A love for music came early in my life. The earliest memories are of a tiny record player, my momma gave me. I was maybe 4 or 5? The base of the record player was white and the top which folded down like a briefcase was light blue with a large, colorful air balloon painted right in the center. Attached to the side of the record player was my favorite piece, a black cord and at the end of it, a microphone.
My favorite song at the time was, “La de la Mochila Azul” translated: “The One with the Blue Backpack,” by Pedrito Fernandez. I played it over and over again until it was ingrained to my memory. The song is about a boy who couldn’t concentrate on anything but one thing, the little girl with the blue backpack. My grandpa would quietly stand in the doorway of the little room I shared with my momma and say, “Andale, canta me una cancion” in English it means “Come on, sing me a song.”
Many people say that God speaks to them through music. I certainly agree. As a worshipper, I have learned God does speak through music and music allows me to speak to God.
The first worship song I sang in front of an audience was in the fall of 1990, “El Shaddai” by Amy Grant. I didn’t think twice about singing a worship song in a public school. I loved the song and felt it suited my range well. The evening of the talent show, I handed my cassette tape over to my choir director and stepped out on the concrete stage of the amphitheater. After the talent show, a couple of friends said they couldn’t believe I had the courage to sing “that song.” At the time, I didn’t know what they meant. Looking back today, I know, on that warm night under the Texas stars, God sealed me for a purpose.
“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are mere mortals that you should think about them? (Psalm 8:3, New Living Translation)
The Google definition of worship is, “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.” God created each of us individually and with our uniqueness comes the ability to worship Him with our own abilities. Exodus 35-36 talks about two men named Bezalel and Oholiab. God gifted them with special talents in craftsmanship. God gave them these gifts for a special purpose; in this case it was for the building of the Tabernacle.
“So the people of Israel – every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses – brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.” (Exodus 35-36)
Reading through Exodus 35-36, the Lord revealed that acts of worship come in all styles. Singing, dancing, quilting, painting, jewelry making, building, planning, knitting, crocheting, cooking, baking, journaling, cleaning, playing sports, carrying heavy items, organizing, writing, anointing, praying, counting, playing an instrument, remembering, software development, gardening, animal husbandry, giving, the list goes on and on and looks different for everyone because God wants us to use our natural talents to worship Him.
When focusing on your personal worship style, considering practicing the following characteristics:
- Submission: The action of yielding. Practicing the discipline of Submission will allow us to see the Holy Spirit at work.
“I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.” (Exodus 20:6)
- Reverence: Deep respect. Having an attitude of “awe” in our offering brings an emotional and intimate connection to God.
“Oh that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did they and their descendants would prosper forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29)
- Service: The action of helping. God loves a peaceful and joyful giver.
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” (Hebrews 13:16)
My grandpa no longer stands quietly listening at the doorway urging me to sing him a song. I still hear those words though, “Andale, canta me una cancion” but now, they come from the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we love You. Let everything we do, bring you honor. Amen.