Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday nights

It's Saturday night. If you're anything like me (Which, you might consider yourself lucky if you aren't) you might be finding yourself getting prepared for Sunday. Tomorrow I have the privilege and honor of joining some fellow musicians and together, we get to lead our brothers, sisters, and friends in Christ to the feet of Jesus in worship. It's not a small responsibility and it can sit heavy with me some days. Often I can feel the weight of my own personal and even spiritual inadequacies and I can question whether I should even be a used vessel of God.

Often, those visible in leadership, ie, on the stage - can seem to those sitting in the pews as being individuals that have some how gotten it together better. Somehow they have figured out how to conquer sin, resist temptation, tame bad habits, turn from poor choices, choose the right words, turn the other cheek, and on top of that ... they might even have on an outfit that matches, hair that looks in place and a smile that is plastered on to their face........ while on stage anyway. How many times have I listened to a speaker, whether at church or a conference or retreat and just based on WATCHING them, walked away defeated? Hmm... probably too many times to recall or count.

As a woman, comparing myself to another person is as second nature as breathing. It's that ever present "Sizing-up" that we fall so victim to. It's where we rate ourselves and either end of feeling "Better" or "Worse" - both of which dishonor God and ourselves.

My biggest fear when leading my friends in worship is that we as a band will somehow get in the way of their opportunity to see Jesus. I fear that we will be a distraction and that their hearts will be drawn away from the wonder of Jesus and that a moment of intimacy with Jesus will be missed. You can trust, my church family, that Saturday nights and Sunday mornings are full of short one sentence prayers petitioned to the Father ... that you might come and worship. That you might come and feel peace. That you might come and feel WHOLE. That you might come and REST. That you might come and MEET Jesus face to face, heart to heart, and in a way you have never encountered His love.

Saturday nights are also a time when I tend to evaluate my week. I still get into the trap of not wanting to start Sunday out "on the wrong foot". I still want to walk into church feeling like "I'm good with God" and all is well. I find it sad, and even embarrassing to admit - because aren't we called to evaluate our EVERY day? God desires our BEST at all times - not just when we prepare to "enter his courts". I'm personally working to not keep a ledger book during the week. You know, where you mentally jot down the wrongs you might have done during the week. Then, at some moment just do a large sweeping prayer such as, "Oh Lord, I'm sorry for the bad things I did this week. Please forgive me and help me to do better. Thank you. Amen"

Surely I am not the only one that's done that?? :)

I'm working to be intentional and listen to the spirit's nudge. When I recognize a sin in action I am trying to first, stop the sinning, and then repent immediately to the Lord. This keeps me in constant communication with the Father and it doesn't allow for the guilt to pile as perhaps that little wrong here and the little wrong there seem to accumulate and distract me. I don't have to feel that poking and prodding. I am freed to spend my thoughts and energies on the positive things in my day - blessing someone, calling someone, serving my family, and just being with God.

I'm not perfect. I'm a sinner - just like you. I have short comings and failings. I play games with God. I act like he doesn't know everything, when I know he does. I dismiss the Holy Spirit and his nudges sometimes. I get angry. I roll my eyes at my kids. I model poor behavior. I throw temper tantrums. I gossip. I lie. I disrespect my husband. And I dishonor my God with my thoughts and attitudes. (And trust me, there's plenty more)

Even after all of that - He's eager to hear me come to him.

So, it's Saturday night. Tomorrow is Sunday. I'm preparing in my usual ways. I've thought through the songs and what I might say. I've had the kids pick out their outfits tonight so that it's easier for my hubby to get them around. I'll be doing inventory in my heart - and this time not because I want to give off the false impression that "I've got it figured out". No, this time it's because I want my full capacity to serve Jesus to be used. I don't want there to be any corner, nook, cranny, or crawl space where sin can lurk.

I can't wait to see how God will be praised tomorrow!!!!