June 19, 2016
I was assigned to lead the worship team for that morning’s Sunday service. Beforehand, I’ve had a week to prepare my line-up. It was a week of praying and asking guidance of which songs God wants me to minister with to the congregation, songs that will lead people to worship and glorify Him. Here’s what God impressed me with:
- Thank You, Lord – Israel Houghton (Covered Live in Asia)
- In Jesus’ Name – Israel Houghton (Covered Live in Asia)
- Leave Me Astounded – Planetshakers (Outback Worship)
- All Honor – Ron Kenoly
Leading worship isn’t an easy task. It’s not just about getting onstage and making sure that you hit the right notes, sing the correct lyrics, or lose yourself to the rhythm. It’s more than just the musical aspect, it’s about glorifying God. It’s never about ourselves. The whole point of worship is to glorify, honor, praise, exalt, and please God. It must be done in spirit and in truth.
So how can you worship in spirit and in truth if bad news suddenly breaks?
I notified the team about my line-up Monday in the week before my assignment. In my head, I imagined a joyous celebration of God’s faithfulness. My line-up was a reflection of what I feel for God – love and gratitude for everything. In the beginning of that week I was under the belief that I was going to be part of my university’s graduation. “Finally,” I thought, after a year of being delayed.
However, later that same week, my then thesis adviser and I spoke with each other. She told me that I will not be joining this year’s graduation. She still found faults in my thesis. After all the work I’ve put into it, it wasn’t still good enough for her. I was heartbroken. A year had passed and still it wasn’t the best. I imagined leading worship and declaring how God has been faithful with the promise of my graduation, what now?
The moment I received the bad news, I had second thoughts on whether I should still lead worship the coming Sunday. One of my best friends even asked if I’ll still push through with my line-up. Though a shaken, I told her yes.
Each song of in the line-up has a common or central message – letting go and letting God display His glory. To me it meant a declaration of dependence. God is good in the highest points of my life; He is still good even during my lowest.
Sunday morning came. It was also Father’s day. In my head, I was still regretting my failure to be part of this year’s graduates. It was supposed to be my wedding anniversary gift and Father’s day gift to my parents.Yet I know that God has a reason. With hands trembling, voice shaking, and unstoppable tears welling in my eyes, I stood front and center. “God, I’m letting go.”
I testified that I’m not doing well, that in honesty, I was in a place where some find it difficult to worship God. Yet I declared that His mercy endures forever and greater are His plans than ours. I am broken but God will shine through the cracks. My spirit is downtrodden but not incapable of worshiping Him. It was the most sincere and honest I’ve been while leading worship.
And God showed up.
No, it wasn’t a big miracle where I suddenly was included in the list of graduates. It was something greater. It was a spiritual breakthrough. For the first time in all the times I lead worship, people from the congregation saw visions and heard from God. It’s one of my heart’s desires – to feel God’s manifest presence.
Truly, it is better than what I earlier imagined.
Honor God and He will honor your desires. It’s not always in the ways we envisioned, not in the outcomes we perceived, but God remains sovereign in the end.
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)