It's 11:00 pm Saturday evening. I'm curled up on the couch with my four-legged kiddos drinking a protein shake because I didn't have supper. I just spent two hours leading worship and obeying God into a moment of repentance. Just so you know I am not a skilled piano player so any chance I get to have skilled musicians with me is much more fulfilling however tonight I was it, the singer and the musician however I felt strongly to do it anyway. About an hour into the night, I just felt the Lord tell me to stay put and not move onto the next song and that's why I explained about my skill because staying put is difficult for me. I get bored at my own chord progressions. They are very basic and somewhat choppy, and I cringe thinking about what others are thinking so this is when I need to just get out of my own way because it's not about me and I need to stop fearing the opinion of man and trust that heaven is overwhelming the atmosphere with the sounds of heaven. Could angels be joining me with their instruments?
I think so.
Do I desire to improve in skill? Yes, absolutely. Do I think it can be a distraction to not have skill? Yes, but we will save that conversation for another day.
So, I sense the Lord gently asking me to stay put because He is working on hearts in the room right now, so I stayed on the progression and gently hummed here and there. I then felt to just stop playing altogether and embrace silence. I felt some in the room including myself are so used to moving from one task to the next or filling the silence that we forget to just sit and listen. To just be ok in the awkward silence. That maybe just maybe we are in need to look God in the eye and actually hear what He is saying.
Have you ever tried it? Just sat in the silence listening. It's incredibly uncomfortable for especially anyone who questions if they have a form of adult ADHD. So, there we were creating space to let God speak to our hearts.
When I say I feel called to lead worship I feel even more called to lead repentance kind of like John the Baptist did. Prepare the way of the Lord. It's really not a popular thing. Nobody likes to sit and look at their own heart and allow God to show them sin. We are living in a world where we are so easily offended and pretty much over the "You're going to hell" bible thumpers. We like our ears tickled and to go by what feels good so why would I want to lead a room into repentance?
because the Lord asked me to.
Here's the thing. Repentance is actually a really beautiful thing when it's rooted in the love of God. God's loving kindness leads us to repentance. It's not from a place of disappointed in us but from a place of He wants us living an abundant life and that sin we are doing is robbing us of that abundance. It's stealing our joy, our peace, our love. It's also disconnecting us from God. Not because He pulls away but because we do.
So, after we sat in silence a while I felt to just start confessing. I told the Lord I was sorry for filling the silence with dumb stuff. I'm sorry for scrolling and being consumed in other's lives (or Instagram reels) and missing out on just enjoying Him and being ok in the silence just listening. I have a feeling He has so much to tell us if we would just create space to listen. Like right now as I stop, I hear the crackle of the wood stove and the snores of my pups, but I fight to be quick to move on and fill that space. Maybe I don't want to truly be alone in my thoughts or I don't even know how to listen to God's voice. He may tell me to quit something like spending money on unimportant things because it's just missing the mark.
Here is the honest truth. I just led a group of others into repentance. I had a beautiful, connected night with God and I repented for things publicly and then came home and got sucked into Instagram stories which led me to watching a Facebook live replay on makeup brushes which led me to purchase those brushes.
I know you relate to this. (at least one of you reading this does)
Here is what is beautiful and different about this tonight after being connected with the Lord. Before I could sit in my guilt and shame, I felt the Lord just say it's ok. That tonight I became aware that these habits are missing the mark. I confessed, repented, and I can turn away and make better choices, but He wants to be invited into it. God wants to help me create an action plan to turn away from that which is stealing from me. Two hours on social media just stole sleep and I did not need those makeup brushes. Was it bad to purchase them? Probably not, however that money could have been used elsewhere plus now I will need to clean those brushes which will steal time.
"Bethany, where do I even start?"
I'm so glad you asked. The Life Coach in me loves to help you create an action plan for what works in your season of life right now.
So, the goal is to practice silence. Start small. Maybe it's turning off the tv, turning off your notifications, and setting your alarm for 5 minutes daily. Pick a time that you can do every day at the same time. Just sit there for 5 minutes and listen. You can build from there but really ask yourself the why. Why is this important to you right now to start practicing this? What will life look like if you don't?
My answers: It's important to me to start practicing silence so I can create space to allow God to speak. I am aware I move on way too quickly and if I don't start practicing this, I will keep going around the "busy" mountain begging God to speak when He has been trying to all along. I currently feel unfulfilled, and I am aware I choose things to fill the void and I am ready