It happened again, I received the invitation to serve in an upcoming worship service. I was excited to use my gifts again in ministry, and immediately the lies tried to enter in: you’re not a good singer. You can’t sing as good as ___. You can’t even play an instrument. _____ grew up singing, you don’t even know how to harmonize without being helped. You can’t. You won’t. You don’t. Who are you to step on that stage? You’re too much. You’re not enough.Lies!
The beauty of it this time, was I recognized they weren’t coming from within me. Like Melissa Helser says in her “Rooted in Delight” podcast episode, they were coming at me. The enemy hates me. He hates you, too. He hates your gift, your calling, your ministry – because he knows the power it holds through Christ in you.
In those moments I had to refocus my mind continuously. Every time the lies would come, I would remind myself that I am a worshipper and I am a worship leader. There is strength and power and depth in my worship that I can’t contain. And that I bring something special to the table. That I’ve been called by God. Yes, I was invited by my worship pastor – but my calling came from my Father. I have something to offer. And I remember special words from my friend Sandy – no one else can bring my worship to the Father. He wants it from me, and no one else can offer that.
(Photo by Nani Williams of City Church of Chattanooga)
The Father reminds me of my unique strength being my passion in my worship. I lose myself in it, and pour it all out. I get caught up and fully expect to leave empty, in a good way. That everything He’s been building up inside me has been poured out as I was called to do. I’m still growing my abilities, and trusting the Father to enhance them and sharpen them. Believing that He will equip me for that which He calls me to.
Although, there are some times that I have doubted that. If you serve in worship ministry: as a person who serves in worship ministry, have you ever struggled with fear? Fear of not being enough? worthy? able? too much? I have a nagging suspicion that I’m not alone here… and a confidence that I am supposed to write this to speak to your heart. Allow me to share a little more…
In Melissa’s podcast (Rooted in Delight episode of Jonathan David & Melissa Helser), she shared the following quotes that wrecked me the first time because they resonated deeply with my struggle, my rooting, and maturation in my calling…
“I was born into worship, into writing songs through sorrow…The hardest seasons of my life I look back upon with extreme affection, because it’s in those moments that I was formed in God….I used to think that I was second class because – I didn’t grow up singing, playing an instrument, leading worship- because I was born into this in seasons of sorrow…”- MH
When I heard those words the first time, tears flooded my face. Instantly I felt apologetic, shameful for having thought those thoughts, too. Yet, encouraged that such a bold, powerful worship leader as Melissa Helser had wrestled with those same things. And then…she said:
“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘ The gift of your song having been born in sorrow is that it will always remain soft.’ The other gift of your song being born in sorrow is that there’s a strength in it. There is strength in your worship because you are singing for your life.”
In some of the darkest nights of my soul, where I could barely breathe, let only voice prayers – worship filled life back into my lungs. I often sing for my life in those times because it’s the most powerful weapon I know. When I am in those raw moments of worship, nothing around me matters. The dirt on the floor touching my face is forgotten. I don’t care who can hear me, see me, or what they think of me. I just want to enter into His presence so deep that I feel His healing surround me. If only for a moment, I will fight for the peace and change that His presence brings.
When I’m on stage, or preparing to serve on stage, it’s like the enemy knows the power of such raw worship and so He strives to distract me with fear and other lies. I love that Melissa shared so vulnerably. When we let people in and know that we’re not alone in our struggle, there’s comfort in that, too… Melissa goes on to say the following:
“The Lord is still defining my heart…If our hearts are not marked with the Father’s pleasure we’ll strive for His approval when we already have it” 🎤⬇️
“When we experience the true delight of the Father, it actually begins to change our internal world.” – MH
We must be rooted in delight. We must be rooted in the knowledge of His true nature and thoughts toward us.
Let’s pause for a moment. Take in what you’ve just read. Close your eyes. Deep breath in and deep breath out. Go on…close your eyes…
You’re back? Great…Now ask yourself: have you ever struggled with the lies of fear that you aren’t enough? or you’re too much? Or you are striving to perform for God and it is shifting your focus away from true worship? There’s no condemnation here, I’m helping you down a path to freedom – so be honest with yourself. Have you ever placed your focus onto the wrong things in your service in the ministry?
When you experience fear or inadequacy – recognize it for the liar that it is! Pause and ask yourself “what am I truly believing about God here?”
“Our accountability to the Father has to be driven by delight and not duty or fear.” – MH
Do you believe that He’s good? That He’s a good Father. That He loves you, delights in you, guides you, and wants good things for you? Do you believe that even in difficulty, storm, or anguish – that He is still near. Still loves you. Still for you? Do you believe all the promises His Word speaks over you?
Or do you believe, that your good, loving Father is actually not good at all. Are you letting the lies tell you that He’s setting you up and waiting to watch you fail. That He doesn’t have enough for you, because He’s giving it to everyone else. He’s waiting to let you fall on your face and wrestle in the mud and mire and that He watches in disgust as you struggle? Do you think He loves to push in your face all you can’t do, especially when you don’t measure up?
If you have ever allowed any of the negative lies above to whisper and attempt to take root in your mind or heart – hear me now – it is all lies. HE IS GOOD.
Spend time in His Word. Intentionally set aside time, especially if you serve on a worship team or in ministry – set aside dedicated time to seek Him. Fill your heart and mind with good things that remind you of His truth and promises. Write down scriptures that speak to wounds in your heart and mediate on them. Place them where you will see them often and repeat them. Shout them in your mind (or aloud) when you hear a lie try to conflict with His truth.
YOU are His beloved.
He sent Jesus to die for YOU.
He is using YOU to help minister to people in a way that only music is touching their souls in those moments. You have a powerful responsibility – but you have also already been equipped. He’s enough in you.He has called you. He loves you, and He delights in seeing you share your gifts He has placed within you.
Go in confidence of the great love your Father has for you. And remember – Fear IS a liar.
Romans 8:11 MSG
“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!”
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).”
2 Peter 1:1-3 AMPC
“”The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NASB