I had the most awesome privilege to lead our worship team and congregation in worship this morning. I don’t lead that often, and it’s not something that I’ve ever been really comfortable doing.
In the past, I would do it occasionally when asked. It’s not something I’ve every really volunteered “extra” for, though. If I get asked, I’m willing – but we do have an awesome worship team, so I don’t have to step up a lot in that role (which I have been thankful for)!
It’s always a heart racing experience. Since I’ve been wearing my FitBit, I have PROOF that it’s a heart racing experience. My FitBit thinks I’m doing 20 minutes of high intensity exercise whenever I lead a song or two as part of the worship team. It buzzes EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m up on that platform.
Today I was THE leader. Like the person that has to stand up front in the middle of the platform! I have to admit that I was slightly panicked that the schedule worked out this way. But instead of falling victim to this fear, I began to pray and read and pray and read and journal and read and pray and study – oh and pray!
As I’ve written about fear in a recent blog post, it is something that I am working my way through on this journey. Wouldn’t you KNOW it…the week I am scheduled to lead is our week in “The Story” about Esther. The girl that had NO FEAR.
How perfect and applicable to my experiences the past year. You might say a God-incident, since I had to dig deep into the story of Esther, a story of facing fears. Go read the book of Esther if you need a refresher!
If I compare my blessed life and journey to Esther, I am just in awe of the courage of that girl. A young girl, selected for a harem, had to hide her identity as a Jew, chosen as queen, and then BIG decisions on how to handle the news of the edict to destroy the Jews in King Xerxes kingdom. I mean, imagine if you were the queen and you had to fear for your life if you went before the king without being “summoned”. I mean, really. I can’t even wrap my brain around that life.
Here she is, this young girl, about to save the Jews in the kingdom of Xerxes. Her exact words were “If I perish, well then, I perish”. She was risking her very life to confront the king for the Jewish people.
So that’s a brief summary of Esther, and how her story inspires me. It’s a story of courage to the point of sacrificing her life.
I want to have that courage! I don’t feel like God is calling me into any life-threatening situations at the moment, but I am battling and working through my own fears: dealing with insecurities, feelings of unworthiness, and not measuring up to the standards of our “culture”.
Don’t make me stand front and center on a platform and use my voice to lead people in worship!!! I seriously questioned God why he would EVER put me in that spot. I do love to sing, I’m thankful I can carry a tune – but I have been way too insecure to really embrace this type of leadership.
I may have had a breakthrough today. Funny that I just wrote about breakthroughs the other day from one of my new favorite verses, Psalm 51:12.
Alright, I’m going to just admit that I had a HUGE breakthrough today. Even though my FitBit recorded my heart rate at 165 bpms (hello fat burning! Ha!) – I did not feel the overwhelming sense of dread that I have in the past!
I was so excited and moved to share a heart for worship today! Of course, I found a scripture yesterday to make my spirit soar in this direction. I prayed for a verse and BOOM! This is what I stumbled on yesterday in Hebrews:
Hebrews 12:28-29 New International Version (NIV)
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
First of all, in the story of Esther, even though God is not even mentioned in that story, we can clearly see that God’s kingdom can NOT be shaken!
Then I absolutely love the rest of this verse! I am so very thankful for everything that God has done in not only my life, but my family and my friends, too!
How can I help but want to worship Him with my whole heart and soul? I’ve always been very passionate about worship through music. I love old hymns and I love modern praise and worship music. I’ve been in choirs, on worship teams, in cantatas (remember those?), in musical plays at church – all because I truly believe that music is a beautiful way to worship God.
It wasn’t until traveling this journey that I really began to understand the depth of the “reverence and awe” part. I was so enslaved to my insecurities and fears that I wasn’t fully expressing myself in worship. Well, maybe in my car with the windows down and my hand in the air (one on the wheel!).
I am so very thankful for this journey that God has placed me on, I now “get it”! Today was a major step and a victory in understanding where God wants my heart when it comes to worship. It is the deepest desire of my heart to be able to lead others to this same place when it comes to worshipping Him with reverence and awe. I don’t know about anyone else, but I truly felt the Spirit moving today – well in my soul, at least!
The three songs I had the honor to lead today were “You Make Me Brave”, “Who You Say I Am”, and “No Longer Slaves”. I’ll link all three of them below in YouTube. Please listen to them so you can be reminded who you are in Christ!
How perfect is the timing of God’s lessons and how He weaves everything together for His good purpose? I was added to the schedule to lead after the schedule had been posted and it just happened to land on the story of Esther AND this set of songs was just absolutely perfect for facing fears and letting the Holy Spirit do His work!
Take courage my friends – He is making a way for you to breakthrough and experience these victories, too. Be brave, know who you are in Christ, and praise Him that He can break those chains of bondage. Rejoice in the deliverance! We are no longer slaves.
“You Make Me Brave” Amanda Cook and Bethel Music
“No Longer Slaves” Jonathan and Melissa Helser, Bethel Music
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