I absolutely love to worship — to sing aloud to Jesus. For Jesus. It’s one of the many beautiful ‘perks’ of knowing Him that I truly enjoy. I believe He created music so He can speak to our souls and we can connect to Him in a powerful way that mere words cannot satisfy. Oh, that we may sing of His power and sing aloud of His mercy!
“But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning. For you have been my defense and my refuge in the day of my trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)
Earlier this year, I was asked to substitute leading worship at our church in the month long absence of our partners in the field.
Now there is no doubt, as I have already so publicly admitted, that I take pleasure in singing praises to Jesus: You can totally depend on me to belt out a song for Him… either by myself in a closed room or with others in a group. But I have never been confident singing solo or leading others to sing to Him. (I have done both on different occasions, and my nerves always get the best of me.)
He created music so He can speak to our souls and we can connect to Him in a powerful way that mere words cannot satisfy.
It’s not because I don’t think I can sing; it’s because I know I am not a strong singer. Adding to that, I have this crippling fear of the public. This tense mixture coupled with high emotions results to going blank on stage and forgetting my lines or singing completely off-key and making a fool of myself. Needless to say, I have had quite a few of those not-so-handsome experiences under my belt. That is why I prefer to stay in the role of slideshow operator or back-up singer (or simply sing with the congregation).
God, however, had something else in mind.
He asked me lead worship. Ha! Imagine my fears running amok inside me. Oh, how I wanted to say no! Then, as if on cue, Jason said something that I needed to hear: God loves it when we are willing to look foolish for His sake.
I knew then He wanted me to do it and to trust Him to take charge.
God loves it when we are willing to look foolish for His sake.
I was pushed out of my spot — a spot well-tailored for my terrified heart. The experience was definitely a stretch for me. Week after week of that month was very scary, but something else happened: I surprisingly found myself having fun preparing songs, learning about music and working with the worship team. In fact, there was more delight in my heart worshipping Him because I felt His approval and His courage lifting me up. Yes, I was overwrought the whole time (I bet people could tell how uncomfortable I was singing on stage), but I was also experiencing more of Jesus.
I was called to permanently lead worship once a month after that substitute experience. I was both excited and wracked with anxiety over fulfilling this new role. I still get terribly nervous every time I do it. Sometimes I even want to escape finding valid excuses to not do it. But God doesn’t let me off the hook so easily though. Sometimes I can’t wait to jump in and do it; I just want to sing aloud for Him. Ha! Other times I doubt myself; I doubt God’s presence, and I seek validation from others. (Oh, the complexities of my emotions just can’t be trusted.)
Even so, I know God is teaching me to break free from myself — my worst enemy. I am slow to learn, but I am quick to recognize God’s hand in all of this. Gradually, I am coming to a place of sweet fellowship with Jesus trusting Him for the result whenever I am in front of His people. After all, He called me to do this. I am merely obeying His call.
It is up to Him what He wants to do with my obedience. Whatever that may look like, my heart is glad knowing I have pleased Him in answering His call.
July 23, 2015