Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Worship Journal Entry 4

Psalm 24 asks, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in the holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.”

I didn’t have clean hands or a pure heart. And my soul? It was worshipping an idol. The idol of my ability and position.

It took my physical fall to bring to light my spiritual fall. It took my right hand being wrapped in a cast for me to admit that I was living every aspect of my life in my strength. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

You see I love to play the piano, to make music, always have. That will never change. For a long time I did so in a godly manner. I was prayed up and completely understood that I could not do it without God. There was no way I could do the things asked of me without holy help!

But when I slacked off in my prayer life, the enemy began to give me false confidence in my ability. Over time, I believed that my ability was enough. This created a weak place in my spiritual armor, an open invitation for the enemy to have a field day with my mind and my heart.

During the healing time, I was forced to sit and watch someone else at the piano. This was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was so restless, full of questions, and a bit angry. I felt like I was at the bottom of a pit. Deep in my heart I knew the only way out was to reach that wounded, weak arm up and let God pull me out.

He pulled out a dirty, tired and broken girl. Despite my request to, He never took away the desire and passion for worship. If anything, He made that passion burn a little stronger. Finally, I began to engage in worship and allowed God to show me the areas we needed to work on.

And work we did. It was very hard work. Weeks of sitting, watching and listening. I already told you that it was hard to watch from the side, but watching showed me how much I missed it. How much I longed to do that the rest of my life. How I longed to see others experience the forgiveness and joy that God had so lavishly poured out for me. He longs to do that for each one of us, not just a chosen few! I had to do whatever God asked of me, I just had to. Even if He never allowed me to play in church again.

Looking back, I believe God not only used the weeks of watching to address an area of sin in my life, but He also showed me that I could be happy worshipping in a different way. He showed me that I could be fulfilled worshipping away from the piano. I know that may sound strange, but for so long that was where I served. It's what I knew!

Worship is a minute by minute choice to do ALL (laundry, cleaning bathrooms, grading papers, dealing with employees, budgeting,...) for the Glory of God. It isn't just music on Sunday morning. It's a lifestyle. God shook up my view of worship and taught me that I had to take this attitude of worship beyond the four walls of my church into my everyday life.

Can you remember a time when God used extreme measures to get your attention? Did you recognize His attempt to correct an area of sin in your life? Did this time of correction draw you closer to Him, or did you push Him away? Correction isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, but the blessing of His fellowship is so worth it. Allow Him to and ask Him to show you areas that are sin in your life.


BethAnne said...

When you are in a very "public", "seen" position it is easy to become a little arrogant. Sometimes we make worship about us and not Him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles with us. Humility and dependence are areas where most of us could use some help. It is hard when God has to use something so "big" to get our attention (see my post for today), but the lessons while hard to take are priceless in the long run.

Carol said...

Remember a time? I'm living a time!!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

MAN-I just left a LONG comment and it got deleted. Well, short version-thanks for sharing your heart. I believe that is right where I am now. God has just recently started nudging me to do a complete overhaul of my first manuscript. I am excited at what He will have me do.

Hadassah said...

Hi Stephanie! I saw on the roll call over at the LPM blog that we are pretty close geographically. I'm in Valdosta, Georgia. I only put South Georgia on the blog b/c I'm supposed to be somewhat anonymous. (Husband's desire--not really mine!)

Anyway, I've read your comments several times, but I never clicked through to your page to see where you are. I had no idea you were so close. And, I was delighted to see all the other Georgia gals over at LMP.

Fran said...

"Correction isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, but the blessing of His fellowship is so worth it. Allow Him to and ask Him to show you areas that are sin in your life."

"Oh Jesus let us fellowship with you in good times and in times of correction. I want to grow so close to you! I want to KNOW you!"

Stephanie, thank you for your honesty and your realness. We just talked about realness this morning at Bible study. I sit here and thank God for you and your life. May His hand be mighty to bless you, save you, and love you!

You are so dear to me~

Anonymous said...

I have been doing this at the very moment, its been so hard. But it took it for me to see it was me, I needed to be the change. It isn't over yet, God is still working on me. But the difference now is I feel his work in me and I feel his strength.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey- I wanted you to pray about submitting one of these for a writing contest at p31-the info is on my blog.
Love ya!

Earen said...

YOu're right...correction from the Lord is hard to take, but I know He does it because He loves us so. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I've been greatly encouraged & challenged.