Posts Tagged ‘worship leader’

I recently had the privilege of helping provide the music for the wedding of two young friends of mine, Jon and Bethany. They are a wonderful couple, both very gifted in music, both devoted to God and to serving His people, particularly in the area of leading worship. Their journey through friendship, courtship, and engagement was a joy to observe, as they have lived pure lives, and put God first in the choices and decisions they've made.

At the rehearsal, we worshipped and our pastor invited the presence of God. His presence began to fill the room, and the bride and groom were undone as the Lord began to minister to them. It was a beautiful, powerful moment.

A thought struck me as we were there together in the glory of God. As gifted and talented as Jon and Bethany are, the Lord was not there manifesting His presence because of their gifts and talents – they weren't playing, singing, or doing anything 'gifted' at the moment – He was present, glorifying Himself and making Himself known because the lives Jon and Bethany live are pleasing to Him. They have determined to seek God as their reward, and in that moment, He was rewarding them among their friends and family by being found. 

Here's the phrase that came to my mind –

Your gift will make room for you, but it's your life that will bring the glory of God.

Your gift and talent will cause people to notice you, and they'll make way for you, just like at the gift table at a wedding. If people are crowded around the table, when they see you coming with a gift for the bride and groom, they'll make room for you. But when the bride and groom are opening gifts, although they appreciate the stuff they get, what really blesses them is receiving those things from people they know and love.

People will make way for us to serve them when they see we are gifted, but what they really need – and what they are really hoping for – is the glory of God (God Himself to show up). That will happen, not if we can play the guiltar or sing well (although, hey, it helps!), but if the lives we live honor God.  Develop the gifts God's given you in every way you can, but use them as a tool to express what's in you, don't depend on them. Develop a worship life, and depend on God. When you draw near to Him – in your own time of worship, or when you're leading others – He will draw near to you.

I love how God has given us powerful, tangible pictures in the Bible to illustrate spiritual principles. Through the true stories of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we can literally see how God desires to relate to man, and how man is expected to live his life before God. I’m a visual guy, and it’s so much easier to understand something by having a picture or a 3-D model to take a long, studied look at, and then to make observations, explanations, and applications from.

For instance, we see Moses going up the mountain to meet with God face to face, and we understand that man is designed to ascend to a higher place, with the capacity to break free from the pull of earthly things that cloud our view of Him, and distort the clarity of His voice as He speaks to us. We can see the reality of the spiritual principle that if we draw near, or come up, to Him, He will draw near to us.

We see David going out to meet the Philistine giant Goliath, with only a sling and some rocks. David is incredulous that while this heathen champion is disparaging not only the people of God, but the Name of the Lord Himself, the whole army of Israel fears the giant man more than the Great I AM! Now, rock throwing is generally considered to be more of a mischievous activity than an act of war, but in this case we get it – David is moved to fight for the honor of the Name of the Lord, and because He’s trusting in God to vindicate Himself, the weapon doesn’t matter, what counts is possessing the faith to act!

Get the picture (pun intended)?  I Cor. 10:11 says, "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the age have come." A picture really is worth 1,000 words! For a worship leader, musician, or singer, one of the most important pictures the Bible paints for us is of the Levites, particularly the portion of the tribe of Levi that was separated by David and his leaders to minister in music to the Lord.

Primarily in the books of I & II Chronicles, as we watch how David made assignments of the Levites to their particular duties and how they carried them out, we can see some clear examples of who we are to be, and how we are to serve in this calling God’s given us. It’s interesting to see how those called to serve in this capacity did so when the Kingdom was intact and things were going great, and when, well, not so much.

I’ve been looking at the different portraits of these guys that the Bible paints for us for around 20 years, and I’m still finding fresh insights that help me understand who I am, what I’m called to do, and how I’m supposed to fulfill that calling.

In the next few posts, I’d like to take a closer look at the Levites. Who were they? Why were they chosen to serve the Lord and His people in this capacity? When, where, how did they fulfill their duties? As we look at this together, my hope is that God will more fully develop inside each of you the picture of who He created you to be.