Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.Far from perfect.
That's certainly me, but my father loves me. He saved me, and then his perfect mercy crossed with his perfect love and he went above and beyond what was needed to save, adopting as a son and fellow heir him who was once an enemy.
And that's all I need.
My reason for wanting to go to the School of Worship in Costa Mesa is for a broadening of my understanding of worship.
I am human though, and I'm still in the flesh, and I won't deny that my love for music does take great joy in the thought of that type of intensive training to broaden my vocal skills and learn an instrument. This is the farthest thing from wrong, but it is a distraction from my pure desire for better worship.
Not to say that you need to sing well to worship God. We worship him much more, or much less, with our lives than we do once or twice a week at a church service singing a couple of songs.
Likewise, there are plenty of verses in the Bible speaking of worshiping God through songs and instruments, even dancing. [Psalm 95:1; Psalm 150; Acts 16:25; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; . . . and etc. ]
The heavenly hosts sing to God [Revelation 5:9] and our human frames are designed for the emotional outpouring and connection of music and song. (Have you ever seen the touch of music turning hearts where words have failed or calling forth feelings thought dead from memories long forgotten?)
God is glorified and takes great pleasure from our praise.
But he doesn't only take glory from those public displays. We are his true worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth, and our father takes a great deal of joy when we just set some time apart to get alone with him where no one else will know for a time of song and prayer in worship.
What are many worship songs but prayers said with rhythm and with intentional praise? It's easy to forget at times that God doesn't take pleasure only if we sound nice, but because we love him and pour our hearts out to him in those times; for our passion and devotion.
However, to come back to the point I was making, while God won't be wooed or impressed by a good voice (Who do you think gave ya' that set of pipes or them lungs?), a crackling voice can be distracting. Forgetting words will trip us up and, even if God loves us beyond this, interrupt our thoughts and disturb the focus of our heart on God.
For someone who practices music at all, it can take our focus from God to the quality of our tone or accuracy in hitting notes. When you're following a CD your focus may go to the artists ability or style versus your own.
You can easily intend to spend time with God but five minutes in find yourself spending time attempting to sing well, even in church.
My application to draw from this verse calls to mind a previous verse in Philippians, 2:12: ". . . work out your own salvation".
Some attend large bible colleges or are blessed by a mentor who exemplifies Christ in his walk with the Lord and teaching. Others have the Bible, a notebook, and a pen. Some don't have any of this, as you hear of in China, but as all of the above they live by the Spirit and are guided and grow by the Spirit. We have the Spirit, and anything else would simply be the means by which we are taught. It is the Spirit that reveals.
Likewise, though I would love to attend the School of Worship and I still hope that God would lead that way, I don't need to attend an institution of man to worship my God or grow my musical abilities for that purpose.
I don't need to know everything about a guitar to pick one up for a time of private worship; many artists won't or can't play anything complected while focused on singing anyway. If I at least know the basics and a few chords that's enough to get alone with God, without a lifeless leader coming from the speakers of my laptop.
I'm going to begin setting aside time to learn the guitar and memorize worship songs, not for anything but me and God.
Written April 16, 2012
Studies to share:
Janessa; seeking God throughout the day.
Michelle; being touched by Christ and returning home.