“Never swap PASSION for PERFECTION”
This is a term that I'm reminded of a lot. And as much as it is important for us to be fully focused on Jesus, it is also important for us to be nailing what we are doing and playing. Whether we are leading worship, playing guitar, keys, bass, drums or being an MD (musical director). It is a thin line to walk, but we need to be training ourselves to be great at doing it.
Hence the term, ‘worshipping with one eye open’.
One of the main, contributing factors for the reason I got saved on May 19th 2009, was because God moved in me in the worship. Worship cultivates growth and response in you spiritually. It draws you to God. You are humbling yourself before Him. Elevating Him higher than yourself by declaring and singing out praise to Him.
I’ve been there in a worship situation before where my lead line on guitar has been the main feature in the start of a song. Now if someone is drawing near to Jesus and is fully focused on Him, and I mess up and make a glaring mistake, then I may have removed that person from their intimate embrace with Jesus. That sounds extreme, but that’s how it is. I’ve also been a part of the congregation before where someone has made an error, and instantly, my attention has been drawn to the mistake made, rather than being drawn to the presence of Almighty God.
It eventually hit a point where I was going week after week, being on worship constantly, and being so focused on what I was doing, that I couldn’t see Him in worship.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, (Acts 16:25 ESV)
Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what is going on either. When Paul and Silas were throw into prison, and they worshipped and the chains fell off, they could have been distracted by certain things. That fact that they could lose their lives by praising God was one thing. Maybe there were rats in their jail cell (I for one hate rats!). Anything could have become a distraction. That was the devils method of operation in this situation. To prevent response in worship. But Paul and Silas put all of that to the side and started to focus on God, and He moved. Powerfully.
Some of the most powerful times of worship I’ve been involved in whilst being on stage playing have been when I have prepared physically and musically for the event. I’ve been able to play my parts well whilst being engaged with Jesus in worshipping Him.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).
What this says to me, is that when you bring your 100%, A-Game to your worship experiences, services, events, or whatever you call them, you are honouring God, giving your talents back to Him as an offering of praise, and all the while drawing closer to Him.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 ESV).
These are the words of Jesus. Jesus is commanding us to worship God in spirit and in truth.
So you may ask, how do I divert my attention off of what I’m playing and fully onto Jesus to worship like that? Well, how you perfect this is simple:
– PRACTICE -
And that is it.
As the old saying goes, “Practice makes Perfect”.
Listen, here was the turning point for me. Going week after week, I was suffering spiritually from ALL of my attention being focused on the wrong area. It was focused on PERFECTION. So what I do now is practice BEFORE rehearsal, and I practice AFTER rehearsal, in the week, to make sure I get the songs and transitions nailed, so that it almost becomes second nature to me. Since I’ve brought this structure of practice into my life, everything has changed. Now, the ever growing hunger and thirst for Gods presence has become quenched and satisfied.
God has taught me through this, that He sees my heart in worship, not what I play. He also said what I play is important, but that He has given me a talent, to perfect it, to honour Him with it, and to use it to its 100% potential. To focus on something called EXCELLENCE.
It is such a simple thing, but also such a huge thing.
If you are struggling in this area, I pray that you are able to throw off everything that hinders you in your experience when worshipping the Father. I pray for growth and change in the name of Jesus.
…in all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:3 ESV)