By: Susan Browning
I want to be the one that always says “yes” when He asks.
I remember when I was in my teens I was part of a bible study with incredible leaders in the next few generations above me… (Pause here and note: it’s so important to do life with other generations [above and those to come] – there is richness to be found in those places. Glean from them, learn by osmosis, ask questions, hear their stories – those who have gone before you have paved the path for you to worship as freely as you do today, for you to be where you are today has been forged upon their footprints).
…This bible study was around “standing in the gap” – what it meant to lead the next generation, their children, work on their marriages, to lives of worship in every sphere. A lady I admired greatly said with such sincerity, “We need to step into the gap. That is what worship is. It’s having the courage to stand – inviting others in and being the voice for those who can’t. And when we don’t, we miss out on what it is God has called us to share into.” Or something to that effect. She was referring to the story in Ezekiel where God says to His people: “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one…” and so the land was destroyed (Ez 22:30-31).
I often struggle with these passages in the Bible where destruction has occurred. But it’s written here for us to learn from, and I want to learn so history doesn’t have to repeat itself again and again, and because I don’t believe God is a wrathful God. But, He does love with a gentle ferocity, in the pursuit and the grace founded in the desire to connect with us. I believe Jesus has built a bridge for us in His sacrifice, so we need not fear destruction when we have seasons where we’re more absent from His presence. But there is little fruit when we live distant from Him.
So often our Sunday gatherings are part moments of intentionality, and part habit. No one gets a microphone to lead worship by accident. You are there with purpose. Destined to lead others for that specific moment. To lead from your wealth of overflow – whatever season you are in. Likewise, those who show up on Sunday aren’t there by accident either, they arrive with what they have come carrying. A room of unknown weight to us. There lays before us a unique opportunity each time we lead to go before, to plough the ground and invite our people along with us into the depths of His heart. Because as the leader, you get to go there first. You and your team, all leading together forge and fight for new ground, for what is needed to overcome. To mark the territory, as it were and build the haven for others to enter in and come before their King. You lead with what you have in any given season, these beautiful moments marked out unlike any other in history. It’s here I pray you have a desire to grow more in intimacy with Him, because we never graduate from worship. It’s never complete or accomplished or ticked off our list. It’s a perpetual pursuit.
We have such a great responsibility as worship leaders to stand in the gap for others, drawing them deeper into His presence and guiding peoples eyes to avert their circumstance and shift their sight towards Him – we want to be the “ones” He searches for in Ezekiel. The ones who intercede, who gather, who pave the way, who cultivate the culture of a life lived whole with the heart of worship. Not just on Sundays. And certainly not in our own strength. True, healthy and forging leadership is only birthed from relationship, from intimacy with Christ.
A life of worship IS relationship. It IS being in His presence, pursuing time and making room. It IS leaning in to the moment and seeing His IS in every single one. He is beckoning us to come away with Him on the reg. To yield and to adore. Not to fulfil His ego, but because His masterpieces – you and I – were made in fact to be celebrated, loved on and adored by Him. We mirror our Father’s heart, we echo Heaven’s heartbeat when we live our lives in worship. Worship isn’t a slow ballad. It isn’t the free space created in 16 bars of music. It isn’t the orchestrated service on pointe. It certainly isn’t a 1 hour a week on Sunday thing. It IS pure, it IS true, it IS holy (set apart) time, it IS the sacred bond of His heart to yours. To mine.
I recall sitting in my room in those beautiful youthful spacious years journaling with longing and praying with such fervour the passage from Isaiah 6:8…
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
You need someone to fill the gap Lord – to stand in prayer, to fight like a warrior, to worship authentically, to intercede for others? You need someone to get their brave on and do things in ways no one else has, to pioneer and take new ground? You need someone to stand at their post and stay faithful in the small? You need someone to be your rep, your hands, your feet? You need someone to simply GO? You need someone to have the courage to say yes?… Well, that’s me. I want that. I wanted then, I want that now, and I want that in my 80s. I want to be the one who has a heart like David – after His; who has courage to faithfully pursue what Heaven has seeded in my heart. I want to be the one You say was faithful. Until the end. I want to run this race with all I have, I want to love like no one else. I want this. Pick me. Choose me. Send me.
I know I cannot be alone here. I know this prayer reverberates throughout this generation. Through many of you. And I know He is asking it of us today. I believe He is calling us to stand – united, undeterred, “yes”-ready. With bravery to remain in pursuit of what He has seeded in your heart. To follow the call. His call.
So when He comes seeking the ones throughout the land we can collectively stand and say, “I will be the one. Send me.” And His Spirit will be poured out in ways beyond our imagination.
Article supplied with thanks to Susan Browning.
About the Author: Susan is a worship leader, vocal coach and mentor encouraging you to be all you can be in fulfilling your purpose.