Do you ever feel weak when it comes to fulfilling your calling? Do you ever want to give up?
Hopefully, your answer to these questions is yes, because if not, then you're not human! You and I and the rest of the 7.4 billion people in the world all face the same challenge—sometimes we want to give up. Even that one person you admire with the big stage platform (whether Christian or not) faces this challenge.
This point alone should give us courage that we're not the only ones who feel this way.
So, what's the answer? How do we sustain our hearts? Specifically, in this case, how we do sustain our hearts as worship leaders?
I want to give you my answer to this question by giving five keys from the life of David:
- Spend time in the presence of God. David was a man of prayer who longed to understand and encounter God more and more deeply. He was filled with wonder at the person and work of God. Before David was a king, warrior or worship leader, he was a worshipper.
Pray and worship off the platform. I love encountering God's presence on stage when I'm leading. But my main goal when I'm up there is to serve the room and my team. Nothing can replace that Matthew 6 "go into your room and shut the door, and I will meet with you there" prayer life.
- Don't ever stop expressing your heart to the Lord. It is estimated that David wrote over 3,000 psalms. Many of David's songs are intensely personal, often reflected as crying out to the Lord about the struggles in his life, experiencing hurt and anger and rejection, and asking for mercy for his wrongdoing. The point: He cried out to God in the midst of every season.
One of the greatest temptations when things get tough is to shut down our hearts and just cope. Our flesh will find countless ways to medicate itself. Instead, make the choice over and over again to pick up your guitar or sit at the keyboard and sing your heart to the Lord. Make it a point to sing every time you're feeling down or anxious. Let the Lord be the one you turn to in times of pain—run toward Him instead of away from Him. You will find your heart sustained and refreshed.
- Don't fear the small. David's youth was spent in Bethlehem as the youngest of eight brothers, which gave him the "glorious" job of tending to his father's sheep. This was one of the lowest jobs in any family. David's sheep-tending didn't take place in lush, green pastures like we often imagine—it was uncomfortable and the equivalent to solitary confinement in a desert. He was very much alone in harsh terrain doing a very small job.
One of the biggest lies you can believe is that what you're doing doesn't matter. I promise you, it does. Don't despise small beginnings, waiting for the day when you finally "arrive." You are part of a story much larger than the ministry you do. The truth is, each one of us has a very small role.
Lift up your eyes. You are part of God's global mission to see people fall in love with Him, giving Him the worship He is due. You have a glorious job.
- Pursue a humble and generous leadership style. David had a teachable spirit and was restrained in times of loss, pressure, and even in victory. He was easy to correct. He had a servant spirit and was found faithful in small things. He walked in generosity and tenderheartedness toward others with a free spirit, showing kindness to people in need as well as to those who mistreated him.
When other leaders or those whom you're leading cause you to come to a breaking point and you feel like you're going to explode, go low. Choose humility. Even when you are sure you are in the right, seek to exercise patience, kindness and self-control.
- Don't quit, and you'll win. David was a weak man. He messed up a lot. He sinned a lot. But one of David's primary strengths was that he never quit. He never gave up. He is one of our greatest role models of perseverance.
When everything is telling you to quit, don't. Cling to the truths in God's Word. Cling to promises that have been spoken over your life. Remind yourself that He who promised is faithful and will finish the work He began in you as long as you don't give up.
There is so much we can learn about God's sustaining power through the lives of David, Jesus and countless others in the Bible, but we also find God's strength in the people He's placed around us whom we encounter in our everyday lives.
Who in your life has been your main inspiration and why?
P.S. Just in case you want to go a bit deeper into the study of David's life, the majority of his life story can be found in 1 and 2 Samuel with a bit more in 1 and 2 Chronicles. The book of Psalms also gives pretty clear insight into who David was as a person and what sustained his heart during the different seasons of his life.
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Justin Rizzo developed a passion and love for music at an early age. He began playing a variety of instruments and started leading worship at age 12. He has released five albums and been featured on multiple compilation projects, along with writing and producing three full-length musicals. In addition, he travels extensively to lead worship and speak at events around the world. Justin is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri, where he serves as a worship leader, songwriter, blogger and composer. Visit his website at justinrizzo.com.
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