While preparing for the Love Reigns conference, we started to discuss the worship. I have for years hated canned worship, live or not. It isn’t really about being obvious and predictable, but more about having no heart. It’s like it is void of reality, even if the words are correct. Another example would be this blog or our podcasts. They each have evidence of a living God in real lives. They’re tangible because they aren’t contrived. A word I give each post and episode is “genuine.”
As we listened to a few songs, we heard Michael W. Smith’s rendition of Agnus Dei. He has two versions: one is studio produced, and the other is live. I wanted everyone to hear the difference between the two, because the Spirit has moved on me during the live version. We’ve actually used that version in one of our past conferences. So we played both songs and I occasionally glanced at Martha. She was moved to tears at the studio version and amazingly, the live version, while nice, was spiritually flat. I was confused; my point was failing to pan out.
Well, later that day I asked my Father to tell me what happened. He so clearly stated, “It’s not what it is, but Who.” Wow, Dad! So I was shored up to see – and grateful for it – that it isn’t about what is being played but Who is directing it. If God chose to use a group of 4 year olds singing Jesus Loves Me, or for that matter, Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah, what is that to me? My focus and desire is for Him! Where He is pleased is the presence of His anointing. What a major lesson.
I go about this world with this motivation, “Where are You today?” When I was heavily focused on photography, my attention was looking at what He had in His view. I even made this statement on my personal website: “I believe that there are many gorgeous views which no one is privy to, existing for God alone. But when He chooses to invite me in and we see it together, this is ART whether my camera is present or not.” So whether I am walking through a crowd, reading a book, or watching a movie, I do it to see Him. I look for Him everywhere and this must translate into every aspect of life, especially the worship at the upcoming conference (Love Reigns).
So I don’t know what the worship will be at the conference, but I can tell you how I’ll pray. Who, Lord?! Not who sings or what songs sound good. Not what might be palatable to guests, but where does Your Spirit choose to rest. That might even be silence . . .
At the end of the day, the final question is: What will bring You pleasure and how will You be made glad? Though I hope to see you all in March, I more want to see Him and a smile on His face!