Worship Out of Love

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Your love makes me sing

I gotta be honest, I kinda hate that song. I’m a worship leader and I hate that song. Oh, I’ll sing it because I want to start with something more upbeat, but I do it with chagrin.

But last night (now a couple weeks ago), in the middle of the beginning of worship, I had a thought. I thought, “Does Your love really make me sing? Is that what I’m doing up here?”

And that question has stayed with me and I can’t help but ask myself, am I being motivated to worship out of his love for me?

It’s a little bit like the authenticity question. Am I really real?

And looking back on the time I’ve spent leading or accompanying in worship, I’ve come a long way from that awkward kid who couldn’t flow to save your soul. I’ve had a few different experiences in a few different places. But frankly, I’m still just running a program.

And one night as I was thinking about what I was going to do for worship that week I just sat down with my guitar and played a little 40-minute medley–and Father said, ‘That’s what I want you to do – that’s how I want you to lead worship,’ and so I did, and (I thought) it went so much better than what I’d been doing, and if there were anything that flowed out of His love and holiness, that was it.

But that’s not every night. And maybe I’m just being over-critical of my private life–but I’m allowed to be introspective.

But at the end of the day it makes me realize, that’s what I want. I want my motivation, my love song, to flow out of his love song over me, and it all begins to unlock when I pay attention to what Father sings over me.

Jesus I’m tired of running the program. No love = no worship and I so do love you, but I want to be even more enraptured by you and I want it to be a visible, tangible reality for the people I lead. Sing your love over me.

Surprised Sensitivity

I went to see a movie on Sunday night–The Magnificent Seven.

And I didn’t really think anything about it at first (I’ve been waiting a couple months to see this movie) but right from the opening scenes I could feel myself cringing. Because it was utterly brutal. And there’s a small possibility it could have had something to do with the young child to the right of me a row back gasping at the first acts of brutality, but I actually couldn’t believe myself; all I could think was, “This isn’t even that bad, what the heck’s going on?”

I think I might be re-sensitizing.

And actually, I enjoyed the movie. I did. It was a good story full of valor and bravery, relatable struggle, sacrifice, and a solid plot, and the actors played their parts (and no, kid, they weren’t acting it out with pellet guns). No, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but I would see it again (if only to be able to watch it without the constant talking, giggling and loud questions from both sides of the row behind me).

The truth is, my entertainment choices have changed a lot over the last year because the options have changed quite a bit, and that’s had its affect. And it began with a personal choice of course–I think I surprised a few people (myself not the least) with my decision not to see Deadpool  (And ironically I’d been looking forward to that one, too, and it was reportedly chalk-full of ‘my kind of humor’). But mostly, I think Holy Spirit–I know Holy Spirit–has had his hands all over this, all over me, tugging at my response to things, taking full advantage of every allowance I can give him. I feel more deeply than I did about the same things a year ago, and that excites me. It excites me to see changes taken place in the very gut of me albeit ever so slowly, and it gives me hope that other areas of concern will not be able to remain untouched as I learn to surrender and open and invite Holy Spirit life into everything I am.