Writing has been a spiritual discipline for me, as I reflect on what I read in Scripture and am taught by various pastors and mentors. When I recently transitioned away from my staff role at Community Bible Church, I took a couple of weeks off from writing, but it is a necessary habit for me, so here I go! Back to it.
Like many of my songs, I often co-write articles, and this one is no exception. Between the devotional snippet Matt shared, and my devotional time in Hebrews, what follows next was formed.
Matt Lockwood and Brendan Prout
Feb 4, 2015
Today I was reading Hebrews 4:12-16, and this passage impacted me greatly...
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
There is a very high expectation and standard set when I invite people to join a worship team, and I make no apologies for that, because I believe in the power of heaven that is upon what we do, and this ought to be taken very seriously. We’re serious people about the serious work of the Lord. We’ve been given a great responsibility, by our leaders and by God, to lead and to usher God’s people, to inspire and guide them, to stir them up toward love and good works, to bring encouragement and boldness in faith, and to bring comfort and truth in hurt; all through the songs we play and sing! But then again, we’re not just playing and singing songs – we’re bringing everything God has put in us, to minister to His people, and allowing God to use us to bring His healing, comfort, strength, revelation, peace, joy, understanding, and so much more, into the church. His Bride. It’s no small matter. We must give ourselves wholeheartedly to this purpose; doing so is a large part of our own expression of love and worship of Jesus Christ. So it’s no small matter when I take into consideration whether a person is or is not called to serve in the particular role of a lead worshiper, a musician who leads from the front.
We’re all at different places in life, and stages in development of skill, but that doesn’t change the weightiness of the demand placed upon us. Yet in the midst of that demand is God’s promise, that we can come before Him, directly to His throne, and receive the grace we need to accomplish all He’s called us to do (Hebrews 4:16).
Though the demand is great, the grace to serve is even greater, more than we could imagine. We’re not meant to be able to manage it all in our own strength. A vision or dream that you can accomplish yourself, solely by your own means, is most likely not from God, because He looks for us to rely on faith – and no faith is needed to do something you know you can do. As John Piper says, “If you are sufficient for your job, your job is too small.” Piper also said that the servant leader “must live in the tension of being asked to do and responsible to complete a job he cannot possibly do, and can only do with God’s help.”
The promise in this verse from Hebrews has no time limit or conditions attached to it. Whenever we need help – WHENEVER – we can receive God’s abundant grace and mercy. Let us keep building up our worship teams – and each person’s part in it – on the foundation of God’s grace, and not solely by ability or experience, nor allow them to be defined by the past. Let us proceed unswervingly together with confidence to the throne of grace, and be the most excellent doorkeepers in the house of the Lord, ushering His people into His presence for His glory.