Well, that happened today.
*Rediscover yourself lesson #361-Worship
In September 2002, we were invited to a church by a friend. At that point in my life I couldn't see any good in myself...but God did and He had a plan.
I remember walking in this church and feeling a different feeling that I had never felt before. We walked into the sanctuary of the church to a band playing on the stage with contemperary music uplifting the Lord. People freely raising their hands and laying their heart out in worship. This was new to me. I had never attended a church where this was okay. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was the worshippers on stage. I heard myself say, "I am going to be up there someday" and I immediately got excited. The thought of using my God given talent on the stage where people can hear you. I mean, I had a voice. Not just a singing voice but a VOICE. I had earned medals in high school for my voice. Superior ratings for my solos. I had main roles in choir concerts and attended choir camp for 2 summers. Why not have me up there?
Well, I never made it up there. Two weeks after commiting to a class at this church to get to know God more and myself, I got sick. An overactive immune disease called "Lupus" had plagued me. I had been completely healthy my entire life until this moment. It had crippled my walk, fatigued me, made my hair fall out, and taken my voice. I lost my voice for 1 week and when it returned, it wasn't the same. I could no longer carry high pitches or finish a whole sentence without clearing my throat. It was then that I had to learn and discover how to use my heart for worship. God didn't want to hear my voice, although He delights in what He created to be used for His glory. He wanted to hear ME. After getting over the fact that I lost something that I thought defined me, I was able to open up to the Lord with my heart...and I embraced it! I felt so free to show God how much I loved Him. I didn't have to say anything, I just allowed my heart to say it all.
Here it is over 7 years later and its still the same...no singing voice. I have learned to worship with my heart, soul, and mind. While I am still learning just like you, I still makes mistakes but I understand grace and strive to move closer to the Lord.
Christmas time has wonderful music and it led me to reflect on my favorite song of the season. That song is "Little Drummer Boy." It reminds me of how I don't have much to offer but what I do have is my heart and I will worship the Lord with all I have. There have been times that I have been dry and not much in my heart to give but I believe that God sees a little as a lot given what we are going through. If I am not really feeling the love at that moment I express it to God. I let HIM know how alone I feel or sad I feel. Even if I am angry, HE knows. I cannot hide from the true feelings that I am going through, I have to let HIM know. God is so gracious with me and loves me through every process.
This weekend I was sharing with a friend my need to reach out more. The feeling I felt after Christmas Eve service was a feeling of wanting more in my relationship with Christ towards the lost. My desire to grow up more in the church and my need to be around other believers sharing in the same vision. I know God wants that for everyone.
This morning we had to teach. We teach 3 year olds every other Sunday and I leave there feeling purposed. As we were getting our lessons and room ready I noticed a different teacher in the 4 & 5 yr old class. I walked over to her and said, "Hi, are you in here today?" She said, "yes, I will be leading this group." I see her every Sunday because her son is in our class so I jokingly asked her, "well, are you leading worship today for the children?" A nervous smiling look came across her face and said, "I can't do that. I have no idea what I am doing." We both laughed and said bye. I walked back to my room.
A few minutes later the childrens pastor came in our section to check on all areas with cirriculum and materials. She came over to me and asked, "Is there any way you can lead worship today? I forgot Kim is out and I have no one." I got nervous but then immediately God said 'yes' and I just said, "sure! I have never done this before but it isn't me, its HIM." She was thankful to me and showed me how to operate the songs.
There are 3 rooms of children (up to 24 children), 5 teachers, and 5 youth (that help the class) to lead worship for. I had to sing in front of them and use motions. I said to God (like He was hanging out with me for the day), "I can't do this but YOU can...let's go!"
I started out with our morning greeting song, our lesson song, and last, a soft worship song by Hillsong. It's called "Your love is deep" and consists of many motions. Everyone was sitting and worshipping with their hearts and it was amazing. Four 4 & 5 year olds were sitting in front of me singing their hearts out. I could feel every bit of their innocence while singing to Jesus. As I looked down at one of my 3 year olds, Maggie, said to me, "my love is long" and she did a long motion. One of the lines in the song says, "my love is long...my love is wide." I lost it on the inside. I was crying with my heart and telling the Lord..."my love is long." While I had tears in my eyes, it was then that I remembered worship and what it is supposed to feel like and how much God loved that moment. That was a feeling like we weren't even in a building...we were in the presence of the KING.
I do not always "get it", I do not always "understand it", and I do not always "see it" but I am learning that that is faith. Faith happens by worship. Its believing in something that is unseen and when you believe in something unseen, worship is what grows it up into that relationship. You don't have to do any rituals or outrageous things to get Gods attention. Just seek Him with your heart. Worship consists of the way you talk to others (about HIM or not), how you love, reading the Word, and singing/worshipping...with your heart. You don't have to go out and put on a show, just be you. That is how God made you and for you to be any different is only critizing what HE has done.
Worship is how we love. Open your heart...God is ready to do some work!
Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your HEART and with all your SOUL and with all your MIND." Matthew 22:37