It’s Sunday morning, and I’m “on” to play the piano and sing. On my drive to church, I play the praise set one last time and sing the words out loud. I feel a little nervous, but I pray and tell Jesus that I want my playing and singing to be pleasing to Him. I know that I was made to worship God, and I know that God can see right through my external displays of worship and into my heart. He knows whether I’m offering empty lip service (Isaiah 29:13) or if I’m truly worshiping Him in “the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23) But once service starts, the sanctuary becomes a battlefield for who gets the glory—will it be God, or will it be me?
First song’s up. The in-ear clicker goes off, signaling the tempo. I take a deep breath, ”Gotta keep the beat-2, 3, 4” as I start playing the piano intro. I tap my foot and start singing the first verse (not too close to the mic) as I gear up to sing the harmonies for the chorus. Suddenly, I’m not so confident about the harmonies anymore, and I back away from the mic. I stop singing. I start praying, “Lord, these songs are not about me. They’re about you…” The Accuser jumps in, “See, there you go again making it all about you…” I concentrate on the lyrics and singing each word intentionally. It’s the second time through the chorus, and my heart puffs up. “…Nailed the harmonies. Whew! Sounded pretty good!” I linger too long on these thoughts and the Holy Spirit convicts me. Who am I worshiping? The enemy fires another dart of condemnation, “Look at you, taking away from God’s glory. How can God be honored by your worship?”
The condemnation seems relentless.
But Jesus holds me fast. He reminds me, yet again, of His great love for me, and I weep.
Why does worshiping our triune God seem like such a battle? When sharing this concern with a sister of mine, she responded simply, “The enemy knows that his days are numbered.” She was referring to Revelation 12:12. Yes, we shouldn’t be surprised that our lying and murderous enemy, the devil, (John 8:44) hates the worship of King Jesus. Verse 17 goes on to say that the enraged dragon (Satan) wages war “against those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”
But Jesus is victorious! Colossians 2 tells us that Jesus is the head over every power and authority. Even though we were dead in our sins, God made us alive with Christ and forgave us of all our sins, “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross and having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross!” (Verse 10, 13-15). Romans 8 tells me that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. When Satan accuses me in front of my Heavenly Father, I have Jesus who is at the right hand of God interceding for me! The Holy Spirit, another Advocate, is also right in my heart interceding for me as He gives me words to pray. How wonderful and awesome and encouraging God’s promises are to His children. I await the day when I can sing my heart out and worship Jesus all day long without any of my sins to impede the worship that is due to His name. But until that day, when my heart and mind are fragmented, I can sing of Christ’s victory again and again!
High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all!
Salomé Youn and Lynn have been members of GRC since 2015. She serves on the Worship Team.