I was recently asked to speak at a small worship intensive. This one day conference offered teaching and training on worship leading, song writing and other worship related topics. I was honored and humbled to add my voice to the amazing leaders asked to speak. As much as I felt unprepared and lacking, I knew God would bless my effort. Little did I realize, what I brought was just as much for me as it was for others.
Let me share with you three things on the heart of a worshiper that may help your own worship.
1. A worshiper’s heart is full
Matthew 25:1-10 is the familiar passage of the ten virgins. In this passage we see ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. All of them anticipating the coming of the bridegroom. All of them, by every account, were eligible to join the bridegroom. But something set five of them apart. The Oil.
As a worshiper, it doesn’t matter if I’m merely eligible or not. What matters is if I have allowed the Holy Spirit to build in me a reservoir of ‘oil’. You see, ‘oil’ comes from every moment I’ve worshiped God when no one else is watching. This oil represents all that is done in secret when it’s just you and God alone.
Every single time you make a choice for God, it’s like oil is being multiplied in your soul. It’s from that reservoir that you will be sustained even in the ‘midnight hours’ of your life that catch you by surprise.
Most people think it’s about your lamp; how pretty it is or how great it is. There are a lot of pretty amazing lamps out there today. We see them in big churches or small churches; in every shape and size. A lamp is gifting, or ability. I’ve been lots of places and heard really gifted musicians who have forgotten their oil.
Carrying a reservoir of oil ensures that I am exactly where I need to be with the Lord and my ministry. I don’t have to be famous, I don’t have to be a carbon copy of anyone else. Having oil says I am ready to meet with my bridegroom at any time and place no matter if it’s in front of a huge congregation or I’m all alone in my secret place. My heart is ready.
2. A worshiper’s heart is pure
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”. Matthew 5:8
My heart must be pure before Him.
People can spot a fake a mile away. I never want to leave a worship setting having given the impression that I was faking it.
Let’s take a look at Psalm 15. The first version is from scripture. The second I’ve paraphrased through the lens of a worship leader (don’t get hung up on the fact that I took creative license…I’m not re-writing scripture!).
A psalm of David.
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5 Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
A psalm of a worship leader.
Who may lead worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may experience the glory of your presence?
Only those whose lives really match up with what they say.
Those who don’t pervert or coheres their speech to make themselves look or sound better than they are.
Those who refuse to talk badly about the other worship leader down the road or those who won’t think twice about supporting someone else’s ministry when they’re in need.
Those who, while they live in the world, have set themselves apart with what they listen to, what they watch, how they talk, how they dress, how they honor their leaders, and above all, those who walk in utmost integrity without compromise.
Those who aren’t in it for the money, fame or recognition and have a handle on what really matters most in life.
You who perfect these things will always be invited to lead in His house.
There are tough statements in here that, if we’re not careful, we let fall to the wayside. God desires holiness and integrity above ability. Be a worshiper who is pure in heart!
3. A worshiper’s heart must be bent to service
Take a moment and read Philippians 2:4-12. I memorized this specific passage in the fifth grade and can still recite it today. We see an example set by Jesus Christ who was Humble, Obedient and Willing. Each of these are exemplified in service. Christ came to serve and we should be willing to as well. Paul goes on to say in verse 17 …”just like your faithful service is an offering to God.”
We must remember that before we are worshipers, we are a lover of God and an example of Jesus. A Christ follower! Christ came and set an example… for us to give. Be a servant leader.