How Much Does Worship Cost?

A few years back I was struggling with my singing voice. Still am actually. I know the Word, though. So, I claimed my healing, thanked God for it and went on believing that it would come back. I prayed more and focused on how to be a better worship leader. I knew that I would get through the season and move on to better moments. I signed up for a few different worship leader classes and put my hand to the plow. I even began those piano classes I had always wanted, this year. Now, remember, I just said this began a few years back. So what does that mean? Did I get better?

Depends on your perspective. To a non believer it would look like not. However, just because my singing voice isn’t completely better or what it used to be, doesn’t mean I lost the battle. You see, one of the classes I signed up for was through Rick Pino. It was his first virtual class since Covid tried to ruin in person contact. Which actually worked out better for me, since I have a full time career and would never be able to attend one in person anyhow. I finished the class but his texts that I had signed up to receive didn’t stop coming. That didn’t bother me though, as I didn’t mind receiving the encouragement. Well, one particular text stopped me in my tracks. The text said;

“The first place the word, “worship” is mentioned in the Bible is in Gen. 22 where Abraham is going up the mountain to offer up Isaac. We see here that worship is all about the treasure of someone’s heart being laid on an altar. Worship should be costly friend. If your worship doesn’t cost you anything, then your worship has no worth.”

I sat there perplexed at what I had just read. What exactly did it mean? It sounded cruel to my soul at first. What do you mean worship should be costly? Cost what? I’m freely giving it aren’t I? I was just as perplexed the first time I ever read Genesis 22 as a full blown Christian adult. I’m a mom of two boys so it pierced deep. But you see, truth is, God actually did sacrifice His own son, for all of us! Let that sink in! Thank you Jesus! That’s on a whole other subject though.. Moving on..

You see, I always thought my singing and worshiping was me using my God given gift as a gift back to the Lord. I worshiped to thank Him, to love on Him for all He has done for me. I yearned for the intimacy I felt in His presence and the opportunity to use my gift to thank Him. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten fleshly at times and asked the all too well known question of WHY? Why my voice? I’d rather struggle with anything else in my body but that.

Then it hit me. What. If. What if I were Abraham and God had asked me to sacrifice my voice? Now, I hadn’t felt that or heard Him say that but, would I do it if He had? How far was I willing to go? How much was I willing to give? Does the sound of my voice truly mean that much to me? I mean, let’s face it, I actually hate listening to myself so why am I so torn up about not being able to sing like I used to? I mean, I know the sound of my voice doesn’t dictate the heart of my worship…..does it?

So in that moment, I asked myself, what if my worship, cost me my soulful sound? Am I still willing to worship anyway? How would I worship? I began to look back at the past few years and the events that took place. I knew I had already realized that I still had “a voice” in my CATW journey but I hadn’t quite realized the pure joy of sacrificing something I thought was one of my best qualities. Up until the moment of perplexity with this text, I had figured I was just using my voice differently until my healing took manifest. I had given it to God and let it go. So I thought.

But, was I willing to truly face God and say, that’s okay, I completely sacrifice my voice to you. You can have it, God. I don’t want it back.…. I thought I had already in my own way. But you know that thing people say? If you know, you know? Yeah, everyone “thinks” they know! Until they KNOW! Suddenly, worship became MORE beautiful than I had ever imagined! I had always “preached” that it doesn’t matter what someone sounds like to others here on earth, the Lord loves it! I would encourage others to sing out His praises no matter what they thought they sounded like. So why couldn’t I practice what I preached? I mean I still sang, just would try not to when I realized it wasn’t sounding “right”. I would sing the words; “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.” Thanking God as I gingerly sang those words for me walking out of the “grave” of losing my voice.

But, just what if, I sacrificed it and gave it completely up to the Lord? What if I left my voice in the grave and continued to sing anyway? What would that sound like? It would sound like the “treasure of my heart being laid on an altar”. It would sound like “worthy worship”.

You see John 4: 19-26 talks about how Jesus was speaking to a woman at a well. There comes a point where she says to Jesus that she can see that he’s a prophet but that her “fathers” (family) worshiped on this mountain and that she didn’t understand how Jews could say that the place to worship was actually in Jerusalem. People were literally fighting over where the correct place to worship was.

Jesus goes on to tell her that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Verse 22 goes on to say; “You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Did you happen to notice what He didn’t say? He didn’t say, you must worship Him in song and with a pleasing voice. As a matter of fact, it didn’t say anything about using your voice at all! Jesus said, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. Did you also see how she “thought she knew”. So, a little text of encouragement lead me to a big understanding I thought I already understood. I already understood I could worship in other ways! I even had John 4:24 as my FB cover image for a long time. But it took me losing my voice to find my true worship. It “cost” me something precious. I realized my “gift” was worth giving up! But I gained something so much more precious! An understanding of what true, pure, raw, worship is.

My spirit now screams You can have it ALL God! My truth now screams, none of it means more to me than You!

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