Saturday, April 18, 2009

Backward Praise, Down the Road a Bit

I was a kids' worship leader for almost 20 years--long enough that it became incredibly natural and easy for me to do. In the last five years of that ministry, God laid it on my heart to raise up youth to lead the younger kids in the same way. So I began leading from the stage less and directing from the floor more. As a result, I had to learn all the motions backwards. (Yes, I'm in a very contemporary church where we do lots of ACTIVE hand motions and choreography to our songs).

If I hadn't shown the motions backwards, the youth leading on the stage would've been all confused, hands and flip-flops flying every which direction. It took intense concentration and EXtremely intentional thinking for me to be able to do the motions both ways. It may sound easy, but...NOT!

This emulates my 'daily living' worship as well. It is so easy for me to spend time in the Word, soaking it up, applying it, teaching it, writing it. It's quite another to mirror the Word to others. It takes extreme focus on my part, as well as intentional surrender to the Holy Spirit. Sounds so simple when I'm reading it and praying it, but...NOT!

James 1:22-25 (NIV) 
Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. 
Do what is says. 
Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says
is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, 
after looking at himself, 
goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 
But the man who looks intently into the perfect Law 
that gives freedom, and continues to do this, 
not forgetting what he has heard but doing it-
-he will be blessed in what he does.
My friends, pause & ponder this: Are you living a life of backward praise?

11 friends shared a comment:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've been doing a lot of looking the mirror this week...

a time of painful pause for me.

I am a weary pilgrim today; thanks for this.


Brook said...

This Scripture has become more real to me in the last several months. Maybe it was because of a song by DC talk in the 90s, but my college friends and I used to call one another out - as hypocrites. Well, I was on that road again until my this passage stopped me in my tracks. Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

Very thought provoking my friend.

Joanne Sher said...

Backward praise. Much to ponder. I pray I AM doing just this.

Yvonne said...

Very interesting perspective!

We don't know who is watching us as we live day by day. I hope my life isn't confusing to others...

Wow..I need to think about this more!


Joan said...

That's so true. I had to do the same leading VBS music. It's much harder than it looks, but so worth the effort. Seeing the kids really get the gospel and understanding how to apply the Word to their lives is probably one of my rewarding service experiences.

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post.

Alleluiabelle said...

What a great message! The next time I look into the mirror, I want to be "the man who looks intently into the perfect Law
that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does."

Powerful post.


Melanie said...

What a great reminder to us that others are always watching and we should be mirroring our heavenly Father!

LisaShaw said...

Thank you precious soul for the reminder and for a bit of conviction! That's always good because it promotes us (ME) drawing closer to the LORD, examining myself as He reveals 'areas' to me that need His touch and my obedience.

Love you.

Susan said...

Wow, what a great illustration of such truth!

Didn't know you were a worship leader, how awesome!!!

I guess I could of figured it out by your title, I'm slow!!

Hope you had a blessed weekend, I sure did♥

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I loved the visual and the scriptures. Thank you for sharing with us all.