(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia )
Music has always been a special gateway for me. It has a way of expression, revelation and wonder that is difficult to replicate in any other format. Furthermore, it has been a recurrent theme to many treasured moments and testimonies of time spent sitting in the presence of God. My secret place was there, alone at the piano, singing a to and fro conversation with the Lord.
Over the last few years however, life has looked a little different. The addition of two children to our family has had a ripple effect on many aspects of our lifestyle. Our music room has been overtaken by a myriad of toys, and there is a constant playlist of nursery rhymes and children’s melodies twirling around our minds. One of the most difficult adjustments I have had to becoming a parent is the loss of my protected musical time with God. Music for me, had been a predominant part of my faith journey as I often sang through and journaled my prayers, testimonies and revelations.
In adapting to the change, I came to see that it is not so much about worshipping without music, but about discovering the music of worship. Jason Morant’s song “I love you Lord” includes the following verse,
“Take joy my king
In what you hear,
Let it be a sweet,
Sweet sound in your ear.
In your ear.”
Finding the melody –
We can worship in every season of life.
Life takes us through many seasons, each with different opportunities for worship. Every season has its unique melody; the song we sing to God in that time.
I often think of David and his life as chronicled in the Bible. As a shepherd boy, he worshipped by faithfully tending the family’s herd. As a young man, he worshipped through his bold defiance of Goliath. While serving King Saul, he worshipped as he continued to honour the king as God’s anointed one, despite the persecution he faced. As king over Israel, he worshipped by leading the nation in following God’s word. Towards the end of his life, David worshipped through acknowledging God’s plan for Solomon to build the temple, making preparations both in materials and labourers for this to occur once he himself had passed.
How can we worship in our current season of life? We could travel the distance to spend time with a lonely or hurting person. We could work hard at our job, doing everything with integrity and encouraging those at our workplace. We could faithfully pray for our children and train them up in character. We could put aside times of quiet to prioritise our own spiritual disciplines such as prayer and reading God’s word. We could purposefully keep in step with the Holy Spirit even during busy days, keeping our hearts thankful to God. We could dare to speak the truth in love, even when it is unpopular.
Tune up –
We can prepare ourselves for a life of worship.
Musicians often prepare their instruments before playing them. The instruments must be cared for, cleaned and tuned to the correct concert pitch. It reminds me of how we surrender ourselves as vessels to be filled with the Holy Spirit who enables us to know and worship God.
The word “worship” is defined as giving worth to something, but the original Hebrew and Greek words give a little more insight. “Shachah” (Hebrew) means to bow down and give reverence, and there are three Greek words which are translated as “worship”; “Proskuneo” describes the kiss one would give at the feet of a king, “Sebomai” means to hold in awe, and “Latreuo” refers to the religious acts involved in showing worship.
We prepare ourselves for a life of worship by caring for our heart, mind and souls, by filling our vision with the image of our King and choosing to bow before Him.
Philippians chapter 4, verse 8 says,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. “
Back to the song –
Loved by God and loving Him.
It was a Sunday morning at church. On stage, the worship team led a song and I lifted up my hands. I savoured the lyrics as the music washed over me, and remembered that place of intimacy with God; a secret place where nothing else distracts, where I can just focus on and appreciate the beauty of my almighty God.
Worship; the place of my innermost being where I praise my God and hear His voice, where I lay myself down knowing how fully loved by God I am;
Worship; the place of my pouring that love back out to Him.
Worship; drawn from the heartfelt duet between the King and His Bride (the Church), from the loving lullaby of the Father God embracing His beloved children.
Worship; given despite uncertainty and doubt, weakness and failings, grief and despair.
Worship; illuminating the heart with a renewed sense of how great God is, His vision and His view.
Worship; a simple song of gratitude, joy and love.
“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalm chapter 86, verse 12)