I worshiped last Sunday without singing. Doctor’s orders are that I not sing for the next two months to let my voice heal from an injury that happened back in September. I already sense that this is my time to listen and learn to worship more fully in all of the other ways besides singing. A friend just reminded me of Romans 12:1.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1 ESV)
The act of worship involves many other things besides singing. In fact, these things are the foundations of worship, the heart of worship. What does it mean to present my body as a living sacrifice? First thing that comes to mind is that my body represents all that I am, every part, my hands, my feet, my mind, my eyes and ears, my tongue, my soul. The Greatest Commandment comes to mind that says I’m to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. The word consecrate captures this. It means to set apart everything as holy, belonging to the Lord, used for his glory alone.
Right at the time my voice problems began, I was often loudly singing along with Gungor’s Every Breath as I drove in the car. I’ve only had one opportunity to lead it and that was to some 4th and 5th graders as I taught on worship in early October. It was a sweet moment together. I will never tire of worship songs that speak of giving everything to the Lord! These songs stirred my heart as a teen and young adult. They still stir my heart, now more than ever! It is my greatest desire and my most sincere offering. Here are some of my favorites.
Gungor’s Every Breath is my favorite at the moment. I can hardly contain myself as this song soars to its closing anthem around 3:28. “Here I am Lord. All I am Lord. Here I am Lord. I am yours.”
Nothing beats this traditional arrangement of the hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be, so heartily sung by Kari Jobe. I feel connected to the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ of the faith who have gone before me. I treasure hymns like this one that have been the song of believers throughout many generations.
Glory to God, Forever by Steve Fee, is one that our congregation, young and old love to sing out.
Another favorite is Open Hands by Matt Papa. I love singing this with our congregation. I can feel the unity that comes from like-mindedness as we lift our hands and express our hearts to the Lord. I particularly love the progression from using our hands to love, to give and then even surrendering our will. The bridge reminds us why. Christ gave up his life for us on the cross!
Probably the first song to stir my heart as a middle school student was Keith Green’s Make My Life a Prayer. This is where I began to understand Romans 12:1 worship. It’s not just my words – it’s my life. Perhaps this will be the first song I sing at the piano when the doctor gives me the go ahead. For now, I will focus on living it out.
Blessings in Christ!