My whole family is incredibly talented in some area. My brother does amazing video work and has worked with many large ministries, my oldest sister is an incredible pianist and musician, my other sister has a beautiful voice and my parents excel in their fields. There are many others in my extended family that also have impressive giftings. There’s even a bona-fide genius in my extended family. I’m not even kidding. One word: MENSA. I even married an extremely talented man. Anyone who knows my husband cannot doubt he has giftings that are quite unique. God gave me talents as well, but I always felt inadequate in the presence of all these other gifted people. I felt…insecure.
While I play the piano and sing (among other things), I struggle a lot more in my techniques than others in my family. Here’s the kicker: THAT’S OK. My problem over the course of my life is my reaction to that fact. I didn’t need someone to say, ”Oh you’re just as good as ______.” Rather, I needed someone to say, “Yep. They’re more talented than you in that area, but you know what. It doesn’t matter. God can still use you. He has a purpose in the way He designed you.” Maybe someone did, but I just didn't get it yet. Then came adulthood and the call to ministry.
Nothing revealed my insecurities more than starting out in ministry as a young twenty-something. The thing is, when you go to lead praise and worship, it is an incredibly vulnerable place to be because it’s like you’re letting people in on your relationship with God….on a stage. For this shy gal, that’s a big deal. In the beginning, I always felt a ceiling, as if I couldn’t quite touch God while on stage in the way I could in my private prayer life. However, I realized it was just me...trying: trying to hit the notes perfectly; trying to get the congregation energized in their praise or having close moments with God in worship. When the scripture says that He inhabits the praises of His people, that's what I wanted to have happen. But…it wasn’t. Naturally, and I mean naturally, carnally, in my own mind, I thought there was something wrong with me or my technique. I beat myself up and tried harder. It still wasn’t genuine like I wanted it to be. The harder I tried, the worse it became.
I was heartbroken that it wasn’t flowing like I knew it could, like I saw it happening in my heart. So, I decided to let go of everything I knew. I focused more on where my heart was when leading than how I was leading and I realized that although my motivation had been about serving God, my mind had patterns of people pleasing that had me bound. I talked to God and said that I didn't care what they thought of me or even what I thought of me. All that mattered was who HE is and to focus solely on that in the moment. I repented for anything in my heart that caused a hindrance and just asked Him to use me. One day, I felt a shift happen and the anointing of God moved through me. Instead of just my gifts, suddenly that scripture was manifested in that moment and He truly was inhabiting my praise. I felt the power of God in the room and the people responded to God in a way I had not seen before when I led. Thank God, He moved! I got to actually be used to make an impact! It was truly a glorious moment.
That moment helped solidify in me that it was His Spirit working through me and not my gifts that would touch the hearts of the people. What a relief! It felt so different and more wonderful than before. I was physically tired afterwards because when He moved through me I truly gave my ALL. That was a long time ago, and there have certainly been the ups and downs in life that have affected my leadership, but I can always come back to the simple truth of the glory of His anointing and His presence. Truly nothing else matters in worship.
If you struggle with insecurity in serving God, let go. Repent. I was in pride masked as humbleness, thinking God choosing to move through me actually had anything to do with my abilities. It really doesn’t. It’s truly about the heart. His heart, beating through you, touching all of those around you.