Worship Under Pressure

By Debbi Shotlow
Worship Leader
September 25, 2023

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Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT) - “Even though the fig tree has no blossoms, and there are not grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength. He will make me as surefooted as a deer (or give me the speed of a deer) and bring me sagely over the mountains.”

As soon as I became a Christian, my faith was tested. Since I’ve been a worship leader, the testing has seemed to intensify. I’d like to share some things with you that I have learned to do under extreme situations, and at times, in not so extreme situations. Nevertheless, it has not come easy and I don’t always pass the test. The one thing I have made up my mind to do is, worship the Lord under pressure as we are commanded to do in Psalms 34:1, "I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually come out of my mouth.”

We all go through stuff common to man. I Peter 1:7 states, “When our faith remains strong after being tried by the fiery trials, the result will be praise, glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” When we are going through stuff, we don’t want to wait for Jesus to return - we want relief now! As far as the fiery darts that are being thrown at us from the fiery trials, Ephesians 6:12 is very clear on who might be throwing them! “It is not people made of flesh and blood, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realm.” As you are reading this, there might be an immediate reaction of, “Yes, but my situation is too much to bear, it’s too heavy for me, and I can’t take this stuff anymore.” Hold on and listen to the story of a king who was faced with the same hopeless situation.

II Chron. 20:1-30 tells of the situation of King Jehoshaphat who was so alarmed about what was coming up against him, that he sought the Lord for guidance. The word of the Lord came to him by way of a Levite named Jahaziel telling him of the victory to come. The King’s response to what the man of God told him was to “worship God.” Verse 18 states that King Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground. The King then appointed singers to walk ahead of the trouble, singing to the LORD and praising Him for His holy splendor: “Hallelujah, Glory to God, His love endures forever. So good is our God.” Needless to say, this story ends by God seeing them through because God got the victory.

Here’s your encouragement - We are just like Jahaziel! We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. We are His own instruments to do His work, speak out for him, and to tell others of the night and day difference He made for you. From nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. (I Peter 2:9 & 10, The Message Bible)

The trials have another purpose, they are a camouflage that allows our minds to get off of the One we are to focus on, Jesus - the center of our joy. Remember that He is our provider, our help in a time of trouble, our Rock and our Fortress. This distraction is staged to take us away from His presence, where we have always found joy. We cannot let anything or anyone take us away from the One who can take care of everything. The trial is there to see where our loyalties are...who do we really worship!

In our personal worship life, we must catch the truth that the people that we lead in worship go through the same exact things as we experience. As leaders we show by example that we have the victory by worshipping the Lord with our very lives on the front lines, and blessing the Lord at all times no matter what happens.

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