Two years ago at a summer retreat, God convicted me to examine the lyrics I was singing during praise sessions at church/YG and even as I sang along to mp3s while doing work. So often I would sing along with memorized lyrics and just groove. It’s like listening to the radio with a group of friends and just screaming along to the song with obnoxious voices completely ignorant of pitches… but it’s not.
I was singing “From the Inside Out” with the lyrics, “my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control, consume me from the inside out… EVERLA…” and suddenly I stopped. I couldn’t get myself to shout these words out along with the rest of the people in the room. Yes, we were all pumped from the heavy bass and adrenaline was building up to hit the high notes of the chorus, but I simply couldn’t sing. I knew the words and I was ready to jump along side all my friends but instead God shut my mouth and brought me to tears. I will never forget how incredibly awkward I felt until I realized that one of my best friends felt the same thing I was feeling. Instead of singing we sat down and just prayed through the lyrics, and maybe for the first I felt like I was actually worshiping God.
Ever since, I have worshiped in a whole new way… eyes closed from the world around me, mind focused on worshiping God, and lips moving however the Holy Spirit leads me in worship … at this point my legs and arms do whatever they want as well…
Who cares what I look like: on my knees, sitting, jumping, arms open to God…
Who cares what I sound like: out of tune, shouting out loud, voice cracking…
I find it kind of strange that worship has become a sing-a-long and move-a-long where people glance around when they hear a wrong note or a strange voice and maybe even start laughing. It seems to me God doesn’t care how we are standing, how loud we are, or if we are on key… it’s simply about our heart of worship.
So why do I say this? Because someone said to me that they are afraid of singing because people will laugh. They are afraid of singing because they don’t know all the words. They are afraid they will sing out of tune. They are afraid to worship as the Holy Spirit leads them because people comment that they aren’t “worshiping correctly”.
I’ll admit that I am afraid of being a disturbance so I tend to stand/sit/kneel/jump in the back, but why does it even matter? I shouldn’t care and I won’t. I am not going back to my pre-summer retreat ways just because of the people around me. Sing how you want, do what you want, but whatever you do, worship God and let the Holy Spirit lead you. We aren’t just jamming at a concert or singing-a-long with the worship leaders, we are praising our Lord with one voice made up of harmonies, melodies, wrong words, wrong notes, loud, soft, you name it, but all with the heart of worship. Forget the people around you, those who are singing off key, or those who will look at you if you sing off key. Its not about you, its not about them.
I DON’T CARE HOW YOU IN PARTICULAR WORSHIP, BUT LET THE WORDS THAT COME FROM OUR LIPS BE OUR PRAYER, PRAISE, AND CRY OF OUR HEARTS. ITS NOT ABOUT THE PEOPLE AROUND US… ITS ABOUT GOD.
“i’ll give you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you require. You look much deeper within, through the way things appear, you’re looking into my heart. I’M COMING BACK TO THE HEART OF WORSHIP WHERE ITS ALL ABOUT YOU, ITS ALL ABOUT YOU JESUS…”