I would like you to meet my friend Jessica Smallman and introduce her debut post! Listen to her beautiful heart on the subject of worship.
THE DAY WORSHIP BECAME MY NEW NORMAL
BY JESSICA SMALLMAN
You hear amazing claims from advertisements saying “You’ll see phenomenal results in just 5 easy workouts!” or “ 10 steps to ultimate success!” or “Take 3 times a day for better health!” I have learned that claims like those do NOT apply to piano lessons. I took piano lessons when I was a child for about 10 years and stopped playing for the last 15 years. Lately, I have fallen in love with music once again, and through that experience, worship became my new normal. Here’s how it happened.
I opened my box of piano books and chose one of my favorite songs. The Music Box Dancer. Well, I quickly discovered that any notes off the staff were totally unknown. So, I put that song away and got out something else. It was a struggle because I desired to awaken this long lost skill but it just wasn’t happening. I’d practice for an hour, only to find that the next time I sat down to play I had to start all over again. My aunt told me that her kids learned chording when they took piano lessons and thought that method would be super easy for me to learn. So I watched tutorials, printed off a chord charts, and got started. I could finally play, but it sounded very clunky and not smooth at all. I knew that I needed more help if I was ever going to make a joyful noise to the Lord! So off to lessons I went! I improved exponentially and now I can’t have enough hours in the day to practice. I went from being frustrated with my instrument, to it being one of my favorite ways to worship! My music creates inaudible words that my mind and heart don’t understand, but God hears it, and sorts it all out.
After practicing worship songs for two hours straight, a thought hit me. What if I apply this much effort to my relationship with God? What if I was reading His word, praying with Him, and spending one on one time only meditating on Him? What would the results of this effort look like?
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Intimate worship. There is simply no better place to be than in His presence, continually washed by His grace. Swimming in His sea of redemption. Being surrounded by His protection. Feeling His embrace and seeking His comfort. Knowing the security of being engulfed in His sanctification. Shall I go on? Oh friend, I urge you to pick up your Bible, blow the dust off, throw up your hands to heaven in worship and shout, “JESUS I’M ALL YOURS! REVEAL YOURSELF IN NEW WAYS TO ME THAT LEAVE ME LONGING FOR OUR NEXT TIME TOGETHER-UNTIL WE'RE NEVER APART AGAIN!”
What passion needs to awaken inside your soul that will enable you to worship God more intimately? I pray the Holy Spirit will awaken that desire and begin using it to draw you deeper and deeper into His love. You see, He loves our worship and He delights in our expressions of love for Him. Even when it is clunky and unpolished. Chase it! Pursue your God given gift and use it to worship Jesus! My dear friend this might not be easy but it is eternally rewarding! God will not let His Daughter down and you won’t want to go back to who you were before.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150
When it comes to playing the piano, everyone has heard the common phrase “practice makes perfect”. Yes, the more I played and applied the new skills I was learning, the more enjoyable practice time became. This is a true concept in your relationship with Christ as well. The more time you spend with Him, the stronger you will grow and the more He shines through you. This becomes your new normal. It is my new normal. This is where I am and I struggled to get here. But I praise the Lord each day that He’s always the same, and lovingly brings His word to life before my very eyes.
I can’t wait to meet you on the other side! I can’t wait to hear how your walk with Christ became a reality the day He awakened your soul and through His word, worship became your new normal.