Satisfaction in God.

I soaked up every minute of my last chapel at Woodland Christian School back in May. Why? Anymore I never know when the next time I’ll be able to help out with worship will be. Being able to use what little bit of talent the Lord has given me to ultimately serve Him, not only by worshiping Him myself but by helping others to do so as well, is something that I cherish and do not take lightly. As the school year drew to a close and I tried to imagine what life in Chico might be like I was reminded of what it was like being in a college town before: everyone plays guitar. The opportunities to lead worship were much tougher to come by and the entire time I was in Southern California, not once did an opportunity present itself. This is why after my last chapel at Woodland Christian I was pensive about the possibility that it could be months and months before I got to lead again. I am overjoyed to say that the past three Sundays I’ve been able to lead worship or at least help do so. It’s been humbling to realize how overjoyed I am just to be able to have the opportunity to give all glory to God and to help others do so as well. Being excited about being humbled seems so backwards but that’s exactly how it is.

It’s interesting to me to think of how the worship of God affects us as believers. How often do you leave Church on a Sunday morning feeling awesome, energized, refreshed? Is this wrong? Of course not. Do I think that we worship God to “get something out of it”? No. I’m still wrestling with this whole Christian Hedonism thing. Not because I disagree with it, because I know that true worship is satisfaction in God. Sometimes it’s just hard to explain it without making it sound like you’re worshiping to “get something out of it”. My recommendation is that you read The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper or, even though I haven’t read it yet, Desiring God.

Back to my point. Few things make me happier than being involved in worship through music, but I’m just trying to think through my motives. I would hate to find out that I love for any reason other than bringing glory to Him. Piper wrote, “If the focus shifts onto our giving to God, one result I have seen again and again is that, subtly, it is not God that remains at the center but the quality of our giving.” Take the focus away from God? May it never be. All the same, as long as we’re able, let us never quit using the gifts he has provided us to give glory where glory is due. Blessed be His name.

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5 Responses to Satisfaction in God.

  1. Jill says:

    My, my, aren’t you a prolific writer all of a sudden? You know, it never occurred to me to question the sheer joy of worship in music, or the exhilaration of “getting to lead worship.” How odd for someone who usually questions EVERYTHING. So……I thought about it for a minute and this is what came: conviction doesn’t come from pure hearted worship, whether it be in music OR in service. Condemnation will try to smear anything we do for the Lord!

    So glad to hear that the Lord has INDEED given you the desires of your heart, i.e., He’s put those desires IN your heart, then proceeded to fulfill that longing with the opportunity for service.

    I do think it’s ok, though, that we muse, ponder, reflect, wonder, and yes even FEEL stuff about the maybes in our future. God has not made us to be fortune-tellers, so He leaves the element of surprise (sometimes shock and awe) in His plans for us. I think he enjoys letting us think about stuff, spirit-led thoughts, just so He can come along and show His connection to our hearts. =-)

    In Him………always,

    Jill

  2. meg says:

    there is a line in your first paragraph ” not only by worshiping myself but by helping others to do so as well” i know what you mean as do others i’m sure, but it initially struck me as funny. as though you were saying you worshiped yourself and aided others in the worship of you too.
    that aside, good blog. it’s good to be willing to question your motives. allow God to be the questioner though, not yourslef. like Jill said, condemnation will try to get the best of you. a word from th eLord on the other hand is always sweet, even in correction. he’s just good like that.
    love you tons! keep seeking after Him and His heart for you. -meg

  3. bryangumpy says:

    Jill-

    Yet another plug for John Piper. You never answered my question on myspace, have you had a chance to read much more yet?

    Megan-

    A great example of why having OTHERS proofread is wise. It makes sense in my head, but I see your point. It’s been edited for clarity.

  4. Aaron says:

    I have 10 years on ya’, so I’m going to speak from experience here: God is most glorified in our worship leading when we realize it has nothing to do with music, and when we come to the point where we leave it all up to the Lord and say, “I will be satisfied in You, O God, even if my only musical outlet for the rest of my life is leading worship by myself at a weekly home fellowship.” Or better yet, “Lord, do with me what you will, I will worship you even if you ordain that I get in a car accident and have to have my hands amputated and I’ll never play the guitar again!” Pretty harsh, I know. Maybe such dire measures are only necessary for those who have allowed music itself to become an idol in their lives. I think this happened for me at one point. I used to confuse music and worship as the same thing, when they are not. In many churches, worship leaders are revered and not required to have good theology because they’re seen as “anointed”. I don’t like those kind of churches anymore…

    –I quoted page 228 of Let the Nations Be Glad! but I realized you already quoted it! Well, he said the same words. But I’m going to go ahead and leave it in:

    “If the focus shifts to our giving to God, subtly it becomes not God at the center but the quality of our giving. Are we singing worthily of the Lord? Are our instrumentalists playing with quality fitting a gift to the Lord? Is the preaching a suitable offering to the Lord? And little by little the focus shifts from the utter indispensability of the Lord himself to the quality of our performances. We even start to define excellence and power in worship in terms of the technical distinction of our artistic acts.” – Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!, p. 228.

    God bless you! (BTW, this city is NOT overrun with gifted worship leaders, actually.)

    Death to self. Life to God.

  5. Ted Burrett says:

    My friend on Orkut shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came to your blog.

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