2020, this year is definitely one for the record books. It’s going to be the standard-bearer for many years to come. We are going to find ourselves making comparisons like: “Oh, it’s bad, but not like 2020”, or “Wow! This almost rivals 2020. “
Yet at times, different can be a gift. When things are different, they can shake us out of the status quo. Things we didn’t even realize were mindless habits in our lives, get brought to the surface. When the way we expect things to be are no longer normal for us, of necessity, we must make adjustments. Some of those adjustments will certainly not be able to hold up to our preferences and desires. Change is a way to recalibrate. It forces us to reconsider where our principles and values lie. In addition, change causes us to look at what ideals we are holding on to that are merely preferences, albeit dear ones. Because of this, 2020 may be one of the greatest gifts to modern-day believers.
Now when we go to church, we are no longer getting what we have come to expect. Such as:
-Long times of fellowship
-interaction (Hugs included)
-singing openly and loudly
What are we getting instead?
-Misread facial reactions
Since we have been dealing with these changes for several months, maybe now is the best time to step back and remember what worship is: what it’s supposed to be at heart.
The Lord had some very strong words for Samuel. God declares, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(I Sam. 16:7 NKJV)
One important question to ask is, “Where is my heart in all of this?” Some of us have sat down and said, “If I can’t worship my way, then I’m not going to worship at all. If I can’t sing as heartily as I like, then I won’t sing with a full heart. If I can’t sit with my normal group, in my usual seat, then I may not make it that morning.” When did we make this all about us? Have we forgotten that Ps 51:17 declares, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart- These, O God, You will not despise.” (NKJ V)
Or that I Sam. 15:22 states, “And Samuel said, Have the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams.” (KJV)
Surrender is a very beautiful sacrifice. It is the process of letting go of what we want and choosing what God asks of us instead. As 2020 strips away preferences and ideals for us, maybe God is giving us a reset. Perhaps He is giving us a glimpse into our hearts that we, ministering servants of Christ, would not have chosen to look at on our own. Is He asking us to consider what parts of our Sunday morning experience have become about us or for us? Have we forgotten to bring a sacrifice of praise? Hebrews 13:15 tells us to give the fruit of our lips as a sacrifice. Our thanksgiving and praise are what the Lord desires and Jesus often reminded His followers that what flows from our lips comes directly from our hearts.
Are we demanding that worship fit our needs, our desires or our plans? Could the Lord be saying, “Worship Me with your heart, and for the moment with your heart only.” When our heart and His Holy Spirit unite no outward circumstances can affect our worship.
When the widow offered her two mites to the Lord did God feel less worshipped because she didn’t give what others could, perhaps even what she was able to give at one time?
No, what she gave to the Lord seemed less to some, but in reality, what she gave to the Lord was more, so much more; because she gave everything she could. And moments of true worship like that are never overlooked by the Lord.
Perhaps we need to stop looking at what we can’t do in worship right now and realize we can still give it all. We can completely give all of our hearts in praise and adoration of the One who saved us.
So yes, our singing may be muffled; we may be longing for life to look a little more normal, but could 2020 be a gift. A gift to return to worship with full hearts and cleans hands no matter how long we have to wear a mask.
Kimberly Coombes - Lead Musician
Southern Hills Church - Las Vegas
For more blogs from Kimberly visit setinsilver.org launching later this fall.