There is something about letting music take a person’s heart to a place that it couldn’t go otherwise. It allows us to get swept away in the moment, and it also gives us the opportunity to give God the glory and praise that He so rightly deserves. Yet, with all the benefits that music brings to worship it can also be a large stumbling block as well.
Take Ashley’s story as the prime example. Since Middle School she was part of a large Worship team at her church. By the beginning of her senior year in High School she felt that she knew exactly what good worship should look like. However, on one beautiful Sunday morning all that changed. When on a road trip with her friends they decided to attend a tiny little country church service just outside of town. And when it came time to sing the Pastor asked the small congregation to pull out their hymnals. As she began to sing, her lips were moving and her face was smiling, but inside, pride took hold of her. She remembered thinking to herself, this is lame! I feel so bad for this church that they don’t even know how to worship or even know what real worship music is. This, she thought, is not worship! However, as soon as she began thinking this way God began to convict her. And in that moment Ashley never felt so humbled.
She felt God saying to her … read the words. Read the words that she was numbly singing, and ask yourself, are they powerful? Are they true? Do they honor, glorify and praise me? Upon reading the words, she began to pay attention and she realized that the words were true, they glorified God, and they were powerful!
Ashley’s Realization: who am I to decide what type of song is worship? Worship is a state of my heart. And if I loved giving God glory, I could do it whenever and however it is presented.
From that moment on she began to sing out like never before. While she still preferred her own worship music and style, she realized that she didn’t need the drums, guitars, cool backgrounds, loud singing and familiar songs to enter into worshipping the God of the universe. While there is nothing wrong with those things, she realized that that’s not what worship is really about.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.