For years I felt called to teach God's Word to others, so I thought that worship was best left to others. Something changed my mind about eight years ago. I was reading Revelation and I realized that there is quite a bit of worship going on in heaven. As I considered that, I realized that one day I would be a part of that worship experience, so why not start learning now how to engage in worship better.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was limited in worship because I couldn't really play any instruments. I was limited to whatever songs I was stirred by, but it was hard to engage with the Lord in songs and scripture that might be more meaningful to me at the time. I knew exactly what that meant. I had to learn to play something.
The choices were pretty clear: guitar or piano.
Since I had already taken piano lessons as a child and failed at it, I thought I would take up guitar. For years I struggled and plucked away, trying to form a few chords I could use to help my heart connect with God. It did take years, but I'm happy to say I got good enough to truly enter worship for myself with God. I lead worship on a regular basis now, just for God and the angels.
I set up a worship spot in a bedroom and then in my closet when our family grew that is my place to just go connect with God alone. But I must tell you, it is one of the most exhilarating parts of my Christian walk. There is something deep and profound within our hearts and spirits that cannot be touched but by music.
My Wife's Gift
I first noticed this when I was getting to know my wife. While we were dating, I would listen to her play and lead worship (she is an accomplished worship leader, among other things). She is not the most well-spoken person when she is trying to convey something deep or challenging, but when she would sit at the piano and play and sing the songs of her heart, I was taken back. This woman who struggled to convey the things on her heart while talking could sing the deepest mysteries of God I had ever heard.
Still to this day I will hold my wife's hand and feel her fingers moving. I learned long ago what she was doing. She was playing a piano in her mind and worshipping the Lord silently, but she couldn't keep her fingers from moving. I'll ask her what she's playing, and she'll tell me whatever worship song is running through her mind at the time.
Making it Mine
I have since realized the power of this in my own life. I know this will be difficult to accept, especially for those of you who feel you're too old to learn, but choosing to learn an instrument for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your spiritual life.
I have learned and grown in ways I never would have imagined by just sitting down at a piano or with a guitar and singing some worship songs and then singing the scripture and my prayers back to God. It is a practice as old as King David, and it is just as powerful today.
I have been stuck singing about the wonder of the cross for over two years now, and the more I sing and pray and ask questions to God about it, the more my heart comes alive at the reality of what He has done for me. My study of scripture and my prayer life are often helped more by my personal worship times than anything else.
Make it Yours
I encourage each of you to begin a journey into worship for yourself over the next several years. It will be difficult and it will indeed take years, but the payoff is so worth it in what God will do in your heart.