The responsibility of a praise and worship leader is one that I have never taken lightly. It calls for you to truly have an authentic relationship with the God we sing about. It’s definitely more than just leading popular songs during worship. This assignment, however, can be tough when you’re forced to worship in a foreign land.
Growing up comfortably in what I call the “upper middle class”, I never knew what it was like to really struggle in life. The house I lived in, life my parents provided for me, all seemed like the “norm” to me. Even when I moved out of my family home and rented my first apartment, I was able to reach out to my parents for help whenever I needed, and whenever I killed my pride and asked.
I don’t know about you, but I love moments of worship to God. Those moments when you know He’s present and He’s working through your groans and tears. I honestly never want to leave that place of worship. Sometimes, the circumstances in life can cause us to forget about those encounters with our Father in Heaven.
My husband and I have endured so much together in the six years we’ve been married. Financial woes, and health issues, coupled with babies, and a slew of let downs and disappointments. I wanted to leave. I wanted to abandon my post as a wife. The truth is, my faith was in my husband, not in the God that sent him to me. As I lost trust in my husband, it bled into my relationship with God. When I read the passage for this devotion, it really opened my eyes. I could relate to the children of Israel. My circumstances made me feel like was in captivity. Struggles were foreign to me. I felt myself asking “How do you expect me to lead your people into worship while I’m in a “foreign land”? Has anyone ever been in that place before? You may not be a worship leader or singer for that matter, and you may not be struggling financially. Have you ever asked God how? How do you expect me to trust you? How do you expect me to serve you? How do you expect me to worship you??
It seems like the circumstances are mocking your faith right? That’s what the Babylonians were doing to the children of Israel. They were mocking the fact that they had faith in God EVEN as prisoners of war.
The most powerful moments in worship came when I poured out my heart and worshipped through the circumstances I was facing. In fact, in those moments, I missed cues, I missed notes, and my chances of looking like a polished vocalist ready for a tour were crushed (Not that any of those things motivated me to lead worship)! It is when we most vulnerable, most broken, that God can truly use us for His glory.
Be encouraged by 1 Peter 5:10-11: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a LITTLE while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen
Although life may seem tough while you are still required to do everything God has called you to do, be encouraged knowing that its only for a little while. Prove your critics wrong by lifting up your voice and raising your hands in worship, in spite of what is going on around you.