Today is as good a day as any to die- to self.
We all have moments where we want things our way, in our timing. But the truth is, life doesn’t work that way and the kingdom of heaven definitely doesn’t work that way. In order to be a surrendered, effective worship leader, your own will and agenda have to die a DAILY death. Probably not what you wanted to hear… but I think it’s what we all need to hear. If you are married or have kids, you are faced with this often. Putting your spouse's and children's needs ahead of your own allows you to serve your family with humility and grace. And in the same way, putting God’s plan ahead of your own agenda communicates trust and reliance on Him. It says, “God, not my will, but Yours be done.” It lets God know that our hope is in Him and not our own ability to “make” something happen.
One definition of dying is “to disappear, to pass out of existence.” Ladies,we have to be willing to give up our desires and agendas if we want to be effective worship leaders for the body of Christ.
Do you wish you had a different job, more opportunities to do things your way, a different church experience? Do you desperately want more respect and acknowledgment from your Pastor, peers and team?
Believe me, I totally get it but the problem is all of these things are focused on what YOU need and not on what God desires from you. He needs you and me to trust that He sees and He knows and He cares about our concerns even more than we do. And His plan and ways are so much higher than ours. If we spend our time loving God and preferring others, He will take care of us.
One of my favorite stand up comedians is Brian Regan. He does this bit about the Me Monster (You have to rent or buy this DVD)! I think that there is a bit of a selfish little “Me Monster” inside all of us. This monster says things like, “You are the most important thing” and "nothing and no one else matters more than you so get what you can- while you can." The Me Monster tells us lies like, “If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Besides, you know that you deserve whatever your little heart desires, right?” In my early 20’s, I became very focused on my needs, my wants, my issues, and I made a decision to go after the dreams rather than to seek and ask GOD what His plans and dreams were for me and my life. I soon became less and less interested in pleasing GOD and sought my own successes totally out of the will of GOD.
When I recommitted my life to GOD, I started praying this prayer in Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart." The Message translation reads, "Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.” What a great prayer to pray! GOD has often searched my heart and then let me know when I was motivated by selfish ambition and desire rather than being a light and shining for Him. He has brought me to repentance many times and refocused me on the true mission of serving Him.
God has GREAT plans FOR you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us exactly that. Just make sure that your plans are commissioned and centered in Him. These gifts we have been given are to bring praise and adoration to GOD. None of us have been given the gifts of music and song to draw people to ourselves. GOD wants us to use all of our gifts to draw people to Him.
So in what ways do you need to die to self? Where has pride crept in and you’ve made it all about you? His grace is sufficient. He can work with a repentant heart so turn from your way and back to His. I do this daily. Then look at what GOD has put in your hands and heart to do. Surrender it and wait for His direction and guidance on next steps. You are well on your way to seeing Heaven on Earth.