I will sing Hosanna
To the One saves me
To the One who hears me
I will worship
In the middle
I remember when I started coming to terms with the idea of being mentally unhealthy, I really struggled to worship. Specifically when it came to being part of a team leading worship on platform. I would often be fine every time I wanted to pray. Every time I wanted to sit in the presence of God or listen to worship music in my room. But my goodness, whenever I got rostered for choir (which was every Sunday morning. Bless practicums), I would wake up and sometimes just cry. For months it was a battle to just sit, lay, bow – or whatever I could muster – at the feet of Jesus. Not necessarily because I was angry at God or didn’t want to be involved in the things of God. In fact that was never a thought. I just felt like the biggest hypocrite.
I couldn’t reconcile the idea of worshiping God one day and making plans to take my life the next. I couldn’t understand how I could stand in front of God and tell him that I no longer wanted to live. Let alone sing songs of victory over a congregation that was so desperate for the Truth. I felt like I was living a lie and serving on a Sunday would shine light on this lie I was living in the shadows. This girl who kinda called upon God but was also battling unbelief. Most days I felt ashamed to even say that I love Jesus and believe Him. I felt like it would be okay to worship through cancer, through financial issues, through grief. I mean I had. But I just felt like a sinner who knew better but kept sinning in the unseen and then stepping on worship like I hadn’t. It sounds kind of crazy admitting it now! Haha!
“For though we walk in flesh, we do not war in flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty IN GOD for the pulling down of strongholds” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
I remember throughout my worship journey, my leaders would say I am graced and anointed for this and I would often shy away or make small of it. I think we sometimes make small of some of the things God calls us to because “we don’t want to seem prideful”, but I believe we can still be confident in some of the dreams and visions He places on our hearts without letting it get to our heads. Man! When we shy away, we leave room for the enemy to whisper lies about whether we are where we’re meant to be. And if we don’t walk confidently into what God calls us to, we’ll always doubt ourselves when the enemy offers his own version of the truth. Even while we’re living in the fulfillment of the vision. There’s no denying that I have seen chains break. I’ve seen people meet with Jesus. I’ve seen the Spirit move in ways we could never explain. And even through that, God has continued to grow and stretch me in my capacity as a worship leader. I mean, I even moved to another continent to learn more about worship… I’m pretty sure there’s something God wants to do in and through me. And I believe it has the capacity to see nations saved.
When I got back, I told my leaders that I was going to take a break from serving in Creative. But the truth was that I had no real intention of going back. One day while worshiping in my room, I sensed God just saying “This is your warfare. Worship is your weapon for warfare.” And so without thinking twice, I availed myself to serve that month and at Summerfest. My feelings towards serving defintely hadn’t changed, but my revelation and conviction had. During rehearsals, the worship leader asked if I could lead “Who You Say I Am”. Firstly, I wasn’t even meant to be leading a song. Secondly, to be asked to lead that song specifically was very sneaky of God. And thirdly, I’m pretty sure if I had known much earlier I definitely would have talked myself out of it and offered an excuse as to why I couldn’t. But I said “sure” and cried a little in the bathroom. Man! During the song, I was absolutely struggling. I barely believed the words I was singing but I kept reminding myself that the weapons of my warfare were mighty IN GOD. So there I was shaking, with my eyes closed, trying to surrender to God. Somewhere in the middle of the song, I opened my eyes and locked eyes with a girl who was in absolute tears. And God immediately said “You are waging war on behalf of so many other people. Not just yourself. You cannot give up. Take courage”
The Bible says the words from His mouth will not return void, but shall accomplish what He pleases and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). And if we sometimes strip some of the extravagance of worship that we get caught up in, all we are doing in worship is giving praise to God, (and maybe even asking of God) but also coming into agreement with what He, Himself has said. We are coming into agreement with His word and who He reveals Himself to be. Even in the fear, the sadness, the confusion, the unbelief and the rejoicing. In my 9 to 5 job, in my studies, in my serving at Church, whatever He’s entrusted me with, my posture is to always bring glory to God. To offer everything as worship to Him. And while I continue to be in agreement and call upon Jesus, I allow Him to move in the here and now. He shows up as my friend, comforter, provider, father, confidant, safe space. He shows up as God in all of His glory and might. And while He works in the here and now, His word goes ahead of me and wins the victory. Because it does not return ineffectually. It does not return emptily. It does not return undeservingly. It does not return void.
I don’t know if worship is ever easy. You are constantly waging war against the enemy because you’re choosing to give honour and praise to God. That’s the very last thing the enemy wants. So yes, worship is beautiful. There’s nothing like being in the presence of God. But it is also a weapon for warefare because it makes room for the Victor to come in and truly pull strongholds down.
I know, right now, that sometimes the idea of picking up my weapon is just as daunting as waging the war itself. And I’m aware that the enemy will continue to use what I’m going through as a way to justify disqualifying myself. But I believe I will experience the fullness of healing. I don’t know how or when. But until then, I will continue to worship. I will continue to wage war. For myself. For those around me. For my family. For my children. For generations to come.
For the glory of God and for the advancement of His Kingdom.
In a video on YouTube, Melissa Helser shares a little about her battle with a chronic illness that she’s still believing for healing in. Years later. And just before she starts singing “Catch The Wind”; she prays a pretty simple but mighty prayer.
“So God we’re here. We’re here Father. We don’t feel strong, but we want to. And we come into agreement fully with your heart, and your song and your voice…”
And she ends it off with the following,
“…Give us discernment to know when the enemy is speaking. And give us discernment to know when You are wooing us into in a moment. Even if it’s hard. Fill us with courage, God”
Fill us with courage, God.