WONDERS OF WORSHIP
CRYING IN THE DESERT
It is true we can learn and grow about how to be more knowledgeable and prepared for leading worship. We might think that going to Bible College or being musically trained will make us more equipped and charismatic to lead others. And we might believe if we dedicate more hours for practice each week and remember to pray everyday for God’s anointing that we can know how God works. We can examine our heart and focus on issues such as attitude, sin, apathy, fatigue or discover that we are not praying enough, or maybe we have become stagnant or burnout and are just going through the motions. When the song service seems dull and boring we can blame our powerless presentation on song selection, musical style and the people being “un-spiritual” but what about the times when you can rule out these possibilities and do everything you know to do and it still falls flat? This is what faith is all about. We continue going forward and trust in what we cannot see or understand because we know we have heard from God. “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses).” Hebrews 11:1 (Amp)
Disappointment is the gap between expectation and reality. It is a crossroad – a place of decision. We can choose to turn in the easy comfortable direction and throw in the towel and quit or we can stay the course, become filled with His determination and continue standing in the heat of battle. This is a painful place where patience must be allowed to have its perfect work. The flesh will cry and the agony can push us and test us to our limits but God is an ever present help in time of trouble. He is there to help us through these difficult situations with His peace and compassion. I do not want to be discouraging but there will be times when it seems you are walking in sand under a blazing heat and there is no water as far as you can see. It is not a negative confession it is just a part of the fallen world and the classroom of life. We have all these ideas and visions and approach our calling in faith and we can be as prepared as we know how to be and after it is over we can end up staring into the sky, watching the clouds roll past, wondering what happened. But remember, many times the peep hole we are looking through does not reveal the entire view. An important part of trusting God means that we understand there are many things going on in our circumstances that God is doing “behind” the scenes. Sometimes it is not what we see – but what we did not see. What does all this have to do with worship? For those called to lead others into the presence of God and minister to their spirits, it is a word of wisdom and encouragement. Many Christians may ask, “What is so good about being weak and going through times of being dry and helpless?” Because it is the beauty of truth! Spiritual reality allows us to realize that in our weakness He is strong. I can write about this because I have been in the desert places many times and all I knew to do was fall at His feet. In my times of weariness and confusion I have witnessed the power and strength of God that accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed of – I just needed to get out of His way.
God is the only one that has all the answers as there are so many reasons and possibilities that are influenced by our attitudes and His sovereignty. Why does it seem like some days everything goes wrong? Sometimes it’s our fault and other times our circumstances and situations cannot be explained. On the days when sermons are boring and the music seems to drag, is it our lack of interest? And other times when we are riveted to our seats and moved to tears, is it a strong anointing holding our attention? Is it the speaker or musicians fault for not being better prepared – or a lack of enthusiasm on the listener’s part? We as humans can only guess. It reminds me of the farmer’s almanac that suggests better times to plant or go fishing according to the alignment of the moon. Why do we have terrible days at work when it seems nothing goes right and we drag ourselves home and retreat into the isolation of a pity party? And then other days we just seem to be in rhythm with everything and everyone. It is the “valley and mountain” part of life that is ingrained in this imperfect world. But in our disappointments it does not matter where we are – but who we are. We are called by God and have been given a mission and destiny to accomplish. Dreams are free – it is the journey that is costly. We can sit around all day and fantasize about what we would like to be but a “doer” is someone who is willing to sacrifice and walk through their difficulties, (and that high price causes many to stay on the couch.) Those who choose to “endure” till the end and finish the race will receive the prize and be the overcomer that God has called them to be.