“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” -2 Corinthians 3:18
“Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” –Psalm 34:5
“Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth of the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.” -Isaiah 60:5
Last Friday, I had the amazing privilege of representing SundayPM with the team at Christ Church’s Worship and Music Conference. (SundayPM is the Sunday night service at Christ Church Nashville geared towards young adults, although all ages are welcome and come. I am honored to be a lead-worshipper there while I am in Nashville, and it has become a home for me). Anyways, my voice was shot, and I was quite sick with sinus/cold junk – I will spare you the details : ) – yet I needed to sing. Because of this, I prepared a bit more than normal physically (warm-ups, hot tea, etc.) and spiritually (the Word and prayer), because I knew that was the only way any sound would come out and I would be fully there mentally.
It seems that sometimes God uses us the most when we are more limited than usual, because we have no choice but to step aside, as we cannot do it on our own in those moments. And He moved that night, even in our few songs and struggles – He moved, and I was left humbled and grateful to be used.
Later that night, Tommy Walker was the lead-worshipper, and as we were all worshipping together, something happened I haven’t felt in a long time to this extent – looking back, I can see that as I prepared to be a lead-worshipper myself that night, God was also preparing me for this moment – my soul was belting the songs more than my voice ever could – my voice did not sing any word, as I frankly couldn’t with my throat in the shape it was, but every song was felt deep within my being – and I was unfamiliar with most of the songs – but none of it mattered – and as my soul sang, I couldn’t keep this huge smile off of my face (at times, my mind would ‘snap to’ and I would wonder what people would think if they were looking at me, and I probably did look a bit odd, but I resisted following that thought stream and knew I needed to fully enter in at that moment).
Towards the end of the night, a scripture came to mind – the 1 Corinthians verse listed above – and it all made sense – I was experiencing briefly what it feels like to have an unveiled face – free to simply worship. And then I began thinking of when Moses’ face was radiant after meeting with God and the verse above from Psalms entered my mind – and that is exactly how I felt – radiant, uncovered – and the verse from Isaiah says it all – my heart felt like it was throbbing and swelling with joy – and I was able to rest in His will for my life – whatever that is – whether it includes earthly riches or only heavenly ones – to trust in His goodness and get a taste of His glory, and worship in response to that – and also claim the promise that as we come before Him with unveiled face, He will transform us into HIS likeness from one degree of glory to another – wow!!!!
I do not say all of this in some self-righteous way to show my great ability to worship God – I say all of this as a testimony to His grace – as one who is FAR more veiled than not and who is barely beginning to understand what it means to truly worship – a testimony to His grace that He would uncover, even briefly, all that hides my heart, mind, and spirit from encountering Him – that He would give me a glimpse of what worship can be, should be – and maybe, a glimpse of what I can be, should be.
And since then, I have been unable to stop thinking about what it is that veils me from coming before Him uncovered – and because of that, what holds me back from truly entering into His freedom and see His glory with the radiance of which He is wanting me to mirror. He is doing a deep work in me as He reveals some of the things that have been veiling me – some specific things, some traits, some habits.
Perhaps it’s something for all of us to ponder – What veils us? Pride? Insecurity? Talents? Limitations? Fear? People? Money? Responsibilities? Expectations?