“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” ~ Luke 15:4
I was involved with the church choir, singing duets, and solos when I was a teenager but took a long break from singing in public. I didn’t understand how important it was for me to sing until I was given the opportunity at our church, twenty years after the last time I sang publicly. I have been singing on our worship team for a couple of years and there have been times when I had no voice, unable to sing. Being a part of the team, at first, was nerve racking because singing a hymnal song is quite different than singing contemporary worship. I felt way out of my comfort zone.
In an effort to see increase in my relationship with God, I have focused on bringing my spirit, soul, body, and finances in line with his will. I am building a strong dependency on the Holy Spirit and loving it. Singing is one way I feel the closest to God.
When I was unable to sing, those few times, I was still praising him with my voice but it felt less than. Each time I am in front of the mic, relying on His power to help me sing, His presence is so profound that it is hard to describe.
During that long sabbatical, age 17-36, from singing I was struggling. I made horrible choices during my young adult years and finally got my head on straight in my mid-twenties. I have been learning and growing spiritually, grateful to have the second chance at following Christ.
A couple of years ago I sang a new song, for the first time, called Reckless Love by Bethel Music. (Side Note: YouTube it and listen to the version that features Steffany Gretzinger) Before going on stage I prayed for the Holy Spirit’s presence to be honored during our worship. There is a line in that song that says, “leaves the 99” and I was overwhelmed by what occurred while singing it.
In that moment, God spoke to my heart. He told me I was important, even during those sabbatical years. He left the 99 to come and rescue me, one sad little sheep. As I was singing, I looked above the congregation and saw the presence of the Holy Spirit hovering over with a look of pleasure and gratitude, feeling loved, and enjoying being praised. I didn’t see it with my eyes but with my Spirit. Sounds weird, I know, but that is exactly what I saw and am blown away that He gave that vision to me.
He found me and brought me to a place where His presence fills me with amazing joy while I sing of His glory. I sing because just as I was important to Him, He is important to me. I will leave my comfort zone to worship and honor Him with my singing, anytime!
Last Sunday, I had another sort of out-of-body experience. I was singing Great Are You Lord by One Sonic Society. I have sang it many times over and it is one of my favorite to sing but this past Sunday the Holy Spirit took it to a higher level. I felt so deep in His presence, while singing it, that I don’t even remember singing it. I don’t remember whether or not I raised my hands, if I cried or didn’t cry, if I opened my eyes or kept them closed the whole time, or whether I managed to sing the words exactly as they are written or free-flow sang. No idea, I was too busy worshipping Him.
I went home, from church, in awe of that experience and remembered He left the 99 for me.