It happened again. I received the invitation to serve in an upcoming worship service. I was excited to use my gifts again in ministry, but 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, and you don’t even know how to harmonize without help.
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, though, was that I recognized the lies weren’t coming from within me. Like Melissa Helser says in her “Rooted in Delight” podcast episode, the lies 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 these moments, I have to refocus my mind continuously. Every time the lies come at me, I 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. I bring something special to the table that only I can bring. I remind myself I’ve been called by God. Yes, I was invited by my worship pastor, but my calling comes from my Father. I have something to offer.
I remember these 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)
If you serve in worship ministry, think about this. As a person who serves in worship ministry, have you ever struggled with fear – fear of not being enough? Fear of not being worthy? Of not being able? Of being too much? I have a nagging suspicion that I’m not alone in this struggle 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 and even shameful for having thought those thoughts, too. Yet, I was also encouraged that such a bold, powerful worship leader as Melissa Helser had wrestled with those same things. 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 alone 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 regarding her battles. When we let people in and know that we’re not alone in our struggle, there’s comfort in the sharing…
I think there’s also comfort in knowing how we fight in those battles. When I am struggling with the lies of the enemy that are coming at me, Father reminds me of my unique strength of 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. Everything He’s been building up inside me has been poured out as I know He has called me to do. I’m still growing my abilities and trusting the Father to enhance them and sharpen them. I am believing that He will equip me for that which He calls me to. And as I’ve already mentioned – there are times that I have doubted that.
Haven’t we all doubted Him at some point in our lives? For me, it’s usually because I think there’s someone more appropriate for the job. Who am I to tell the Creator of all things who should and shouldn’t do His work?
Reality is: there will always be someone who is “better” in our minds. Someone who seems more equipped, and let’s face it – we humans have been doubting our callings since the beginning. Even Moses told God He had the wrong guy… It’s okay that our minds go there – just don’t stay there. It’s not about being the best – He simply asks that you do the work He’s called you to and put your heart into it for Him, love Him and others – don’t over complicate it (Colossians 3:23 and Mark 12:30-31). Stop letting fear of failure get in your way. Shout His truth over the places He’s called you to and let it get deep into your heart and spirit that He equips you for what He’s called you to (Hebrews 13:21, 2 Corinthians 9:8.) He goes before you and prepares the path and is your provision. Show up, get your heart and mind on Him – and watch Him work. It’s a beautiful, humbling and lovely sight.
Go in confidence of the great love your Father has for you. And remember:
Fear IS a liar.
“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!” [Romans 8:11 MSG]
“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]
*edited into a 2 part series, check out Fear Is A Liar! (Part 2)