Sunday, July 3, 2016: Look Up And Sing (a guest post by Heather Gilion)

This week’s post is written by LifePoint Band member Heather Gilion. Heather and her husband Dallas have been serving in the musical worship ministry at LifePoint since its beginning in 2004. They have two awesome kiddos and live here in Ozark. Heather has also co-authored the book Dancing on My Ashes: Learning to Love the One Who Gives And Takes Away with her sister Holly. She and Holly blog regularly at dancingonmyashes.com

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

What Worship Is About

In the world around us these past few weeks, we couldn’t hide from it even if we tried—bad news and bad news… followed by more bad news. I could feel my heart grieving without hope. Fear shoved hope to the side and told her to start packing. Even the prayers I was praying felt anchored in despair rather than confidence in the One who holds all things together (Col. 1:17). I scrolled through Facebook overwhelmed by the tragic headlines and just then a new-to-me song came on my Pandora station:

For we trust in our God

And through His unfailing love

We will not be shaken,

We will not be shaken,

We will not be shaken…

(We Will Not Be Shaken, Bethel Music)

And just like that, I could breathe again. I remember that as I inhaled the song, peace filled the room. I got teary as the truth filled my ears and my heart joined the chorus. It was as if by His Spirit, He gently lifted my chin, causing me to look up. God helped me see. Truth silences our fears, our hopelessness and our doubts. Indeed worship is not about us and our circumstances—it is solely about God and who He is—BUT it’s when we look up, that He unravels us, helps us see a little more clearly, and He takes His rightful throne in our hearts. Our circumstances may or may not change. There’s no doubt our emotions will change. But God will never change. Sometimes (and often) we need to be reminded of this fact.

I started praying a simple prayer about 16 years ago: “Lord, help me see.”

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:9)

Let me point out two guys that must’ve been praying the same prayer.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)

Paul and Silas were imprisoned and they were praying and singing. If I put myself in their shoes I think I’d be praying too, but it would probably be more like, “Why God, Whhhhhyyyyy?” So they were praying? I get it. But singing? Really?

Yes.

They had their gaze upward and even though their hands were chained, their hearts and lips were free. Their gaze was not inward or outward, it was upward. Are you looking up? What are you up against? What circumstances in your life, or maybe in someone else’s life, make you feel helpless or even hopeless? Have you lifted your gaze upward? Have you taken time to pray? Have you asked, “God, I know what it looks like around here with my own eyes, but can you help me see?”

Have you sang?

As a worship leader, one has a different vantage point than most. Those who lead corporate worship typically sing on a stage in front of others, while loving on God and encouraging the congregation to do the same. To be honest, I can get lost in the first part, but there are times when He says, “Look. Open your eyes.” And I see—I see these faces before me. I see you—us—in this thing together. I’ve witnessed some beautiful God-moments. I’ve seen the new widow sing praises to her God. I’ve seen the lost saved. I’ve seen the hopeless regain strength as they sing of God’s faithfulness. I’ve seen weary faces fill with joy. I’ve seen knees kneel at the altar in repentance. I’ve witness tears brought forth by a God who is near. I’ve become emotional as I observed an embrace that spoke of humility and reconciliation.

All of that beauty played out as guitars were strummed and voices were raised. God was giving sight because lives change when we look not to what is seen, but to the unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). Obviously, only God sees a heart, but there are other faces that tell a different story. There are hints of hard hearts, apathy, boredom and sadness. I recognize them because I’ve been there as well. I’ve been the one mad at God, making it in the doors only to choose not to sing a word. I’ve been the one hopeless, keeping God at arms length. I’ve been the one more concerned with where I was going to eat after church than being fed in His presence. “Oh Lord, give us eyes to see!”

So, church, as we gather this Sunday: Look up and sing your song! Paul and Silas weren’t the first to sing and we won’t be the last. So let’s join the chorus of praise to our King! Sing for He is good. He is near. He is true. He is with you. Set your eyes on the unseen, for He has and will do great things among us!

Songs for Sunday, July 03, 2016:

This Is Amazing Grace
As performed by Bethel Music

Hallelujah! What A Savior
As performed by Austin Stone Worship

Man Of Sorrows
As performed by Hillsong Worship

The Solid Rock
As performed by Austin Stone Worship

God Undefeatable
As performed by Austin Stone Worship

About Tyler Greene (155 Articles)
Tyler Greene is the Associate Pastor of Worship Ministries for LifePoint Church in Ozark, MO.

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