Hooked On a Feeling

  • Pete Johnson
smily faces

The group was Blue Swede, the year was 1974, and the song was “Hooked on a Feeling”. The Swedish pop group’s recording of that song, originally recorded by B.J. Thomas in 1968, then re-recorded by British singer Jonathan King in 1971, reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

The song, “Hooked on a Feeling”, recently made known to a younger generation through the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy”, offers the catchy chorus, “I’m hooked on a feeling, High on believing, that you’re in love with me.”  (If you’re familiar with either the song or the movie, you probably just heard the chorus play in your head)

Feelings. What would we do without them! “If it weren’t for feelings, I’d feel Ok today!” We get our feelings hurt, trampled on, and even lose them. “I feel like crying, dancing, eating, sleeping” Feelings can be fleeting, they influence how we treat others, and even what we determine is right or wrong, yet like that chorus, were hooked on them.

So where do our feelings fit in with worshiping the Savior? Do we worship only if we feel? What if we don’t “feel it”. Do we relate true worship with emotion?

True worship does have emotion involved, but perhaps not in the sense of a 1974 love song.

The emotion-related to true worship is that of knowing where we stand before a Holy God; unrighteous, unable to give God anything, and unwilling to give Him everything. When we understand that about ourselves, and when we understand that Christ died, the sinless Son of God, in our place, we realize that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”, that does invoke emotion. Understanding our complete unworthiness before a Holy Righteous God, and knowing that he redeemed us, despite ourselves, should evoke emotion. John Piper writes that the emotions of a true worshiper include “contrition, sorrow, longing, desire, fear, awe, gratitude, joy, and hope. “

When the Samaritan woman encountered Jesus at the well, he exposed her for what she really was and what she really needed. Jesus said to her,

Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying I have no husband, for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband” (John 4:16-18).

When we truly encounter God, He reveals and exposes us for who and what we truly are, sinners in need of a savior, only then can we truly experience the true emotion of worship.

Worship that is driven by true exposure to the Savior leads to the furtherance of the gospel.

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did”  (John 4:39)

True worship is not “hooked on a feeling”, but is done in Spirit and truth, the spirit of God moving us as we comprehend the truth about ourselves, which leads to a full realization of the truth of God.