This morning I led worship for my congregation surrounded by the talents of a great team. It’s always a blessing to worship with them and today I was just so caught up in the sweetness that is Jesus. Not His power in my life. Not the miracles He’s performed for me. Not what He is yet to do. But 100% just enthralled with His sovereignty. To me, there is just nothing better than to sing straight to His heart just because He IS.
Now, here’s the God’s honest truth. It’s hard for me to even say because I love to lead my congregation in a time for worship. But, I DID NOT want to come back up on the platform for the final song. Not one bit. Nada. Nope.
You see, my heart broke in service today. Broke. Don’t get me wrong, I ugly cry in service All. The. Time. But today was different. Today, I didn’t cry. I don’t really know how to capture every thing that went on in my heart today but I am committed to stand in truth. So here goes…
The way our service is structured we sing three songs, receive the message, and then have a closing song. My pastor delivered a powerful, actionable message on the future church. I felt inspired and blessed by it, but was also very deeply affected by something that happened as he spoke.
As an illustration of a point he was making, my pastor referenced the salvation of Kanye West. Right then, at the mere mention of Kanye’s name, many (not all) from my church began grumbling and softly booing. What in the world?
I was floored. I had read so many articles about Christians that demonstrated disunity. Christians that were questioning the genuineness of Kanye’s heart and even rejecting the fact of him being saved. But never did I imagine that type of judgement would come so close to home.
I placed my head in my palms at the first audible grumble. I didn’t cry. I sat there numb. Completely numb. I don’t know how to express it other than to say that my heart was breaking. Breaking that the same people I called brothers and sisters were feeling the pulls of a judgmental, religious spirit. After all, I gave my life to Christ and identify as born-again because there is no earthy judgement under Christ. His grace is offered to us just for believing. Not for works. But then here we are.
Here we are.
As I sat there, I began to slip into “what if” thoughts of my own walk with Christ. What if the congregation knew my full testimony? What if they knew all of my sin? What if they knew each of my strongholds? What then? Surely they would also grumble. Surely they would deem me unworthy to lead them into worship. Surely they would boo me right off the stage.
Then God spoke. As I sat there head down in prayer, he filled every part of my being and pronounced His truth. He said, “Child, hear me. If anyone thinks Kanye is too far gone, too sinful, too anything that My grace can’t save him, then they have forgotten who I am”. Then he said softly, “remind them”.
I prayed and pondered on His words for a few moments. He didn’t shame the grumblers. He didn’t dismiss them as not good Christians. He showed grace. He modeled that for my breaking heart.
I lifted my head. And as I did, my pastor was landing the plane and stated “we need the church of Jesus Christ, not the church of man”. And there you have it. God always confirms and He never contradicts. That’s how I know it is His voice.
Today, God gave me a glimpse of the church of man. He gave me a glimpse of humanity. He reminded me, through the judgment of my brothers and sisters that His work is not done. He reminded me how so very deeply we need Him.
I rose from my seat as the worship team was cued back up to the platform for the final song. My eyes fixed on Him alone. Back to His sweetness. Back to His sovereignty. The grumbling and booing of 30 minutes prior was gone as I opened my mouth and sang in declaration.