I recently found myself in a very tight space…
I was standing on stage, serving as part of a worship team of over 12 musicians. With a band this big each vocalist had songs assigned to them that they would lead and for some reason one of the songs that had been assigned to me kept falling away in the set. At first I hadn’t noticed, but after a while I realized that this started bothering me,
and just there a little voice came and spit accusations at me
“You are prideful, or maybe its just that ugly jealousy coming to the surface!
How could you be leading people into worship when you are so selfish?”
The last couple of months God has been speaking into my heart intentionally specifically about this matter. The issue of ‘performance’.
I believe that performance and striving is the response to a lie that we believe that says we are not enough if we would just be ourselves. We fear that if we bring our talents, personality, gifts, outward appearance, experiences, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and our full selves to the table, people would be disappointed, or that we would fall terribly short of the ‘standard’ we set ourselves up to meet.
I am honestly disgusted by performance,
because I have fallen very hard into this very trap before.
It screams “WHO GOD MADE ME IS NOT ENOUGH, AND WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH!”
So we dance around the enemies lies through striving, and trying harder, being funnier, singing louder, making more of a statement through our Facebook statuses, outfits, our position at work, finances, relationships, families and the list goes on…
But the part that breaks my heart is the fact that after trying our very best on a perfect performance, we are exhausted and already planning ahead for the next curtain call.
I was struck in that moment by the very fact that I felt like I needed to prove myself before God. That I felt way out of my league and that I needed to show Him why He made a good ‘investment’ by pursuing me and giving me the opportunities that He has. I felt caught out by the Maker of the universe…
and as we sang the next song in the worship set I wept trying to utter the very words “It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only”,
and I felt how He pulled me closer to His heart, and how He allowed me to just be,
without having to prove anything to Him.
He expected absolutely nothing of me,
He simply held me, and that was all He wanted.
I am still learning, and I believe it will always be a constant journey that we will have to go through, but what I have seen through this experience is that God does not want our best performance, He simply wants us! He wants us to have the freedom to be His children and the enemy is terrified of this very fact. He trembles at the idea of God’s children realizing how deeply they are loved, and of them stepping into their full identity in Christ, so he mumbles, and spits accusations about our identity, making us doubt our motifs and intentions.
But God is intentionally focused on us, and through all the noise, He is speaking into our identity of just how fully loved we are, and how we are more than enough. He is more concerned about us than about what we can do for Him because He never wanted slaves, He wanted children.
I pray that as you read this you will experience the Father’s delight over you as His son or daughter. That you will always have the boldness to run into His arms that will always be stretched out wide towards you, eager to hold you and pull you close.
He is well pleased with you and made you exactly the way He wanted you.
I pray that you will be able to rest in His presence, and immediately be able to discern when the enemy tries to tell you lies about your identity.
May your ears always be inclined to our Father’s voice whispering
“you are My beloved, you are Mine, and I love you!”.