The electric guitar is blaring, the rhythm of the bass drum beats hard in your chest, and the singers repeat the bridge again. Hands go up, eyes close, and voices rise. From the outside, this looks like a room full of hearts sold-out for the call of Jesus, singing, “Take my heart and let it be all for You and for Your glory“, but what if we could see deeper than that? If every heart in that room meant what they sang, the church would transform the world in one night. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we can lift our hand and close our eyes all we want, but at the end of the day, other things are more important. Our family, friends, job, schoolwork, social life, or significant other beg and plead for the attention of our hearts day in and day out.
This Sunday, I sat in on a senior high Sunday school class. One of the questions the students were asked to answer was, “Why is it so hard to obey God?”. One of the girls responded by saying it’s easier to obey the people you can physically see– the people who can thank you for doing it right, or punish you for doing it wrong. I think the same thing applies to giving God your heart. Some days, it’s hard to give your heart to an invisible being who seems quiet when you need Him to be loud, or hands-off when you need Him to be hands-on.
In the past 24-hours, I have experienced three worship services. Each incredibly different from the others, but none where God was less present. This left me incredibly thoughtful and slightly confused. If the time, place, and not even the manner in which people worship doesn’t matter to Jesus, what does?
I’ll tell you what does. There is one thing that Jesus wants during worship: He wants to be first. He doesn’t expect us to do it perfectly every day, but at the end of it all, He wants us to give it our best shot. You can get as theological as you want about worship, but I think that, like a child, Jesus sits in the hearts of those who make up His church and quietly whispers, “Me first. Me first“. It’s not demanding, it’s not conditional, it’s because He loves us. He knows that our lives outside of the worship service will be best lived if He is the one in control of our hearts.
So, I leave you with this challenge: Get your heart right. Let Jesus take His rightful place: first.