Heard of Binge Watching? Try some “Binge Praising”!
Writing recently in the New York Times, columnist David Brooks identified reasons many Americans right now are feeling (in his words) so “powerless” and (as he puts it) “plagued by the anxiety of impotence.” He wrote:
Americans are beset by complex, intractable problems that don’t have a clear villain: technological change displaces workers; globalization and the rapid movement of people destabilize communities; family structure dissolves; the political order in the Middle East teeters, the Chinese economy craters, inequality rises, the global order frays, etc.
Do you feel “plagued by the anxiety of impotence?” Are you anxious about what’s going on in the world and maybe in your own life? Are you fearful of the future? There is a cure! Let’s find out what it is. You may even have some fun!
Antidote to the Plague
The prime antidote the Bible gives us to counter this “plague” is, first of all, to look toward the Son of God—seated upon his throne, actively engaged with all these concerns, willing to empower his followers with his risen, reigning life—and then worship him wholeheartedly.
In other words, the cure for our “existential impotency” is “King Jesus potency,” which he freely shares with all who abide in him (John 15).
Sitting in prison, facing execution, Paul was sustained by “King Jesus potency” to continue his ministry, even to his captors. Ponder his famous words in Philippians 1:
Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice … so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain [emphasis added].
Notice I highlighted “rejoice.” Why? Because rejoicing in Jesus for the reasons he gives was the key to how Paul himself moved beyond anxiety into victory.
And it is the key for each one of us, as well.
Therefore, I invite you to apply this antidote through a session of what I call “binge praising.” Let me show you how!
Defining “Binge Praising”
Only recently, through such services as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime has it been possible for someone to select a favorite TV series (such as Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey), and view many episodes at one sitting. The popular term for this experience is “binge watching.” For hours a viewer becomes totally absorbed in one show alone—consumed with it, in other words.
In the same vein, Scripture calls believers to be similarly—even fanatically—focused on, absorbed with, thrilled over, and consumed by the person and purposes of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As you know, many of the Psalms call us to nothing less than this, such as Psalm 146: “Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”
Even in Philippians Paul incites the entire congregation to join him in bingeing on praise: “ Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! … Do not be anxious about anything” (4:4, 6).
To another church he writes again: “Rejoice always!” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, emphasis added).
But is it appropriate to apply the word “binge” to how we praise Jesus? Good question. Consider this:
The dictionary defines “binge” as “a period, usually brief, of excessive indulgence or consumption.” The operative word here is “excessive”—which certainly could refer to drinking alcohol at a frat house party or spending five hours working through Season 2 of Blue Bloods.
But wait a minute. Isn’t there a place for spiritual bingeing? To ask it another way: Can our exulting in and exalting of God’s glorious Son ever become too excessive? Or too indulgent? Or too passionate?
In fact, when we read how redemption’s story climaxes in Revelation 5, bingeing might be the best word for what happens. John reports there will be uncurtailed jubilations:
I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:
The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!
Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:
To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age (The Message).
For sure—absolutely no impotency or anxiety will be felt there!
But why should we wait until then? Why not get started with the celebrations right now?
Here’s one practical way to begin.
A Thirty-Minute Binge Session
Sometime in the next twenty-four hours set aside thirty minutes to do nothing but offer unbroken, fervent worship to the “Lamb at the center of the throne” (Revelation 7).
I suggest you fill those minutes with some of the Christ-exalting worship videos at ChristNow.com.
Start, for example, with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing “Praise Him.” Then move over to Chris Tomlin’s version of “Jesus Messiah,” followed by “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” (St. Olaf Choir), leading into the “Revelation Song” (Kari Jobe). Then click on “Overcome” (New Life Worship), and climax your worship time with Handel’s “Worthy is the Lamb” (from Westminster Abbey in London).
There you go! Thirty minutes bingeing on the praises of Jesus! Incidentally, all those selections can be found on the very first page of the worship videos link.
In addition, as you enjoy the music, participate with it. You might try singing along at times. You might prostrate yourself on the floor during one video, like John did before Jesus in Revelation 1, or raise your hands to heaven during another video like the psalmist calls us to do.
Whatever your approach, as you concentrate worship on the King of Kings keep asking with each video:
“What dimensions of the greatness and glory of my Redeemer am I focusing on in this hymn or song or chorus? What more of a vision of his supremacy is taking hold of my heart during this time of celebrating God’s wonder-filled Son?”
Most of all, after your binge session is over, notice how it begins to transform the way you live for Christ the rest of the day. Mark how you feel newly empowered in him as a result.
Let me ask you again: Can our exulting in and exalting of God’s glorious Son ever become too excessive? Or too indulgent? Or too passionate?
We must answer with an emphatic NO!
Start with some thirty-minute sessions, but eventually, let unfettered, increasing worship of Christ become for you a way of life.
So binge on! Unto Jesus!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Bryant
Known as a proclaimer of Christ and Messenger of Hope, David Bryant is the founder and president of Proclaim Hope!, a ministry whose goal is to serve a nationwide Christ Awakening. David is the author of five books, including Christ Is ALL! Join in the Joyful Awakening to the Supremacy of God’s Son.