Dear Worship Leader, Stop Trying to Prove Yourself | David Santistevan



I’ve been chewing on these thoughts for a week now… I think all people– worship leaders, or not… need to hear this afresh today!

>>”If you move God’s heart in secret, you’ll have a greater authority when you lead in public. Spiritual authority doesn’t come from personality, talent, or hard work. It comes from someone who has known and continues to know the goodness of God.”<<

Source: Dear Worship Leader, Stop Trying to Prove Yourself | David Santistevan

Advertisements

Beautiful Hardships

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.14.29 AMToday as I sit trying to get a good picture of our year as a church… I begin to take inventory of some of our music. August to August… I start marking the recent service dates by the hardship that was occurring when we chose these songs together.

Sadness filled me as I thought, “Oh this song was picked through many tears…”, “This one happened when, _______…”.

But these times of hardship as church- marked in the annals of our software- have taught me something about God’s love.

He was there then… and we got through it. One foot in front of the other, as a church. He is here now as I write and reflect.

As I gaze over these dates, songs, prayers, lighting and audio notes… I realize that back then, something amazing happened. People on differing sides of arguments agreed to disagree. We ALL held hands during “the Lord’s Prayer”… and even hugged and cried together.

We all bowed the knee at the altar together.

Why can’t our software depict these moments?

As I make my list…. I just had to stop and remember this major monument to God’s grace and goodness in our lives. FBC… I treasure this year with you. I treasure the things God has done, the times we hit the ground in prayer together, shaken by hardships. These are beautiful hardships… because God is found there.

God never said we would always agree. He never said the entire Bible is black and white… our theology may sometimes not line up, leaving frustrations and questions. Relationships were never easy in Bible times, and they’re not now.

But we know in our future, we never have to go it alone…. God will be there in the future just like He is now.

The only difference will be that our FAITH will be bigger next time around.

We can smile and have joy, through tears, knowing God never changes.

Dream Big, Sustain that Joy.

I think that joy is different than happiness because happiness is circumstantial.

Joy is hard to sustain. It just plain is.

I want to encourage you today that when surrounded by negativity… don’t miss a beat. Don’t fixate on the negative you hear. Just keep personifying joy through trials. {Tweet}

Focus your efforts on who God says you are; because, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

Screenshot 2015-07-08 12.34.26

Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

God Is For You (Just ask Samuel)

Samuel

I always identified with Samuel as a child. Not that my mom dropped me off to live in a temple… or that I was a boy… or that my name was Sam… but just the “called by God” part.

I loved his boldness! He didn’t CHOOSE grow up literally in the church– God and his mother had an amazing relationship and that’s just how he ended up there.

But as I said a while back, I have been reading through the Bible this year, yesterday was the book of 1 Samuel.

I love how God brings out new things each time we seek Him through His word. God speaks in the book of Deuteronomy that prophets’ words had to come true, or else they were considered a false prophet.

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deuteronomy 18:22

God also said that not many people heard directly from God after Moses and Joshua, unless the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. Pretty cool stuff.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 1 Samuel 3:1

So I’ve always wondered why God allowed Samuel to get up three times before Eli realized God was asking him to converse with him.

To me, if Eli hadn’t witnessed Samuel directly hearing from God… then he wouldn’t have taken the upcoming bad news as God’s words. He would’ve probably been angry with Samuel and called him a false prophet (poor kid… right?!).

So God has a conversation with Samuel that night. He tells Samuel that Eli’s sons’ sin was noticed and since Eli turned a blind eye, they would all pay the price.

The next morning, Samuel was afraid (rightfully so) to tell Eli. But because Eli witnessed that it was the Lord speaking the night before, he is eager to hear what the word from God was.

But God protects his righteous. Eli urges Samuel not to lie to him.. to tell him everything God said. So Samuel delivers Eli the terrible news, and Eli says, “Well… He IS God.” (pretty much.)

I love verse 19 and on.

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. 1 Samuel 3:19-21

All we need to do in tough situations is do exactly what God tells us to do… no more, no less. He will take care of the details!

“I Can Count on You”…

No matter what you’re going through today…. is it possible part of the root of your fear | panic | worry | heartache | disappointment is that you don’t really  know if God’s “got this”? Circumstances hurt. Saying “I’m fully letting go”… ? Sounds impossible. I am still repeating this prayer right now. I definitely am not there.

But together… can we sing this and pray it? Even if you’re just trying to give it over….

I’m holding on to hope
I’m holding on to grace
I’m fully letting go….
I’m surrendered to Your ways
The anchor for my soul
Father You will never change

In every season, in every change
You are near
In every sorrow,
You are my strength
You are near

A peace in the storm
Your voice I will follow
In weakness I rise
Remembering You hold my world

I’m holding on to hope
I’m holding on to grace
I’m fully letting go….
I’m surrendered to Your ways

The anchor for my soul
Father You will never change

I love You, I love You

My great Redeemer,
My constant Friend
You are near
My faithful Father,
You took me in
You are near

I will remember Your promise forever
My Strength, my Defender
I can count on You
I CAN COUNT ON YOU-
Savior, My Hope and my Shelter
Your love is forever
I can count on You

Supernatural

 SoundWave

I have a testimony to share.

It’s a recent event that has changed my life- a prayer meeting. I meet weekly with a group in Midland that worships + prays for the persecuted Church. I’ve been with them almost 6 months. A friend knew that I suffered from an anxiety disorder, and offered to pray over me in the group. I said sure! They anointed my head, hands, and feet with oil, laid hands on me, and prayed for about 15 minutes. I didn’t feel any different, other than feeling loved by this amazing group and loved beyond compare by my Savior.

I really wouldn’t know if I was “healed” or not until somewhat nerve-wracking situations arose. And as I’m sure many of you readers know, nerve-wracking situations are bound to crop up. These past few weeks I did feel different.

The only way I can accurately describe it is like using a buffer  plugin for peaking and clipping in audio mixing. I feel like God placed a protective “ceiling” on my anxiety levels. now I feel His peace. Now, it’s not necessarily a conscious effort on my part. It’s like He is whispering to me, “I (The LORD) will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14).

It’s in times like these I am reminded just how supernatural our God is. He hears- he’s running interference behind the scenes for his BELOVED! His chosen and righteous ones- He loves and stands up for.

Psalm 34 (emphasis added)
Please read slowly and carefully:

“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he {delivered} me from all my fears. 
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he {saved} him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he {delivers} them. 
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are {attentive} to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD {hears} them; he {delivers} them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and {saves} those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD {delivers} him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes {refuge} in him.”

I just love these parts, because I feel like I could’ve literally written this along with the psalmist out of my troubles: “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he {delivered} me from all my fears. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he {delivers} them. 

Wow. The idea that God would send angels to camp out in loving protection over me is almost too much for my heart to bear. He loves me that much??

I added brackets around how many times the psalmist made note of God delivering, saving, or hearing and rescuing His saints. Re-read those if you want. The Bible is chocked FULL of God delivering us. {Tweet this quote!}

Testimonies are for all to hear and be encouraged. If I can pray for you to have similar healing– please don’t hesitate to use my contact page, or to drop a comment here in the boxes below!

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13