C.S. Lewis believed that true worship happened at the moment of “self-forgetfulness”. When the worshiper was so caught up in a vision of the Lord, that they were no longer thinking about anything other than being in the presence of God and enjoying Him. I agree.
That’s why for the past several years I’ve been memorizing all the lyrics to our songs. I found that while I was trying to lead in worship, having to focus on reading the words while singing and leading was dividing my attention. So a little at a time, I started memorizing the lyrics to the songs we sing in worship. Harvest, this has bolstered my faith and my ability to worship like nothing else has. Here are two of the amazing things God has done through this process:
He has put a song in my heart during the work-week that encourages my soul. Having lines like “Oh my God, He will not delay, my refuge and strength always” helps me fight for joy when I am faced with trouble. Or lyrics like “Lord I need you, O I need you, my one defense, my righteousness O God how I need you” give a voice to my longings when I need to feel the nearness of the Lord. Or praying the line “When I come to end this race I’ve run and I receive the prize that Christ has won I will be with you in paradise” strengthens my resolve to be bold for the Lord.
Secondly, this has freed me to worship on Sundays in a way I didn’t know possible. When gospel-saturated and grace-filled lyrics make their way from the page, to your mind, down to your heart, it frees you to engage in worship in a truly “self-forgetful” way. If the lyrics become a part of you, like your street address or the names of family members, you are able to focus not merely on the lyrics, but on the God of those lyrics.
So Harvest, I encourage you to memorize the songs we sing. Listen to them in your cars, while you workout, mow the yard, or make dinner. Saturate your life with these God-honoring and Scripture filled lyrics. I promise you God will increase as a treasure in your heart and your ability to engage in worship will increase.
This Sunday’s Worship –
Do What You Want To – Vertical Church Band
Only Jesus Can – Vertical Church Band
Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship
Open Up Our Eyes – Elevation Worship
CJ is the Worship Leader at Harvest Raleigh.