April 20, 2020
Well, here it goes, my first blog ever! Let me introduce myself. My name is Josiah, and I’m on the lead team at Elim YA. You’ve maybe seen me hitting things with sticks on Tuesday nights. (That’s another term for drumming in case you didn’t know. I have to clarify, because someone once thought that ‘hitting things with sticks’ meant that I have anger problems. I don’t, I just enjoy hitting drums really hard😜).
I love Elim YA and I’m thankful to be part of a community that is passionate about seeking God’s presence and becoming more like Him.
I’ve noticed that this quarantine presents a unique opportunity to grow in our walk with God and really draw close to Him. There’s obviously a lot of uncertainty and unease that comes with this season, but something that I constantly marvel at is the Peace of God.
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, WILL guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I find that incredible. That no matter the situation we find ourselves in, we can be at complete peace! God’s peace “transcends all understanding” which means it doesn’t make sense. Even when our situation says ‘you should be stressed, you should be worried’ and it doesn’t make sense to be at peace, we CAN have peace through Christ.
Because He is in control. He never stops working. And He works all things together for our good. I’m so thankful for the hope and assurance we have in Christ!
So how do I personally experience this incredible peace in my life? Through worship.
Worship. Is. So. Powerful. I can’t stress that enough. It’s Probably the one thing the brings me the most peace through this season. It allows me to declare the truth of God’s word over my life and my situation.
But do you know what’s funny? Sometimes I find it hard to just put everything aside and worship. I don’t have three worship rehearsals a week, and two worship services a week like I’m used to, so I have to be more intentional about having my own worship sessions. Even as much as I love drumming, sometimes I find it hard to walk down two flights of stairs and play my drums. I’m so used to having a busy schedule, and now it’s like I don’t even want to do the couple things I do have scheduled, I just want to do nothing at all😅
BUT, once I’m able to get up and enter an internal place of worship, or go downstairs and drum along to worship songs, it’s such an incredible thing! I instantly feel the joy and peace of the Lord rush over me. I’m not exaggerating when I say that.
Worship is powerful because it brings us into the presence of God.
God truly loves our worship. He inhabits the praises of his people. When we worship Him regardless of our situation, He can’t help it but respond to our praise! By filling us with His peace and joy.
So what I challenge you to do, and what I’m challenging myself to do, is to take intentional time every single day, where you do nothing else but worship. Whether that’s listening to worship music, playing an instrument, journaling while listening to worship music, painting, or something else, take time to just sit and worship.
And let me add that worship is so much more than just music. It’s a lifestyle, it’s a heart posture, it’s using our variety of gifts and talents for His glory. As Christians we strive to let our every breath be an expression of worship towards God. But take a few minutes each day to intentionally worship without distraction. I pray that as you do this, God’s presence and peace washes over you.
What is something that can prevent us from experiencing God’s peace? Fear.
Fear is an enemy of peace. When we worship God, fear has to leave. One of my favourite worship songs right now is We Praise You by Brandon Lake / Bethel. There’s a line in the song that says “fear cannot survive when we praise you”. That is so true! Worship takes our focus off our situation and put our focus on GOD, and who HE is. There is no room for fear inside a worshipful heart! As I like to say, worship sends fear back to hell. Since fear and peace cannot coexist, our hearts become filled with peace when we worship.
“Worship is a weapon. It helps our thoughts be fixed on the one who is faithful and will see us through. It lifts our gaze to the King of Kings who said we were worth dying for. It plants us in the center of God’s perfect, unconditional love. And the fear, doubt, and uncertainty begin to fade because there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” I encourage you today to turn all your fear and worry into worship.
I think there’s something extra special about worshipping through the hard times, when things aren’t exactly going smoothly. Because worship is also a response. Worship means, even though I’m experiencing a difficult situation, even though I’m stuck at home bored, and desperately missing “the norm”, God is still so worthy of my praise, and I’m going to give Him the praise He deserves. Maybe it’s even the lowest of low seasons, or a season of extreme loss, God is still worthy. He still sees you, He still hears you, and He can still make a way for you. “Pure worship says, the storm came and went, but I never moved.”
My prayer is that those who know God would experience His peace in a new way in this season, and those who don’t know God would encounter His presence and be filled with His joy and peace.
So why did I name this blog Count Me In?
No, not just because I’m a drummer. I took it from a song called Count Me In by the band Switch. It talks about how God is always with us.
There is no need to fear ANY situation or circumstance because my God goes before me, and He is for me. “Won’t let fear conquer me, won’t let anxiety phase me, whatever comes my way count me in”.
I will worship in every season
I will trust Him in every season
And I will face every situation with the confidence that God goes before me and His power lives inside of me.
COUNT ME IN