A Willing Heart

By Shekinah Bohlen

James 1:27 says, “The religion that God wants is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. This is the kind of worship that God accepts as pure and good.”This verse tells me that worship should first and foremost be about servanthood.

This past Sunday I led a worship team for the first time. As you can imagine, I was a bit nervous. I went an hour early to make sure that everything was set up and to prepare my heart for what God was going to do. My prayer that morning was that God would use me however He wanted, however He needed.  And He did. He used me. I could tell that His presence was there in a different way than before. He was changing and moving in people’s lives, and He let me play a small part in that.

All that to say, when God sees that you are willing to be used the way He wants to use you, He most definitely will. When you are obedient to His call on your life, you will have favor in every situation. Worship first should be about serving. That is our purpose whether we know it or not; God has called every one of us to serve Him.

The second part of the verse talks about keeping yourself “free from the world’s influence,” which ties into this verse from 1 Timothy 3:2 “An overseer must be above reproach…” As leaders especially, we should be living lives that are worth imitating. In doing this we will have to surrender certain things that maybe we do on a daily basis. Maybe it’s small things like movies, friends, maybe even the way we talk. If God has called you to be a leader, then you have also been called to surrender. Always give God your best.

We also must surrender in worship. When we worship God with everything out on the table, with everything we are in His hands, that is pure worship. It’s so easy to forget why we worship because of all that goes on around us. But I have found that worship is the purest when we forget about all the distractions of this world and focus on all that God is and all He has done, and simply praise Him for it.

Worship should be wholehearted and pure, an adoration of the one who gave us everything, who made us who we are. Surrendering in worship means us letting go of our dreams and desires, giving up everything we are to have all of Him.