So many times I ask God to make me desperate for Him. I ask him to remove all distractions and to help me do nothing without His power. However, when everything in my life is going well, it’s hard to be “desperate” for Him and to truly allow Him to invade my heart/mind/soul. This past thursday night I was leading Worship at Celebrate Recovery, and out of nowhere my voice seemed to all but disappear. There were no warning signs (I experience voice fatigue & pain from time to time) or anything. Just as I was singing these words: “you make all things work together for my good”, there it went. I knew those words to be true. I knew that trials only bring me closer to Him, and that He is greater than any of my problems.
Knowing that I was set to lead again on Sunday, I put myself on two days of vocal rest. After a day went by, I still felt no relief and felt like my issue was actually getting worse. And so, I began to pray. I prayed that God would allow me to be used by him on Sunday. I prayed that He would sustain my voice and allow it to sing loud and clear for Him. I told Him that I would give all the glory to Him through this situation.
We practiced for an hour or so on Saturday, and afterwards I felt like I had a 50/50 shot at having a voice for Sunday. It was then that I asked my fellow pastors and family to pray for me. I really felt like it was God’s will for me to lead, but was I was going to have to completely trust Him for the strength and endurance to do so. Sunday morning I woke up, and while there were some signs of vocal fatigue, I still had a good feeling about it. I could feel God’s presence on me when I walked into the building. As we began to rehearse, I felt my voice becoming stronger with every note. It was like God just wanted my full attention. He wanted me to be desperate for Him and to lead out of my faith in Him (not my skill, knowledge, etc). We had two AMAZING services, and the Holy Spirit seemed to move like never before. It was the sweetest time of Worship I think I have ever been a part of. I realized that it was so much easier for me to lead out of my desperation for Him, instead of simply being connected to Him.
I experience the same intensity amongst the people at Celebrate Recovery. They are so very desperate for God’s power in their life. It is obvious that they truly trust Him to deliver them from themselves and/or situations. In a room with no more than 150 people, the volume is louder during the worship set than the usual 300+ crowd on Sundays. If you ask me, they get it! They are so hungry to give back to God for what He has done in their lives. The masks are off, people are real about who they are and they are not ashamed to give it ALL back to God is praise. This unhindered, desperate, whole-hearted praise to God is so contagious! I really wish we could all learn to pursue God’s presence in this way without having to be at an all-time low. I know it is not easy to ask for desperation when things are going well, but the pay-off is priceless!
So…do I change my prayer? Do I ask God to do something even though I know it might come with anxiety and pain? After my experience this past weekend, the answer is NO! I will pray this prayer until I’m blue in the face. There is no greater place to be than face down before God in need of His sweet invasion. There is no more meaningful Worship you could experience, than to be so desperate for His presence in your life.
What about you…will you pray for this bitter-sweet desperation?
What is keeping you from truly experiencing the power and freedom in this lifestyle?
Do you truly believe that God will be able to speak to you if you are never truly desperate for Him?