Don't Get Ready to Sing Inside Out
by Molly Shorter
You're scheduled to sing and you've been rehearsing your song. Vocally you are ready. And now you're standing at your closet door trying to choose the right outfit for your performance. You want to look just right. As you settle on an outfit and pick out your shoes, you feel a tugging at your heart and something isn't quite right. But what is it? You like the song you're singing and you're ready to sing. You like the outfit you've chosen. But have you forgotten the most important thing?
We've all been there and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice. There is nothing wrong with spending time getting your outward appearance pulled together. But in the process, don't forget about what's most important - getting your heart prepared to minister. Spend time before the Lord; respond to the tugging of the Holy Spirit at your heart and ask Him to search your heart and renew your spirit. If there's any sin you're holding on to, confess it and turn from it.
Over the years I have worked with many musicians. One thing I've seen as a common downfall is when the focus turns more toward the outside - the "look and the performance" and less on the inside - the condition of the heart.
"Pet sins" become viewed as personality traits and are never dealt with. Ephesians 4:1 says, "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you've been called." (ESV) We are called to represent Jesus in everything we do, including our music ministry. We are called to live in fellowship with the Lord, to walk in step with His Spirit and live in unity with other believers. Ephesians 4 goes on to say "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (ESV)
Search your heart. Are you ministering with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love? Are you holding a grudge against someone, bringing division instead of unity in the Body? You can't truly worship or lead in worship - you can't truly minister through music when you're holding a grudge, avoiding certain people at church, talking about others behind their backs or causing division. These issues are common downfalls among musicians. Be careful and be aware!
Dear fellow musicians, before you stand at your closet and choose the right outfit, getting your outward appearance just right to sing, take the time to get your heart right. You can't truly worship or lead in worship when you are carrying sin in your heart. Confess it. Let your ministry be an outflow of what God is doing in your heart, on the inside. Let it flow from the inside out.
Molly Shorter is full-time musician and worship leader in the service of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. She works with church musicians, giving them opportunities to develop and use their God-given musical gifts for His honor and glory.
Along with leading a large worship team, she is also a teacher to budding musicians, a playwright and theater director, a composer, and the writer of your enouragement here at Christwill Music.