So two of my natural giftings are MUSIC (singing and piano mostly with a little clarinet in the mix and a few months of guitar) and HOSPITALITY (the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way)
What's neat is how God is highlighting both of those individually and even as a pair.
I love to worship God!! It is in that place, where there are melodies and heart cries and praise and humility and adoration, where I truly connect with God. Worship has the potential to bring people before God, and worship leaders, like doorkeepers, assist by standing at the door and welcoming people into God’s presence.
So it's a fusion of hospitality and worship leading. Coolness.
I feel like God has called me to both. And specifically I want to focus on worship leading. I want to learn more about chords and I want to resume practicing the piano. I want to write my own songs. Bummer is that I don't have those 88 keys at my immediate disposal. I went to Baylor's Music School the other day and wandered around until I found the practice rooms. It was so fun to revisit old songs I used to play and come to grips with the rusty but alive musician inside me. I left with a big smile on my face knowing that I want to pursue music for the rest of my life in some fashion.
Over the past week, God has really been highlighting that desire in me and it has been coming up a lot! He's been getting my attention :). Sunday's sermon last week at the Encounter service was on the subject of ANOINTING. I still don't know much on this topic, but one thing that struck me is that God has anointed ALL OF US with unique giftings and things that he has prepared in advance for us to do. Everyone wants an awesome spiritual gift or two. Something they feel they are naturally wired for and can use to support the church. While some mentioned in the New Testament are healing, wisdom, discernment, speaking in tongues, etc...Paul says we are to desire prophesy above all other gifts. But why do we desire these things? Why does God want to deposit his Spirit in us and work it out in various manifestations? I am convinced it's not to puff us up and give us a big head, but to edify others. Our anointing is not to be hoarded. It's not to be left undiscovered either. Therefore, if I have a voice, I do not use it to gain approval from men, but to glorify what God himself has given me, and to ask God how he wants me to use that gift...i what capacity. I learn about that gifting and step out now where I am even if I feel like it's insignificant or I don't know enough about it.
I am learning that worship is an offering and that each day, what I bring into his presence and what I leave with is not the same. When I have truly met with God, I know it. It can look so many ways though. There are times of joy in the Lord, and I can dance and sing loudly, even laugh! There are times where I can't help but be still and let his presence saturate every fiber of my being. When he calms the storms in my heart and brings an incredible peace. Then there are times when God is stern and reminds me of my sin. I am led to repentance and needing to get low before God and then I might be on my knees or even prostrate on the ground. Mostly in the Old Testament when they worshipped, they immediately fell flat on their face when they encountered the holiness of God. I believe that what we do with our bodies affects our souls. Just like what we declare with our mouths bears such a connection with our belief system. So it's good to thank God for his goodness and faithfulness OUT LOUD. There is no power when we just have a fleeting thought of thankfulness and we quickly move on with no expression of that gratitude.
It's so awesome when I feel like God is speaking clearly on something! On Monday (next day), Anna called me right before class (Elevate) and asked if I wanted to help lead worship with her (me singing, her playing guitar). Of course I was delighted! It went really well and God's presence was there...along with his grace since we didn't get to practice!
Then, God spoke again by arranging for our speaker that night to be none other than James Mark Gulley, who is our amazing worship leader for Sunday morning services. I've never heard him speak, only sing and play! But he had such a stellar message about "Normal Worship." I liked what he said: "How we worship should ask God the question, 'What would make you happy?' NOT...'What would make me feel most comfortable?'"
God has created us to be worshippers through our words, emotion, expression and lifestyles. Whether we direct that devotion and love towards him or other things/people is our choice. But we have to be ACTIVE. Another JMG quote, "IF YOU DON'T ACTIVELY GIVE GOD THE GLORY FOR THE GOOD IN YOUR LIFE, YOU WILL PASSIVELY TAKE ALL THE GLORY FOR YOURSELF." Soooo true. This is crucial for when we feel like we are getting good at our giftings!
I want to sing like I'm saved, dance like I've been set free, weep in his mercy and clap my hands with all of creation in order to show God that he is worthy and that I need him desperately! He will ENCOURAGE ME when I seek his face.
The Christian faith is not just a slow dance with God. He doesn't want our same bland offerings. He wants our renewed passion. Just like in a marriage.