Face to Face: Cultivating a Lifestyle
The five-minute countdown appears. Singers and musicians immediately rush into position as the “game faces” go on. Suddenly the lights, the camera, and the applause begin. Hundreds of thoughts suddenly rush into your mind. “What was the alto part for that chorus?” or “I really hope the singers remember to come in when they are supposed to.” These are just a few things that may consist in a typical worship service throughout much of the country.
Let me explain that these are not bad things at all. The Lord uses anything and everything to glorify Him, and all these things described are great things that contribute to worship. However, I would like to submit the question that, as worshipers what are the eyes of our hearts gazing on in a typical worship service? Not only in a worship service, but what are our hearts gazing on throughout our weeks?
The eyes of our hearts are constantly gazing in worship at something each and every second of our lives. I know for myself that it is extremely too easy to behold something that isn’t God. It can be a habit to get stressed out and worked up about the service not going as planned and to be thinking about everything except God Himself. It is very important that as worshipers, we train the eyes of our hearts to be constantly gazing on Father God. These are three ways to cultivate a lifestyle of fixing the eyes of your hearts on the perfect presence of God.
First, it is important to cultivate intimacy with the Father. Intimacy only comes through relationship, and relationship only comes from spending time with a person. Imagine if someone you just became friends with was staying the week with you. You become too busy to spend time with your friend, and you barely ever even speak with that person throughout the whole week. At the end of the week, you bring your friend with you to meet your entire family. Your family begins to ask you questions about your friend such as where that person may live or work. You suddenly realize that you cannot answer these questions that have been asked. You cannot even explain to your family who your friend is, simply because you have not taken time actually to get to know that person for yourself. A scenario like this happens every week with worship leaders around the world. We tend to get so wrapped up in the stress of the week, that we have not taken the time to cultivate a relationship with God. Therefore, we could have a difficult time of showing others His presence because we have not lived there for ourselves during the prior week. Intimacy means closeness and has no secrets. When we live open and undone before God, our lives scream intimacy.
Second, as worshipers we should lead from fullness. Our perspectives and beliefs directly affect how we lead worship. If our perspective of God is that He is a distant being that we are begging for, then we most likely will lead from a place of lack. In contrast, we must live and lead from Ephesians 2:6 which states, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” This scripture states that we are living and breathing on this earth while at the same time we are living from the realms of Heaven in Christ Himself. We are in Christ just as He is in us, and at the same time we are seated in heavenly places right next to Father God! Leading from this reality that we are full of God and seated next to Him will change everything about how we lead and live worship.
Lastly, we should seek His face always. King David writes in Psalm 17:2, “Lord, I live my life before Your face.” He continues in verse 15, “But as for me, I will continue to gaze upon Your face until I see You for who You really are.” The eyes of our hearts belong at this place. My prayer is that my eyes will find the face of God in every storm and each season. The eyes of my heart have gazed almost every place. I have looked high, and I have looked low. I have looked to the left, and I have looked to the right. Nothing satisfies. There is no other pleasure nor nothing that completes me like when my eyes are constantly fixed and gazing on the face of my perfect Father. Even if I may look away for a second, the eyes of my heart will turn right back home. This is where I will live, and this is where I will stay, even through eternity my heart will forever be gazing face to face on my one true Father.
Tanner was born and raised in Central Texas. In 2012 at age 17 he released his first EP entitled “Falling”. He continues to lead worship at his home church in Killeen, Texas. Tanner has a deep passion for the presence of God, and has a heart to train, equip, and mentor the next generation.
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