Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reignited Heart for Worship

It is funny. Just when you think that nothing will ever change, when you are sure you are just adrift on a sea of nothingness, just when you are positive that something in you is truly dead, you are surprised yet again by what the Father is doing in you.

A few days ago Heather at Deconstructed Christian posted a song that had been forwarded to her. It is entitled, “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong United. I have been captivated, wrecked, reawakened, and drawn in to the heart of God this week as I have listened to it over and over again.

My old group was renowned for it’s worship bands. Unbelievably, even though the group we belonged to never reached the 250 mark in attendance, the worship musicians we had in our body rivaled those that you hear on the Hillsong albums. I loved the hours and hours we spent singing and pouring our hearts out to God.

When we left, this was the hardest thing to do without. In all the “messed up-ness” of the whole thing, worship seemed to go mostly untainted. I think it was truly the heart of the musicians that kept it so pure. Whatever reason, it was stellar.

After leaving though, I wanted to throw it out with all the other craziness. I could barely listen to a worship song. I doubted that God even wanted us to do that when we gathered. I was done, finished with the whole thing.

During the one time that we visited a service in another city, I was on edge and had a hard time enjoying the worship service at all. No, I figured, I was done with the whole venue and frankly, I wasn’t missing it that much anymore. If you had caught me on a bad day I would have even ranted on about how worthless the whole thing was.

But then this song happened.

Something dead in me sprang to life. I have cried tears of joy, longing and refreshment. I lifted my hands. I felt God again in song.

I’m as surprised as anyone. I was not looking for it. I’m not even sure what to do with it. I wonder if it is something that will pass. I hope it won’t. I want my kids to experience it. I would love to find it again in a group of believers.

I find it is not entirely like it was before. I still have questions. What does the Father want in our time together? What does worship do for Him? What would he rather us say - or not say? Can we sing things that are only partially true still in our lives - with the hopes that they will become completely who we are? Does He enjoy our time corporately together? Is it OK with him that the musicians (worship leaders) lives’ are messed up in one way or another - sometimes alarmingly? Is it OK with Him that mine is? Is it terrible that we are caught up in the moment in worship and say the most wonderful things and then turn around and stumble and fall and hurt His heart the next?

All those questions and more tumble around in my head. But for the moment I find myself pushing them away to the back, closing my eyes, raising my hands and singing...

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Chorus 2x
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out


Wayward Son said...

I haven't listened yet to the song...I'll have to get somewhere where I can put it on speakers...but I certainly can relate to your words here. My wife and I have just been begun talking again about worship and our role in it.

Despite the abuses and missteps of the system that usually encases it...there has to be something real about this. I've encountered God's manifest presence too many times to rule it out as pure emotion or hype. He responds to hearts that are seeking Him, whatever context they may be in.

Deb Ermter said...


Sara said...

I think that worship is at the very heart of what we're about as God's children . . . as for whether God's okay with screwed up worship leaders? Well, in the OT we've got David--an adulterous murderer and a strong contender for the most dysfunctional family of the nation award . . . who wrote most of the book of Psalms, which we're still singing, and is held up as a man after God's own heart . . . so yeah, I think we can sing things that we want to grow into, esp. when we sing them with that awareness. I tell my husband that I love him with the awareness that I'm still a small, selfish imperfect woman. I hope to love him better. But I know that the love I have for him now is not nothing.

Rob said...

I learned this song last year as "Desde Mi Interior", and loved playing it although I wasn't clear on what the words were in English. Once I finally heard the English version, I loved the song even more -- absolutely incredible lyrics and just the right music to enliven those lyrics. We sing it (the Spanish version) a lot down here in Tijuana.

Lita Wright said...

It amazes me that so many of us from so many different places find ourselves in the same place with many of the same questions.
I watched this video with tears streaming down my face. It is one of my most favorite worship songs.
It seems that no matter how I have been lied to and manipulated by evil men claiming to hear from God and claiming to act on His behalf the place of worship to God remains as pure as He is. I can't explain it. No matter how many questions I have and no matter where I seem to be spiritually on any given day the place of true worship is completely pure, holy and peaceful.... supernatural.

Heather said...

I'm late (as always - reader is overflowing), but I'd like to thank you for this post, Barb. I was already touched by that song, but to hear your story and those that followed in the comments it's made me see it with new eyes. It's not just the song either - I love how through this medium of blogs we can all delve a little into one another's minds and souls and find things that heal there. It's amazing how often I'm having a bad day I read a blog that says exactly what I needed.