German adventure part Zwei (2)
The special promotion was a hit last week, so I will do it again this week:
You know the most frustrating part of waiting?
It leaves you feeling completely powerless and useless. This is a feeling I got quite acquainted with this week. Here are some examples of that: “Your flight has been delayed. Please wait for an update.” “We cannot leave the gate because of some random maintenance thing, and we need to wait for a engineer to come clear us.” “You made it, but your baggage did not. We are looking to see where in the world it is. Please wait for an update.”
But you know something funny? The Lord knows how to prove a point, and I really think He enjoys being creative in teaching us about Himself.
The one thing He laid on my heart to share with my German friends this week was ‘Rest in His presence. Don’t over-structure and over-prepare everything. Have fun, relax, remove artificial expectations, and know that He LOVES your praises.”
I was forgetting one key part of this… waiting.
How can we do any of that if we don’t know how to wait for him?
I can think of so many times when I have been in worship or even leading worship where I got so frustrated waiting to “feel” His presence, that I just went into ‘push through it’ mode. On the other hand, I know of times when we have put the ‘magic worship formula’ together and BOOM, the ‘Spirit moved’ good job to us!
However the truth is that none of that is really accurate. There is no magic ‘worship formula’, no ’10 steps to perfect worship performance’ that will make His Spirit move any differently. What He wants is hearts who are solely focused on Him. The (sometimes hard to swallow) truth is that we aren’t the ones who actually DO anything when it comes to leading anyone in worship. Sure, we lead people TO worship, but there is only One who leads people IN worship. It’s like the old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
When you are waiting on something, it consumes your entire focus.
Which brings me to the other quality of waiting: When you are waiting on something, it consumes your entire focus. Can you remember the last time you ordered something new and exciting online, or had a getaway vacation planned? Do you remember what it felt like in the week or so before you actually got it? Every bit of your focus is consumed by the thing you’re waiting for.
So my heart went back to church last week: “Worship while you wait.”
Waiting isn’t just an irritating fact of life, like bee stings or shots. On the contrary, I think sometimes God wants us to stop and smell the roses.
When we wait on God, we have the opportunity to step back and turn our whole focus onto Him. Sometimes, He is all we have to hold onto. If we choose to see the beauty in times like this, it will build our expectancy. We start getting excited to see His Spirit manifest, lives changed, etc. In fact, I think that He loves us so much that He wants us to take the time and wait. Because in those moments of powerlessness or “uselessness”, we realize just how fully incompetent we are to make anything happen or push anything through in the Spiritual, and fully see our need for His power and His Spirit. And this is the essence of a life of worship: “I am less, He is more.” And when better to start experiencing that than while waiting?