Worship Devotions- Seek His Face

seeking God's facePsalm 27:8
My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek.

So often when it comes to the Lord with more than happy to seek His hand, but we do not seem so interested in seeking His face!

So often we cry out to God for His provision, and I’m sure from His point of view it often seems that this is the only thing we are interested in. Can you imagine being a father and the only time your son or daughter wants to talk to you is when they want something? Some of you parents will already know what I’m talking about!

God is a real person with real feelings, and he is not interested in just giving you what you want when you demand it! He wants relationship, and He sent His son to die for your sins to re-establish a relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden. He paid the ultimate price because to Him relationship is the most important thing.

Even in your ministry, relationship is more important than success. If you only have a praying when you need God to help you play or sing something or to inspire your congregation to worship, and you are seeking only His hand and not His face. And if that’s all He means to you, you are breaking His heart!

You need to seek the face of God every day, regardless of whether you are scheduled to lead worship on the weekend. Love Him, grow in Him and seek more than His hand today!  Seek His face, and get to know Him in a deeper way.  Then you get His hand and His provision as well!

Worship Devotions- Keep Watch

keep watchHabakkuk 2:1
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

You may not feel it as a worship leader, but we are called to keep watch. We are part of the leadership in the church, and so our brief includes the need to be a sentinel on the ramparts for our people.  It is no accident that the Lord has placed us in this position, because it is the ideal place for us to be able to watch and see what is going on in the church!

When you stand before the congregation you have a unique opportunity to look across the people, see the expression on their faces, and pray for them.  So don’t waste this incredible opportunity!  Rather than simply looking across the audience, why not ask the Lord to give you insight and understanding for each of the people out there.  You may see someone hurting, someone lonely, maybe even someone with evil lurking in their heart.  You job is not to publically embarrass them, or to rebuke them, but to pray for them and ask God to move in their hearts as they worship!

You also have the opportunity to understand where the church is at with regards worship.  You can sense the atmosphere, any hesitancy or whether they are willing to plunge deeper into worship with you.  As you ask the Lord for diving understanding, you can set the right tempo for the meeting, and allow His Spirit to touch their lives in a new and fresh way.

Very few people in the church have the opportunity to see what you can see as you lead worship, so don’t squander what the Lord has called you to!  Look, learn, understand, pray and lead your congregation, because you are one of the watchman (or watch-woman) of your church, and God can use you to touch lives across your church.

hard on yourselfEcclesiastes 2:20
So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.

It’s easy to be too hard on yourself, because most of us involved in music tend to be perfectionistic, especially when it comes to what is played or sung!  We have this drive within us to be great, to be the very best we can possibly be, and so when we fall short there is a great tendency to be very hard on ourselves, maybe even to “beat ourselves up” a bit!

Perfectionism can be very destructive.  It can rule your life and ruin it!  It can make you unbearable for those around you, especially those closest to you.  It can make you miserable!  It is not something that is from God!

Excellence on the other hand, is completely different.  This is the right way to approach things, and this can drive you to become greater at what you do, without destroying your relationships or your life!  It’s God’s way.

So what is the difference?  The main difference is how hard you are on yourself!

So, lighten up!  Do you think the Lord will fall from the throne if you mishit a chord or blow a note? Of course He won’t, so why beat up on yourself about something that really doesn’t faze the Lord one bit?  If you make a mistake, in music, singing, leadership or any other aspect of your ministry, or even your life, confess it, give it to the Lord and move on.  Some of the greatest talents in music, sport or the church are stifled by a perfectionistic spirit, so don’t be too hard on yourself, lighten up and try again, with a smile and a good attitude!

Seek His FacePsalm 27:8
My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek.

So often when it comes to the Lord with more than happy to seek His hand, but we do not seem so interested in seeking His face!

So often we cry out to God for His provision, and I’m sure from His point of view it often seems that this is the only thing we are interested in. Can you imagine being a father and the only time your son or daughter wants to talk to you is when they want something? Some of you parents will already know what I’m talking about!

Seek His Face Now

God is a real person with real feelings, and he is not interested in just giving you what you want when you demand it! He wants relationship, and He sent His son to die for your sins to re-establish a relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden. He paid the ultimate price because to Him relationship is the most important thing.

Even in your ministry, relationship is more important than success. If you only have a praying when you need God to help you play or sing something or to inspire your congregation to worship, and you are seeking only His hand and not His face. And if that’s all He means to you, you are breaking His heart!

You need to seek the face of God every day, regardless of whether you are scheduled to lead worship on the weekend. Love Him, grow in Him and seek more than His hand today!  Seek His face, and get to know Him in a deeper way.  Then you get His hand and His provision as well!

what has happened to your joyGalatians 4:15
What has happened to all your joy?

Paul asks a good question of the Galatians, and I think it is a great question for us worship leaders today… what has happened to your joy?

Joy is something we need more of across the Body of Christ, and especially in seemingly successful churches!  Sometimes we have so many great programs and get so busy, that somewhere along the way we lose the joy we are supposed to have.  And in most churches, this is especially true of worship leaders!

With rehearsals, practices, teaching, rosters, preparation for services and one on one meetings with team members, a worship leader’s life can be pretty full.  Yes it is all necessary, and yes it is a great way to serve the Lord in your ministry, but I confess, with all the pressures of life I sometimes lose the joy.  So how can we not neglect our calling and service, but rediscover the joy that may have faded in our lives?

I always start in my devotional times, because that is the greatest joy of my walk with God.  Take the time to really press into Him, not for a revelation or even inspiration.  Don’t have any ulterior motives at all, just spend time with Him because you love Him and take the time to rest in Him.

Next, rediscover the joy of playing or singing music.  Put your favourite song on loud and sing or play, jam with a friend or just relax with headphones on and disappear into the world or music. There is nothing quite like playing an awesome riff or hitting that special note, is there?

Take the time to rest and enjoy the gifts and ministries the Lord has given you, and you will find that joy which is easily lost in the hustle and bustle of ministry life!

worship devotionLamentations 3:22-23

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

This worship devotion is more than just a grand old hymn; it is a great way to face every new day!  Recognizing that the compassion of the Lord for us is what keeps us alive, and that they never fail but get renewed every morning is a great way to face whatever you have to face in this day.

 

Unlike our faithfulness, God’s faithfulness is great, constantly renewed and able to be relied upon no matter what each day brings.  Have you got a tough day ahead?  The Lord is faithful!  Are you facing financial problems?  The Lord is faithful!  Are you grappling with sin or temptation? The Lord is faithful!

 

Whatever it is that you face today, you need to recognize that He is faithful!  He is not trying to peddle yesterday’s love and compassion, He has renewed it for you, freshly baked and ready for consumption right now.  So no matter what you went through yesterday, you need to feel assured that today is a new day, and His compassions are also new, just for you and everything you are looking at in your life!  In fact, now is a great time to not only read the worship devotion, but sing the song a few times and get it into your spirit!

 

Most of us have sung this song for years, and we love it.  But maybe it is time for us to not only sing it, but to also live it, and face life like we mean it!  Get your head around it today, that God’s compassions never, never fail, but are constantly renewed for you, morning by morning.  You are blessed, you are chosen and God is with you full of compassion, love and faithfulness, even if we fail!  This is the only way to live a life of victory, resting in the arms that will never let you down, never fail and never run out of love, compassion and faithfulness for you!

 

Hope you have enjoyed this worship devotion.  We will have more in our  worship devotion series throughout the year.

 

This worship devotion hits home for all of us, because we will always have people who are pains in the neck!

Worship DevotionEphesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is not easy to be thankful for pain, and especially if you have someone in your worship team who is a pain in the neck!  We all have one of these at some point, and while we cannot control their behaviour or what they say, we can control our response to their behaviour and words.

However, even if we respond in kind and gracious words (Ephesians 4:29), it is still a jump to say that we are thankful for them.  Yet when we reach that point, when we can actually thank the Lord for them, this is where something magical happens!  Our attitude towards them changes, and suddenly it starts to become easier for us to respond to them in a godlier manner!  We are now in a position to learn more from the experiences we have with them, and the Lord can use even big pains in the neck to mold and shape our lives and our characters.

[simpleazon-image align=”center” asin=”0312152329″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DXUEhl2kL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″]That’s why Paul implores us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ! Thessalonians 5:18.  He knew that by giving thanks, even for the people who upset us the most, we open a realm of possibilities for the Spirit of God to grow our lives.

So before you mutter under your breath about this rotten, horrible so and so who is messing up your perfect worship team, take the time to bless them, pray for them and yes, even give thanks for them and how the Lord is using them to make you a better worship leader.

This worship devotion really hits home, hence the “ouch” comment above…

Worship DevotionPsalm 127:1

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

 

Self-promotion could be one of the greatest temptations you will face as a worship leader. You have a talent, you know (or at least think) you are good at it, and it can get very frustrating when others do not seem to have the same enthusiasm for your ministry that you do.

 

Don’t deny the feelings, folks, because we all have them at some time.  You have a dream to be a great worship leader, and you pursue the dream.  This is what the Lord wants, but there is a difference between self-promotion and God-promotion!  Understanding this difference could be incredible for your ministry, which is why I am sharing this brief worship devotion.

 

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Unless the Lord builds the house, you are labouring in vain!  Unless He promotes you, whatever you are doing is in vain, even right now in your current service for Him!  If you secretly harbor thoughts of elevation before men, then chances are your motives are not exactly pure, but how can we fight such a basic instinct in our lives and ministry?

 

The antidote to self-promotion is servanthood.  Forget about where you want to be as far as being famous and successful, and instead concentrate on serving, where ever you are, in whatever way you can.  Trust me, if you concentrate on serving, and if being a faithful servant is the most important thing for you in your life and ministry, then you simply will not have time to think about promoting yourself.

 

And if you humbly serve the Lord, week after week, month after month and year after year, then your will starts to conform to His will for your life.  He will promote you in due time (1 Peter 5:5-6), so don’t give up and don’t keep telling people how great you are, just serve with all your heart, and let God take care of the promotion stuff!

 

There are more worship devotion articles coming up, so stay tuned!

Here’s the next installment in our devotions for the worship leader…

Psalm 25:4

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.

decision-making-worship leaderCorrect decision making is critical for  a worship leader as it is for any leading in the church, and frankly most people don’t get it right!  We face many decisions in our lives, with some being big like getting married or moving cities, and some being small such as buying shoes or deciding what to eat.  So how do you make Godly decisions and get it right time and time again.

 

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0078XPTE4″ locale=”us” height=”200″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hjNo2pcSL.jpg” width=”114″]This verse assumes a couple of things.  It assumes that God has a way, a path He has already chosen for us.  And it assumes He wants to lead us along this path.  We may not know what the future holds, but we can always know Who holds our future!

 

So when it comes to decision making, as a worship leader or in any aspect of life where you face major decision, we need to do several things…

 

  1. Ask God.  We must pray and earnestly ask the Lord what we should do, being ready and willing to receive it whether it be what we want or not!
  2. Seek godly advice.  Ask someone you respect in the Lord for their advice, not your best mate at the football club or a girlfriend at work!
  3. Wait on God.  We need to wait for the Lord, not rush in without Him.  He does have a greater understanding than we do, so if He waits, so should we. However, we should also…
  4. Take action.  Start moving, but make sure you allow God to direct your steps.  Remember, the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23).  It is easier to steer a ship that is moving because the rudder can bite, but a stationary ship can lose direction.
  5. Ask for Scripture confirmation.  This is increasingly a big one for me!  If I am to make a big decision, I want Scripture to support it.  Not something I have concocted to fit my circumstance, but something from my devotional time which is miraculous and speaks to my spirit.  If I have this, I can stand against any foe and keep believing!

So if you face decisions, trust the Lord and work through the above action plan.  If you feel God is calling you in a certain direction, and all of these line up, then you are on a winner!  If these are only partially there, then you need to wait and ask God for the rest before you dive in.

Remember, worship leader, whatever decision you face, God has a plan and a direction for you, so relax and trust Him!

God Hurts Too!

God hurts tooGenesis 6:6

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

It may come as a spectacular shock, but God hurts too!

That’s right, God the Creator of the universe, God the Saviour of mankind and God the indwelling Holy Spirit all grieved at some time, hurt by what mankind has done.

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0310245729″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fJxM9XebL._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]When you think about it, God is omniscient, which means that he has complete knowledge and understanding of everything including human sin and the terrible effects that it brings upon His creation.

God the Father felt pain when He looked upon the people He had created and saw how sin had corrupted them (Genesis 6:6). Jesus looked across his favorite city and His chosen people and His heart just broke both for the sin and hardheartedness He saw, but also for what was to come for these people (Luke 13:34). And the Holy Spirit is grieved by a sinful ways (Ephesians 4:30).

God is not a Creator who sits back and lets a sinful world take its course. He is not some cosmic computer completely devoid of emotion and feelings. He feels are sin, He feels our pain and, just as we do, God hurts!

Sometimes when you lead worship you will feel and understand the hurt Our Father feels when He looks at us.  The times we have let Him down, His great yearning for our love and devotion, as we worship we can sometimes catch a glimpse of these.  He is not an aloof God, sitting back watching a world out of control.  He is a loving, caring and intimate God, reaching out to us despite how we have hurt Him.

So if you feel pain today, bring your pain to God because he understands exactly what you’re going through and how you feel. Be open with Him, share your heart with Him and even your frustrations, because if we hurt, then remember God hurts too!  Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7)