I am convinced that Satan was determined to destroy our worship service yesterday – but in spite of his efforts the Lord blessed us with a worshipful morning, and I for one walked away feeling blessed and spiritually refreshed. Spiritual warfare absolutely takes place in ministry, and it’s such an exciting thing to watch the Lord win victory over victory!
As soon as I pulled into the church parking lot, someone ran up to the car to tell me that our soloist for the day was sick and wasn’t coming. Strike One.
We also had a video related to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for the church to view, and for some reason the audio connection was creating extreme feedback… it was nearly time for the service to begin and our sound techs were still scrambling to fix this audio problem. Strike Two.
Finally, there was icy sleet outside, which kept many from coming out and risking the icy roads. Our choir was about half its normal size, and so was the congregation. Strike Three.
Breathing a prayer, I walked up to the piano to start the service even though I could still hear a faint buzz coming through our sound monitors. But then… we experienced a miracle.
The buzz disappeared, those gathered sang out with worshipful hearts, the video played without a single hiccup, and when it came time for special music the small choir we did have each took a microphone, forming a large praise team, and led our congregation to the throne of God.
We sang Just As I Am by Travis Cottrell. We had been working on it, but none of us knew we’d be singing it when we walked into church that morning! As we sang, however, the words just took on an entirely new meaning.
There we were, standing before God’s throne in a moment of weakness. People were out, we were having technological difficulties, we had scrambled to put together a last minute number for special music. As the song said, we came broken to be mended, we came empty to be filled…
And fill us He did. In the midst of our human infirmities, the Holy Spirit touched our song and flooded our hearts with His joy.
Isn’t that what worship is, after all? There’s nothing we have to offer that the Lord could possibly need. No, instead we come after a long week, running on empty – and pray that He will revive our spirits and renew our strength.
And He always shows up. Praise God, we are welcomed into His presence week after week… just as we are.
Just As I Am – Travis Cottrell
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come
Just as I am, I would be lost
But mercy and grace my freedom bought
And now to glory in Your cross
Oh Lamb of God I come, I come
I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am