Since I can remember Sunday has consisted of big lunch followed by an even bigger nap. We would come home, eat, change into PJ’s, crawl into bed and sleep. But not just any sleep. This was a deep sleep filled with crazy dreams, crazier bed head and possible drool. We were a pastor’s family and by Sunday afternoon we were exhausted. Thank you, God, for that seventh day of rest.
I never questioned it, there was something comforting in our routine. It wasn’t until I entered into full time worship ministry as an adult that I began to understand the Sunday afternoon nap.
I finally understood the weight of the war.
No longer sheltered from the battle by my parents I was standing on the frontline every week and fighting for the people God had entrusted to me. Sometimes I was fighting for myself. I knew their stories, their testimonies, their families and they knew mine. There was an unseen battle taking place all around me every week and as their worship pastor I was yelling “charge!” as I ran into enemy territory.
Though I am always aware that I, “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…” (Eph. 6:12) it didn’t mean I wasn’t carrying the weight of those I pastored with me. I was warring for marriages, dying children, sick friends, financial miracles and so much more while playing an instrument, leading worship and praying church leadership approved of me and my song selection.
I could feel insecurity and fear sneaking up on me on Saturday nights as I laid in bed awaiting Sunday morning. I would fall asleep asking the Lord to choose someone else and dread the first note of the first song. I had let the weight of the war become so heavy that I’d forgotten that God doesn’t put heavy, ill-fitting things on His children. He began to show me that while I may be burdened for those I love and called to intercede for those I lead He won’t allow my armor or the battle to crush me. What He has called me to He will equip me to accomplish for His Kingdom.
Our assignment to lead the people of God each week in worship is never without resistance from a very real enemy. Yet even knowing this we can step into our place on the front lines knowing that God has already mapped out His strategy and dispatched His angel armies all around us to fight on our behalf as we carry out His plan.
“This is God’s war, not yours. Tomorrow you’ll go after them; see, they’re already on their way up the slopes of Ziz; you’ll meet them at the end of the ravine near the wilderness of Jeruel. You won’t have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm, Judah and Jerusalem, and watch God’s saving work for you take shape. Don’t be afraid, don’t waver. March out boldly tomorrow—God is with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:15-17
The weight of the war is real but God is with us. He is with our congregations and church leadership and we have the opportunity every single week to partner with a God who has already won. Because He is our Father, because we are His sons and daughters, we have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. So we lead from that place of confidence, boldly putting on the full armor of God so that we can, “be alert, always praying for all of God’s people.” (Eph. 6:18)
It’s not a sign of weakness to rest after going into battle. It’s okay to confess that what we do in ministry can be hard. May we all lean into our community of worship leaders and pastors and pray for one another as we link arms in agreement of what God is doing and going to do.
We are pressed but we aren’t crushed.