Confessions of an Unlikely Worship Leader: When Affirmation Comes
Last week, I led worship at the healing rooms. My friend who plays flute came and helped me. It was amazing. The glory of God was so thick that we were crying like babies; we had a fire-tunnel, a huge release of the prophetic word and visions, and lots of ministry. I was so grateful to the Holy Spirit for ministering to us like that.
And here’s what I’ve been reflecting about all week:
Affirmation seems to come most when you no longer desire it.
See, I’m a words-of-affirmation girl. That’s my love language. Kind words are really important to me; and the lack thereof can be kind of hurtful sometimes.
And for a long time, when I started leading worship, nobody really said much.
Sure, they said, “Thanks for bringing your piano tonight.” Which is better than nothing, and I’m grateful for every “thank you.” (Carrying a piano around is no fun, let me assure you.)
But what my “inner me” wanted to hear was, “Jamie, I felt the presence of the Lord tonight more than ever before and I feel completely different now than I did when I came in.” Or, “Jamie, when you worship, I am instantly ushered into the presence of God.” That’s my definition of success for myself as a musician: to inspire other people to want to worship, whether I am leading or not. I want to see Jesus, and lift Him up so that others can see Him too.
I want the atmosphere of Heaven to saturate my life so that people are instantly changed by His presence whenever they even get near me. That’s my goal.
Related: 21 Days to the Manifest Presence of God
But these words weren’t really coming and so I just learned to ignore that desire. I wasn’t offended about it. I just learned to let my affirmation come from the manifest presence of the Lord, not from the words of men. God is clearly pleased when He shows up and shows out, which He has been doing for a long time. So I took His presence as a sign that I was doing ok.
But that desire to be affirmed hasn’t gone away. It’s who I am; it’s how I’m wired.
So lately, after I lead worship, I have ever-so-hesitantly begun to take that desire to the Lord. I’ve admitted to Him that I want to know by words if He is pleased with me or not. I’m Daddy’s girl, right? So it’s safe to tell Him that. He made me that way.
And the first time I did this, before I could even finish my prayer, I heard Him say to me, “I loved it!”
That’s all it took. I got more wasted for Him than ever. My Heavenly Father is so good to me. All the words of affirmation I will ever need come from Him, if I will let Him speak to me.
And the funniest thing has started to happen:
Since I stopped ignoring my need for words of affirmation, and took that desire to the Father instead, I’ve felt completely fulfilled by His words. And you know what? All of a sudden, people have started to say the nicest things to me. They’ve said those things I’ve hoped were true all this time: about sensing the presence of the Lord, and feeling His ministry, and seeing Jesus in me.
The words came when I no longer needed them… (from men, anyway). I guess my Father was waiting all that time to make sure I learned to receive my fulfillment from Him, and not from men. He’s the only one I can count on.
Have you ever received your desire from the Lord after you stopped seeking it from men? This could be in any area. I’d love to hear about it if so; please leave a comment below.