This summer, our worship pastor, Matthew, explained how, as worship leaders, we prepare, plan, and practice for Sunday mornings, but we often take our sacrifice of praise back off the altar and drag it around with us the next week. For YEARS I have taken my value and worth in how I’d “performed” during worship services.
“I totally nailed it this week! God must be so proud of me!” = pride and self-righteousness
“Oh man, I completely forgot my part. I’m such a failure.” = depression and self-loathing
What would it be like if the priests of old had dragged the charred, spent carcass of their offering off the altar and carried it around the rest of the time saying “look at my great sacrifice!”? It’s absurd and disgusting, right? In the same way, making myself the center of the praise offering is absurd and disgusting…praise and worship should be centered, focused, and wholly about God…His goodness and grace and inexplicable mercy on prideful, sin-filled people.
I am so thankful that Matthew taught me this lesson. This weekend’s worship band was…wild. People were sick, fighting sickness, we had technically complicated difficulties…you name it, it was happening. But then we had this awesome time of baptism at the end of each service. God’s Grace and Glory was on powerful display as people spoke of how the Gospel has transformed their lives. During the first set, I had been self-absorbed with my fading voice and all the technical details of the music, but hearing these people testify to the Grace they had received reminded me that it didn’t matter one bit if I sounded great or awful…it’s all about Jesus anyways. As a lead worshipper, my job is to prepare, plan, and practice in order to bring honor to Jesus and create a place where others can come and worship and adore Him.
After that first baptism and the Holy Spirit reminding me of the truth, I just worshipped. I happened to have a microphone and keyboard in front of me, but that didn’t make me any more than just another sinner, saved by the amazing Grace of our Loving God.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. Bring an offering and come before Him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. ~ I Chronicles 16:29 ~