Have you ever had someone get on your nerves so bad, that your mind started rehearsing a way to tell them off… over and over again? You try to shake it, because you’re afraid that if you hear it in your head one more time you’ll actually say it!
Well, that was me this morning… as I was singing on the worship team at church! Here I was, supposedly leading the congregation in worship to the Lord, and my heart was as black as coal at that particular moment.
“Glorious and Mighty, You’re awesome in beauty…”
“That ______, I can’t believe ______!”
“Joyful songs, we raise!”
On the outside it was worship as normal. On the inside, it was a Jekyll-and-Hyde style doppelganger. At first I thought it was the enemy trying to distract me from worship, and plant these thoughts in my head. Surely I couldn’t naturally be this petty! So I prayed about it, and I heard loud and clear, “Uh, no, Sarah, that’s not the enemy. That is you- your sinful flesh.”
Wait, it gets better! I thought, “OK, I’ll repent and God will change what’s going on in my heart.” You see, I felt awful standing there praising God with sin staring me in the face. I started to feel “fake” so I asked God to remove those feelings, so I could praise Him rightly. What happened next surprised me.
It was the third and last service of the day, and nothing had changed. It felt like a heavy weight on my back. I asked God why He wasn’t working the way I thought (I know He’s always working), and I got my answer.
He said to me, “Your ability to worship me has nothing to do with your feelings or thoughts. Especially when you are aware of your sin, you must proclaim my goodness! I am sovereign and holy, when you are not, and I love you anyway! Whether you are feeling holy or evil- worship me!“
By the end of that service, the animosity had fled. The fact is, God will change me, forgive my sin, and make me more like Him, but he taught me a valuable lesson that I hope I will internalize.
To require myself to change before coming into His presence is to deny His true glory and power! His redemptive work is not dependent on me, and his true grace is that He accepts us “while we were still sinners!”
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8
So if you are feeling unworthy to worship God, like you must change before you praise Him, put aside your feelings and emotions. Extol Him for His goodness and grace. The fact is, we will never be worthy to approach God until he calls us to Heaven
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Ps. 17:7
Glorious and Mighty – Sovereign Grace Music