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Look For a Window - A Heart of Worship - I

Updated: Jan 3, 2022



Doors Will Close and Windows Will Open


Throughout my life I’ve been involved in music, in one way or another.


I recall a time when I was young and living in Rhodesia. My father used to lead a young adult music team in our church, the Teen Team. One day he brought his bakkie (an Afrikaans word pronounced Bucky, and referring to a small truck) home from work, and loaded all of their music and sound equipment into the back of it. My older brother and myself then climbed in the back too, and off we drove for a few hours to another town for the music team to perform there.


I was just a kid who went along for the ride, but this memory stands out to me as the first real taste of a musicians life. Was it the joy ride in the back of the bakkie, or was it the music that appealed to me? Probably both, really.


Over the years I’ve done what every aspiring musician does; write songs, perform, and hope for the big one!


My music morphed into worship, and then to worship leading, and that to some beautiful experiences, and in 1997 I thought that the big one was just around the corner.


Daph and I, with three small kids in tow, spent two years in Dallas, Texas, and it was there were, rather than that big one coming into being, my life, music, and worship started to disconnect. I went to Bible school to find the God whom I read about in the Bible, had heard about in church, and who I’d given my life to as a child, but whom I knew had to be so much more. One path I knew, in this pursuit, was through my music as it pertained to Christian doctrine and the order of charismatic service.


One musician who significantly influenced me in my formative music years, is Dallas Holm. Dallas wrote a song titled “Look for a Window”, the premise of which is that when God stops one thing in our lives, it’s because He has something else for us. Our Father never leaves us stranded.


In light of this truth, and in our honest pursuit of God, doors will close and windows will open. When our hearts start to disconnect from things, we mustn’t deny the disconnect, it could be that a door is being closed. God may be wanting to initiate a new thing in us, and He can’t do it while that place in our hearts is occupied with the old - no matter how much our intellect argues to the contrary.


 

‘Scuse me!? Jesus!?


When doors close we have options. We can resist the closing and storm through the door; we can stop and stagnate; or, we can stop, open our eyes, and look for a window.


I’ve just used the phrase, “In our honest pursuit of God”. Well that was me eighteen months into Bible School, when I got mad at God. While on my morning run, I stopped, shouted at the top of my voice, threw my toys out of my cot, and from then on quit doing the expected good christian stuff! I disconnected, from the works, but never from God. And yes, at Bible school. Don’t judge me! :))


I can imagine God smiling that day, while watching me have my little fit out there on the running track at five-o’clock in the morning, and pointing me out to Jesus and Holy Spirit, saying, “Finally, Darrin’s being real with me!” God loves honest pursuit.


After a life of striving I’ve learned Solomon’s words to be true, that all our works is vanity, and a chasing of the wind; and now there are only three things which remain; faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. It’s liberating, but it took me so long to get here.


After two years in Texas, in September, 1999, our family arrived in Toronto, Canada, where I was presented with my closed door, and it came in the form of “Welcome, Darrin, to Children’s Ministry!” Bam!


But this would also be my open window, if I’d allow it. Which I did.


It was here where I learned one my most valuable lessons about life and Godliness, and that; The degree to which we allow our hearts to be emptied, is disproportionate to that which He pours back into us.


Let that sink in. He’s worth it.


One day Jesus disciples came to Him and asked, “Jesus, who’s the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”


I can imagine what they might have been bantering amongst each other to even get to this point. Maybe, the one who raises the most dead people? Or the one who spends all their belongings on the poor? Could it be the one who has the best theology, or the best voice, or the best songs? You know, that type of thing, that one will be the greatest.


But Jesus’ response was far from what they might have been hoping for. He stood a child among them and then made a statement that remains crucial to these days in which we live. He said, “Unless you are changed and become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven.” ‘Scuse me!? Jesus!?


“Therefore”, He continued, “whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”


Being in children’s ministry for thirteen years cleared out a lot of my adult developed cobwebs, and I’d climb through that window all over again, a thousand times.


I thought it prudent to share my above, albeit very condensed, journey, to give context to further worship conversation - I have, though experience and education, been on both sides of the lid. It’ll make sense later.


 

He Only Wants Our Worship


After being dormant on the subject for a while now, a recent event, hidden behind the smoke-screen of our current global health condition, reignited my thoughts on worship and brought a clarity to what I’ve long held in my heart, along with a renewed urgency to speak.


I’ll share the alluded to event, in the next post, but let’s be frank. The enemy doesn’t care what our actions are; if we sing, shout, dance, wave flags, cry, crank up the volume … he really doesn’t care at all, as long as he has our worship. But, aren’t those things our worship to God?


When Jesus was at the end of His forty days in the wilderness, in his weakest moment satan came and tempt Him. After two failed attempts, and showing Jesus all the nations of the earth, satan said, “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.”


Sound familiar nowadays? You can have your freedom back, if you just do what we ask!


But the same is actually true for I AM - the only One who holds the sceptre of sovereignty in His hand, He only wants our worship. He does, though, for a very different reason, and His approach to us isn’t through paths of destruction and fear, brought on by threat, bribery, or coercion - nor is it through paths of human achievement. On the contrary.


Our Father, I AM, loves us deeply, and He knows that in our brokenness it is impossible for us to be righteous, so He did things differently. In the hope that we would know how deep, how wide, and how high His love and kindness are for us, He provided us with a free gift, and gave us the choice to give our worship to Him.


This free gift? Complete forgiveness for all of our brokenness that separated us from Him. All we have to do is accept it. Yes, it is that easy.


Except, it wasn’t free, nor easy, for everyone. The cost was on Him, and it cost Him His son.


Stark, the difference. And we all have to choose.


Now doing child things, I was learning what Jesus meant when He said to humble my heart and become like a child. I stood at the window, and as I allowed it, the disconnect between life, music, and worship began to reveal what was outside that window.


I’ve since had countless conversations around both music and worship, and they almost always ended up in the same place. By far the most common, and now expected, response, is, “Yes, music is not the only form of worship, but it’s one of them.”


My encouragement to you as you read on through the following posts, is to try and resist making that statement your filter. It’s okay, you won’t go to hell. And, by the end I think you’ll understand why this discussion is important in these last days.


Music is not one of the expressions of worship, worship has only one expression. What each person does, or is capable of doing, in response to that expression will vary greatly; but how much of even that, is chasing the wind?


“For now, we see through a glass, dimly; but then, face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”


How beautiful. But that isn’t to say that we can’t ask God to clean the windows so that we can see more clearly - He’s already said that He won’t do anything unless He first reveals it to us.




 


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