Tonight, I had the opportunity to see Hillsong live in concert for the third time in less than a year. The decision to go to the concert was an act of spontaneity, as we purchased the tickets at 3 p.m. yesterday, but obviously, it was the best spontaneous decision we have ever made.
No, I am not going to write an entire blog post about the concert, like how Taya’s vocal range blows my mind entirely, or how the stage sets and flashy lights fit perfect with each song choice of the night. I am going to share my heart… my heart about worship.
I walked into this concert tonight feeling far from God, and I knew that it was nobody’s fault but mine.
I was tired, I was distracted, and I was distant. I had come to a place that I told myself I would never come to: I had almost given up. Almost, because I did not let myself fall into that trap 100%, it was more like 98%. I was dreading leading worship at church, and I was falling into gossip at school. I love high school, but I was simply attending it – I was not fulfilling my purpose to be passionate about people and to love always.
So, when those flashy lights came on and when Lauren Daigle stepped out and started singing, I prayed. I prayed that God would make me desperate again, and that He would take me back to not only the heart of worship, but to the heart of myself when I first gave my life to Him – that pure heart so in need of Jesus’s touch. No more distractions, no more excuses. I wanted to be close to Him again.
Lauren ended, and Hillsong started. Joel Houston set the atmosphere of the entire night when he prefaced the concert with: “If you came to be desperate and came to meet with God, you will.”
Oh my gosh, that is it.
It is so hard to even fathom that the simplest answer to my prayer was in two words, “you will.” I came to meet with God, and I did…
I have been struggling with finding joy in leading worship lately, and I certainly did not want to be leading a Church into worship if my heart was not there. Tonight my perspective flipped and my attitude changed:
Worship is so much more than the music, the voice, the words, and the flashy lights. Worship is praising Jesus when you don’t have a drummer for your worship team. It’s when your voice cracks in the middle of a worship set but you keep going because you are too busy meeting with Jesus. I almost want to say that worship is looking past the word “worship” in the first place, ignoring the word itself, and going straight to the source of it. Worship is meeting with Jesus. Plain and simple. And if you want to meet with Jesus, you will. He does not let you down because “He is a good, good Father, and that is a good, good song.” – Joel Houston
The band started playing The Stand, but only playing. The words were on the screen, but the band did not sing yet. The most incredible moment of my night is when the entire room began to sing, “So I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all,” without a worship leader there to start. That is worship – feeling Jesus strong enough to know that you are connected to Him and to His people around you. That is why He gave us a voice, it’s why He gave us the gift of song, to connect ourselves with each other and ultimately to the Lord.
My heart for youth groups everywhere is that the youth
- Will find the heart of worship, looking past the word alone and meeting with Jesus.
- Will go back to the desire they had for Jesus when they first gave Him their lives.
- Will be desperate to meet with God, because they will.
Something else that Joel mentioned that is so important when it comes to worship is to “practice empathy and compassion even when you don’t feel like it.” Oh, I have many days where I definitely, and in no way, “feel like it.” But then I asked myself, Erica, what happened to you? I’ve had no love recently, only hostility and a heart full of gossip. I want my heart to replicate Christ’s heart and I desire to be like Him, and guess what, I will.
It is just so simple when you break it down into two small words that have the power of God Himself invested into them. It makes the load and the weight on your shoulders go form 50 pounds to 2. Be desperate for God, and you will meet with Him.