Fellow lovers of worship and worship leaders,
How many times have you felt like you just could not progress in your calling or skillset? How many times have you felt…stuck? How many times have you felt weak or ineffective?
Well, worshippers, instrumentalists, chorus members, background vocalists, song leaders, music directors and worship pastors, we have all been there.
For, we want to sound good.
We want our sound to be a certain way.
We want our image to appear a certain way.
We work hard at our craft and expect to be used only in our strengths. Yet we often forget that in our weaknesses, we depend on God more than we would if we were fully capable on our own.
I do this all the time, forgetting that divine strength lies in my human frailties. I am learning more and more that it is such a beautiful thing, to not focus on excellence so much that I’m completely independent of the Spirit power inside of me.
More and more, I find myself saying, “God, I cannot do this on my own.” And in turn, God reminds me, “No, you cannot, but with me everything is possible.”
As as result, I find that God continues to push me out of my comfort zone. You might be picturing a small shove, but in reality, it feels like a giant push out of a moving car!
We often say that worship is a lifestyle, but what does that actually mean?
In this matter, I invite you to turn your eyes to Jesus, for he is and always will be the pioneer of worship. His greatest act of worship led him to die on the cross where he was crucified for every single person in the entire universe.
It is his sacrifice of worship that sets the example for us. So, when we say that worship is a lifestyle, we need to remember that worship involves obedience, sacrifice, a lot of times pain and every time COST.
The sacrifice of worship will cost you!
It will demand that you pay up on humility many times over. It will require your tears, just like Jesus wept in total agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It will seem elusive, yet stick to you like gorilla glue. It is the one thing you cannot help but do, but the hardest thing to keep doing, at times.
As we carve out our callings, we all experience a great crushing because we are embodying the sacrifice of worship to God’s people. We sacrifice our ego, our pride, our insecurities, our own personal desires, our time, and our fears to serve the body of Christ so that the glory of God will be made known.
When I first began learning how to sing, I had many embarrassing moments. I even had to step back and work in privately on my voice for a while. When I began to learn the guitar, I was painfully bad. My fingers needed calluses, and I couldn’t strum and sing at the same time. My timing was horrible, I didn’t know how to get better and alas! There came a time where I had to sing and play in front of people, even though I didn’t feel ready! In that season, I left the platform in tears multiple times. I was so discouraged, and yet I knew that I was supposed to be there!
Yet, God honored my obedience, bringing people along the way to help me in my journey. If I waited to step out when I was excellent, I may have never stepped out, never attracted the attention of my future mentors, and worst of all, never experienced the glorious mess-ups that have refined me into the worshipper I am today.
Yes, anyone can say that worship is a lifestyle, but only a few will understand that worship involves cost. Even fewer will embrace that cost as part of their calling.
Let us be the few.
Let us say that cost is our lifestyle.
Let us count the cost and embrace the cost, even at the expense of our pain.
For although we are losing something that may bring a little agony, we are gaining something altogether more valuable – a friendship with God that rivals anything we can imagine.
You see, it is in the fire of sacrifice and cost, that we gain closeness with God. Not only that, we gain a holy and brutal strength in our spirits. It is then that we can endure the losses in our flesh so that our spirits will be wealthy in the fireproof faith that comes from simple obedience.
The sacrifice of worship will cost you.
Expect it. God is in it. You are supposed to be right where you are, in this very moment, working out the calling God has set before you.
Embrace the cost. And….
Burn on, fellow worshippers.. Count it all as loss to truly know God more. For all worries, anxieties, and feelings of being stuck are garbage while knowing our Lord is true gold.
“To truly know him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap. It’s all like a pile of manure to me now, so that I may be enriched in the reality of knowing Jesus Christ and embrace him as Lord in all of his greatness.” Phil 3:8 TPT