Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant - there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing - and keeping the unknown always beyond you...
— Georgia O'Keefe

I was recently asked a question that made me think about my process as a worship leader. How do I lead? Why do I lead the way I do? What gives weight to what I do?

As I struggled to find the words to communicate my heart behind what I do, I found myself making it more complicated than it really is. I found myself trying to translate to Christianese to make it conclusive. But the reality is, it isn't something I consciously think about, I didn't intentionally choose to lead worship. My history in worship leading hasn't ever been one of pursuit and intention and diligence.

That being said, I've learned those virtues along the way. I've learned the importance of intention and the necessity for diligence and perseverance involved practically in worship leading. But, they were never my launching point. The reality of it was I was just a young girl, with a deep desire and stubbornness to know God, but that's all it was. For a long time.

I often search my mind's history, looking for pivotal turning points in my life; how am I where I am? How do I know God and know His goodness? What steps did I take to get to this core place of rest and trust and faith... Comfortability in what I don't know? Where was the bridge gapped between complete persistent frustration to know God, and now complete resting conviction of who God is?

Create history with God.

This is a phrase that I heard when I was in high school by a worship leader, Kim Walker, who inspired my soul and who sings with power because she sings from truth. She knows God, and I can tell when she led worship. I could say from the outside that she is a friend to God. And I so desperately wanted that.

But when she said that phrase, a sinking feeling entered my stomach.

"How does anyone do that?! How am I supposed to do that?? I spend hours and hours trying to hear God, trying to 'get history with God' and nothing happens!! Is what I've fought believing actually a lie? Because if it is really truth, why would it be this hard to be revealed?? If God really loved me like I hear people saying He loves them, why hasn't He decided to show me?" Teetering on the edge of fear and mystery, I couldn't get myself to believe what I didn't know to be truth. I would be forsaking my deepest core by just believing what I was taught without discovering it for myself. And I couldn't live a lie like that.

But yet I couldn't let go, this little faith like a mustard seed caused me to keep pressing.

Was there ever a "moment" that changed everything? Maybe. But, just like the little mustard seed within me, the moment must've been exactly that - little. Little moments, strung together, to keep me walking forward. Little moments to keep me picking my feet up, to keep me seeking truth. And little by little, I've made history with God. I don't necessarily know how, in terms of step-by-step formulas, but God spoke to me this simple phrase:

"You don't need to know how, just who."

The man, Jesus, the one we sing about. The one we talk about. The one we share with people, the one we spend our lives trying to know. He's real, he is a real man. He walked this earth, he spoke our language, he was born and he died. He is not just an idea, he is a person. We don't just sing to an idea, we sing to a person. And that is a very confronting truth that struck a cord in my stubbornness for truth and pushed me to discover truth on my own; because if I was going to sing anything, I couldn't with clear conscience do so without at least seeking what I sang about.

"Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear your voice and  I will listen to you. Then with a deep longing you will seek Me and require Me as a vital necessity and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord." // Jeremiah 29:13 AMP

The day when I die, when I actually figure out what the whole truth is, I won't be standing in front of anyone else except for Jesus. I will not be standing in front of the answers I mastered, or the people who approved of my leadership. I won't be accountable to the opinions of powerful people, or the status I was raised to here on earth. I will be accountable to how I held my heart's posture. I will be responsible for where my gaze was set. Of all the people to disappoint, my heart would break if I looked into Jesus' eyes, his all-knowing, all-compassionate, ever-loving eyes, and saw that he knew I let the expectations of life become my song.

We are only responsible for the songs we sing to him. Not for the songs we belt to the world, but the ones that start as whispers somewhere in our being; whether it's merely a desire to tap into that truth, or it's a deep well of conviction, does not matter much. 

Lead from a heart to know God yourself. Lead because you've been led outside of any stage, because the songs you sing in front of others have been sung before, in your thought-life, conversations, or alone with the man you sing about. There is "weight" in what you sing no matter what because there is a history to back it up, whether it's a negative history masked by doubt and insecurity, or an unmasked history of openness and vulnerability towards God and others. Make your unknown known to God, he doesn't expect you to know how, just who.

-Elyssa

 

Originally Published on www.whatwassaidtotherose.com