One of my favorite parts of leading worship in a local church is getting to articulate what God is doing in my heart for the congregation to process and identify with. The hopeful and messy parts, strewn together. It’s helpful for me because it forces me to remind myself constantly that I am a sheep before I am a shepherd. I believe it to be helpful for those in the room because they are given an out from the pretending and posturing that everything in their own chest is fine and clean.
Last Sunday, I read an excerpt from Paul Tripp’s new book “Awe” that I recently picked up. I found the following section helpful in setting up our worship time together:
“As it is true of a street sign, so it is true of every jaw-dropping, knee weakening, silence-producing, wonder-inspiring thing in the universe. The sign is not the thing you are looking for. No, the sign points you to what you are looking for.”
This is a perfect description of how the good things in our lives that we commonly elevate to supreme over our lives (i.e. work success, influence, romance, family, recreation) can actually redirect our affection to God rather than replace it. Replacing God is something we’re quite good at, even if it is only our own perception change and not a positional change. It’s a perfectly understandable and flawed habit we humans have. We want to place our hope in something we can wrap our arms around or pay for online. The tangible feels trustworthy.
Simply put, the weight of our hopes and hearts can not be held up by other things. It just weighs too much. These smaller things are not strong enough.
Thankfully, He is.