rest, receptivity, and surrender before God. It is a sacred space where we quiet the noise of our lives, tune our hearts to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, and allow ourselves to be immersed in the depths of God’s love. In a world that is often marked by busyness, distraction, and performancedriven spirituality, soaking worship offers a countercultural invitation to simply be with God.

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