Matthew 22:37-38

37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment.

For the past several months, I have been in a season of learning to love God with my whole heart. That’s not to say I am doing an outstanding job of it, but nonetheless that’s where I’m at in life.  I can honestly say that I am so thankful that I was let go from leading worship at my church back in June because it has been such an opportunity for me to press in and go deeper with God.  Being a church musician (and subsequently a worship leader) was yet another one of those places that I now realize I got my identity and self-worth from, and it has been so great to be free from that.

It didn’t really hit me until I heard Julie Meyer speak at the IHOP Leadership Summit a few days ago. She and Mike Bickle were laughing about the time he fired her from worship leading ten years ago and how she thought to herself, “How can you fire me from worship leading?  Do you even know who I am? I’m Julie Meyer!” and what a pain it was to stay there through all of it, watching other people lead worship and take over her team when she had been such a big part of what was going on there.  Oh, how I can identify!  :-)

But I realized through hearing Julie’s story how free I am and what a work God has done in my heart over the past six months without me even realizing it.  I am a lover and worshiper of God first.  He has shredded any identity or self-worth I had built from worship leading or youth ministry.  I realized through hearing her testimony that my identity used to be in ministry, and that God had set me free without me even knowing it.  God is so cool like that!

Some people might argue that I am a little too free now.  I really don’t feel the need to rescue people from poor planning anymore.  As I have heard people say before, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”  God has set me free from man-pleasing.  He has set me free from finding my self-worth in being everyone’s go-to guy.  For example, I am very happy to not fix your computer for free.  I am also very happy to turn down leading worship if it doesn’t fit with where me and God are at right now.  I am free to not compromise.

I am so happy to be infrequently leading worship at our Prayer Center on a Tuesday or Friday night, because I can be who I am before God — raw, honest, and free.  I can sing from my heart, sing in the Spirit, and I don’t have to worry about anybody’s time schedule. FREEDOM!

I am so happy with who God has created me to be, with who He is molding me into.  I have such a long way to go, but at least I am headed in the right direction..