Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Freedom in Worship~ April 29, 2013

worship“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”

(Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

Yesterday was a life-changing day for our church.  I struggle to even put into words how God moved among His people.  I will attempt to tell it as a story from my point of view, only to give you a visual of just how powerful and awesome our God is.

As part of the worship team, we began with prayer just before the start of service.  Our leader prayed that God, not us, would lead the service.  That it would be His will that was done to achieve what He desired.  As soon as we sang the first note, I knew this was not going to be an ordinary service.  We don’t live by feelings, but I’m telling you, you could feel the presence of God in that place.  Hands began to go up throughout the room.  As we moved through the set, more and more people began to worship.  And I mean really worship.  No one seemed to care who was around them, who was watching or what they might think.  The Lord was breaking down some barriers for our church.  Song three, “Forever Reign,” and I was lost in my own worship to God.  We moved right into our last song before the message, “You Are Holy,” and the worship being lifted to God was without question, the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.  I was weeping, as were others in the congregation, some had come to the altar while others dropped to their knees with their faces to the ground in the presence of the Lord.

Our Pastor came up and said he felt we needed to remain in an attitude of worship and prayer for the remainder of our time together.  He chose to put aside the message he had prepared in order to allow God to have His way.  He gave an exhortation to the church to get rid of anything that was separating them from God, to dedicate their all to Him.  People began to flood the altar for prayer as the worship team continued to play and the elders and their wives moved throughout the crowd to pray in agreement with those who had came forward.

There truly are no words to describe what God did in those altars yesterday.  It was freeing, humbling and awe-inspiring all at once.  Lives were forever changed in an instant.  Walls that had taken years to build came crumbling down before the Lord.  Hearts that had become closed because of past hurts and heartaches were opened to the love of God.  Souls that had gone astray found their way back onto the path that leads to victory.

It was a glorious day that I feel privileged to have been a part of.  It’s moments like that when you know that the God you serve is real, that He loves you with an everlasting love and that He is near to those who call on Him.

I have attached the song that we sang as performed by CFNI. I pray that you would listen to the words, realize that God can cleanse you of whatever it is that keeps you from fully surrendering to Him, and that your life would be forever changed by the power of His Spirit at work in you.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

(Romans 12:1 NLT)

 

~Stay Strong~ April 17, 2013

Fear of FailureRecently while trying to help our oldest daughter practice a song for church, my husband pointed out to her that she was not completing her words.  Let me explain.  Instead of singing, “How great is our God,” she was singing, “How gray is our Gaa.”  It was actually quite funny to hear him sing it back to her but the song kind of loses its meaning when you don’t finish strong!

He comforted her by pointing out that a lot of children make the same mistake and encouraged her to keep at it.

Later I was thinking about this little lesson and it reminded me of how we can be in our work for God.

When we first begin a new endeavor, we go into whole-heartedly, fully devoted to what God has called us to do.  We start out with boldness and determination.  There is nothing more important than fulfilling the purpose that God has suddenly laid on our hearts.

Then we hit the first road block.  This new ministry is not going to be as easy as we had thought.

People are not always receptive to your style of teaching.

The funds that you were prayerfully expecting did not come through.

The church you attend is not into contemporary worship, drums in church, never!

Suddenly you’ve lost your “umph.”  You no longer spend hours in preparation, honing your craft.  The desire you once felt for your calling has dwindled from a raging blaze to a barely smoldering ember.  The song in your heart no longer sounds like full powered version of, “how great is our God.”  Now your spirit quietly mumbles, “how gray is our Gaa.”

I can almost hear God saying the very same words to us as my husband spoke to our daughter, “It’s ok, lots of children make that mistake.  But don’t give up just yet.  Keep trying, you will get it.”

“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

(Hebrews 12:1-3)

Just because your new ministry isn’t taking off quite like you had hoped it would, does not mean that it is a failure.  Regardless of what your platform is; teaching children, leading Bible study, singing or playing on a worship team, writing a devotional blog ; this message can apply to you.  Just think of where we would be right now if Jesus had called it quits at the first sign of adversity.

 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

(Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)