Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vanity (11/15/18)
TITLE: A Matter of the Heart
By Bonnie Kronberger
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It was my week to lead worship, so I was privy to watch the congregation and observe their responses to the music. It made me curious, wondering about each one in the privacy of their thoughts. It was my job to set the tone for inviting the Lord into our presence and as the singing continued I silently lifted up a prayer for them.
I love the week prior to leading, spent selecting and practicing the songs for Sunday. It is a time of praying for direction of song choices and scriptures. I hope the song service will delight the hearts of the worshippers and their souls will be blessed. My goal for success is to be well prepared and innovative.
In retrospect, I hear myself sounding pious and spiritual and in the next breath I speak of goals and success. Therein lies the conundrum. To lead puts one in the undesirable quandary of pride versus humility. Jeremiah knew it well. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick”. The self centeredness of our sinful nature battles against our Christ centeredness, a war to win control.
As I prepared for the worship service I must admit thoughts kept sneaking their way into my mind. “Oh, these songs are so much better than what the other song leaders choose. I wonder if the congregation likes it better when I lead? I want to come up with really good ideas to engage the worshippers.”
The wise old proverb reminds me, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Oh yes, my heart needs guarding, and my thoughts taken captive unto the obedience of Christ. My prayer of repentance restores peace to my soul and refocuses my thoughts, allowing the Lord to lead and direct all choices and actions for the service.
The Sunday service was coming to a close and we’d been in His presence. I could sense Christ centeredness for many in the room as the words of the closing song rang out. “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb”. Our hearts were touched by the Spirit. Throughout the service I was surrendering the condition of my heart, desiring to walk in obedience. “I, the Lord search the heart and test the mind...”. He was meeting with me.
Exiting the church, the satisfaction of a fruitful worship service gave me a glorious feeling as adrenaline coursed through my body. I got a few hugs and a “good job” here and there. Is this feeling I’m experiencing from the glory of God or the vanity of my inner man? I suppose both. But my walk with God is always a matter of the heart, and my heart is His, therefore I choose to abide in the wellspring of life.
So when compliments come my way I respond, “Thank you. Praise the Lord.”
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Jeremiah 17:9,10; Proverbs 4:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5
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