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Christian Living worship

The Kind of Worshippers God Seeks

Do we really know how to keep score?

Sally, from Theology of a Newfoundland Housewife shared a post yesterday, Praying Twice, about an enthusiastic singer at her church who was regularly off key. As often happens here on Word Press, this brought to mind a similar circumstance. One that God used to teach me a valuable lesson.

As a singer in my church’s choir, I always keep my eyes and ears open for potential members. One Sunday, as we walked in to the sanctuary (singing the first hymn), I noticed a man on the second row—singing and praising God with great fervor. “O boy, we’ve found ourselves a new member!” I said to myself. But when I passed by the gentleman, he was TERRIBLY off key. “How embarrassing,” I thought.

I know, that wasn’t very nice of me. God didn’t think so either. Because after we got to the choir loft, the Holy Spirit said to me, “David, just who do you think you are?” The worst angel in my heavenly choir can sing circles around you! Do you think I’m looking for perfect notes? I seek perfect hearts.”

Ouch!!

You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Luke 16:15 (NIV)

Jesus said this to some Pharisees who were sneering at Him, because He told them they couldn’t worship God and money at the same time.

Which brings to mind the following thought: when it comes to the Kingdom of God, people don’t naturally know how to keep score.

Many churches take pride in their buildings, budgets and baptisms. Yet God looks for humble and contrite hearts (Isaiah 66:2). We worship to the music of professional level praise bands and choirs, but are we TRUE worshippers—in spirit and truth? (John 4:23-24)

Of course, God is the ultimate judge of such matters. However, my encounter with the enthusiastic off key singer was a wake up call. The Lord is most interested in right hearts; all the other trappings of our worship are secondary.

As Sally concluded (in her post I mentioned earlier): God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3)—even when they don’t get the notes right.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Note to Doris, my choir director: right notes ARE important—if you have the ability to sing them.😃

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

51 replies on “The Kind of Worshippers God Seeks”

I’m glad my thoughts resonated with you! It was a profound lesson that God taught me (a semi-professional singer) about what he truly values most. He uses our skills, but the Lord looks first at our hearts. God’s best to you in your journey of faith, hope & love. Be strong in the Lord!

Liked by 1 person

Thank you for sharing this! It also speaks to me as I try to pick up new practices/skills in life. I feel very self conscious and am aware how awkward I am as I try to be more friendly and social or learn the piano. But in my heart I feel it is important I keep trying. I feel God isn’t judging me on my performance (even if others may), but rather smiling at my patient and continued effort and noting my little improvements with joy.

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Thank your my friend. It’s easy to forget that God came to save the imperfect and not the perfect. The world of people is contrast to God’s definition of perfection, beauty, value. So true that what’s in the heart is what matters the most. If all sing off key with all the love and kindness in their hearts, it’s would be the happiest world ever. God bless.

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Thank you for mentioning the joyful noise reference, Signora. I didn’t think of it for this post, but it absolutely fits! God sees ours hearts, not our talents or wallets. I appreciate your reading and commenting. Blessings!

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Scripture just says to make a joyful noise unto him. I guess we all need the reminder sometimes that God doesn’t see (or hear) things in the same way that we do. He looks at the heart. Thanks for this reminder, David!

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Great self reflection! I confess, I am in tears. My grandma was an awful singer yet was always singing to Jesus. My mom said the other day, “if I could hear my mom sing again it would make my heart happy.” My mom is an even worse singer and this post and what my mom said about my grandma impresses on me that when my mom is with Jesus, I will want to hear her sing as well. So, I will do much better at NOT begrudging people who sing poorly in worship because the thing that annoys me will be a thing that I miss. Love and blessings to you and your wife!

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It’s fine, really. I think your comment about your work situation added to the value of the discussion. The Lord isn’t crafty in His discipline, but very straight forward.

If you want me to take your comment out I will, but I think it’s fine the way it is.

Blessings.

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David, my comment about my work situation doesn’t really fit in well. If you want, you can take it out. My apologies.

Liked by 1 person

Insightful post David and a good question at that. Yes, ultimately God is the final judge and jury for others. He knows our hearts and our intentions. Like always, I choose love because that’s the only thing that’s real. Off-key is still in the key of love and praise as we rejoice in God’s many blessings 🥰 My Nana too was a wonderful singer and I can still hear her lamenting her praise on her favorite hymns when I listen closely to them.

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David, this is off-topic, but I wanted to point out that it’s true that when the Holy Spirit rebukes us, it makes us say “Ouch!”, but at least with Him, we know where we stand. Not always true with people. For example, the last company I worked for, work schedules were often changed without warning. The first time I heard that, I couldn’t believe the company could be so unprofessional. But it was true. I had to check my schedule daily. Because I was paid hourly, it made a difference if my hours were cut. I always had to keep written proof of the original schedule close by. At least with God, I know where I stand.

And with God, if He rebukes you, you know He loves you. “…the Lord disciplines those he loves…” (Heb. 12:6) NIV

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When seniors used to complain that they did not have good voices at a seniors home I was volunteering in, my reply would be that because they sing with love it is the sweetest most beautiful song to His ears.

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Well David I would say that question asking is an excellent hobby- cost free, doesn’t need any updates or upgrades and is always useful. A little teaser on the July 1st lesson- the title, as it stands now, is Summer: A Season of Prayer

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Thank you for sharing your story, Beth. Coming up with good questions is like a hobby for me. At least that’s what my wife says. ☺️
Finding the answers is another matter. Thankfully, this time God told me the answer Himself—He enjoyed the off key man’s praise because it came from the heart.

I appreciate your stopping by, and eagerly await your next post with Addi.

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“We worship to the music of professional level praise bands and choirs, but are we TRUE worshippers—in spirit and truth?” Great question David. I miss the acoustic worship our church used to have. It was simple, heart felt, much more spirit led than the rock concert style that has taken it’s place. One Sunday I was privileged to be seated next a mom I was acquainted with through teaching her three boys. She’s a quiet woman, very reserved. When the singing began, she came alive and sang with such a depth of love for the Lord. She had the voice of an angel and I was incredibly blessed to be near her song of praise.

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Those must have been some wonderful times indeed, brother! Thank you for sharing your memory. I suppose our heavenly bodies will all sing in perfect harmony. We’ll just have to wait and see. 🙏❤️

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Yay for your aunt! For some reason your comment made me think of a bumper sticker I saw one time. It said, “Bad Spellers of the World UNTIE!”

Of course the last word was supposed to be unite. But that doesn’t bother the bad spellers one little bit. 🥸

Thank you for your input.
Blessings!

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I had an aunt who was totally tone deaf and always blasted her heart out when singing. As a kid I wondered why she didn’t just mouth the words instead. I also wondered if she was simlpy oblivious to how bad her singing was! As an adult I can see that, in fact, she had a pure heart of worship. Nothing could stop her from praising God. And that blesses me completely!

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Thank you for this much anticipated post David. Your story reminded me of my mum who in her latter years loved singing along to DVDs of Rev. William McCrae & His Heartwarming Friends. She knew she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket but she praised God anyway with a heart full of joy. I remember the two us blasting out praise in her nursing home, much to the consternation of the management. Thanks for reminding me of these precious memories brother, God bless you and yours.

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Haha…we used to do that too….being always curious, I researched this term and found out that it comes from the old English term ‘pick back’.
Of course, that led me to research the origins of ‘piggy bank’. 😄

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Thank you, Hazel. I’m glad you brought up the anointing of King David. Even the prophet Samuel got it all wrong at first. It’s so easy to look for the biggest and strongest, or the most talented. But, as you said, God looks at the heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings to you as well!

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God is looking for all of our hearts not how we sound to others. People pleasing and judging others gets in the way of true worship. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at our hearts and its motivations. The prophet Samuel had this problem when looking to anoint the king to follow Saul.

You made an important point, the music can be perfect but if there is no presence of God because of heart attitudes, it is of no effect.

Blessings!
Hazel

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This reminds me of a parish priest years ago. His sermons were the epitome of monotone. It was an effort to stay tuned; although, his messages were always good. This priest happened to be in a swimming class (for people with arthritis) with my mom. One class, he was very quiet. My mom asked him if he was okay. He was worried. He had presided over a funeral and worried he hadn’t said enough, hadn’t said the right words. From then on, I saw him as a humble priest who was really trying to do his best. God’s love was in his heart. So, your message that God values what is in our hearts rings true for me.

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My principal (at school) once gave me an encouraging word—when I said, “Why should I be doing this, when there are so many others…”

She said, “If only the best birds sang, how quiet would the forest be!?”

Thank you for your encouragement and kind words, Matcha. It’s sometimes hard to come up with new things to write. But I want to be a channel for the river of God. Blessings.

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That person you passed belting out notes off tune, is very similar to me.

In the car, if there is a song that can be used for worship, I sing it. However, I can’t sing for the life of me. Everytime I do, I always think “why would He want me to worship like this when there are much better singers out there?”

However, I do it because I want to, as embarassing as it is.

Yet again, another incredibly relevant post. Looks like you have been hitting those homeruns.

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