We lost something in the garden: the heart of a true worshipper. When Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God, their daily worship wasn’t measured in the songs they sang, but in their choice to obey God by ruling, being fruitful and not eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.“…God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea…” Their one desire was to be with God and please Him. They longed to live according to His design and purposes. Obeying God was easy for them. It was the center of their hearts, their act of worship and their way of life.
We lost that way of life when sin entered the world. True worship became complicated in the heart of man. We no longer easily desired to please God, but to please ourselves. However, God had a plan to restore what was lost through Jesus. He came and did what we couldn’t – live a perfect life in complete surrender and obedience to the Father. He was the only true worshiper. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19 His life, death and resurrection restored our access to the presence of God and our desire to obey and please God. Jesus made a way for us to become true worshippers again.
True worship isn’t defined by the songs we write and sing, it’s by the lives we live. However, the songs we sing, both in personal and corporate worship settings, should lead us back to the original plan in the garden. They should lead us into desiring to live a life of true worship. Jesus was a perfect example of this and His power to live this way came through His dependence on the Word of God and power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Our lives and the worship songs we write, sing and lead should also be dependent upon these two things, the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe this allows songs to become powerful tools of revelation and transformation in people’s lives. Bringing back garden order in our hearts.
Over the years I have been transformed in the presence of God during both personal and corporate times of worship. Songs of thanksgiving and praise have led me past the gates and into the inner courts of the presence of God. It’s here that I’ve become aware of God’s majesty and glory. It’s here that I desire to have a clean heart and pure lips; to want to be Holy, like He is holy. Some of the greatest moments of revelation, repentance, deliverance and healing have happened in my life as a result. His presence has changed me from the inside out and created a longing to honor God in every way possible.
This is why what we sing matters. It’s why worship in private and corporate settings is so important. The songs we sing should lead us and others into these same kinds of moments. Moments that hold the weight of God’s word which has the power to transform lives. The power to realign hearts and minds with God and return to His original design. They should lead us into a place where what we lost in the garden is restored and we become true worshippers once again because we only desire to be with God and please Him.
Over the past 15 years, Hope Darst, has been leading worship, growing her family and serving the local church. She wears many titles…wife, mother, worship leader and songwriter. In 2013, after a decade of being in full-time ministry and on staff at her local church, Hope found herself in a season of transition as she focused on being a full-time mom. During this time, Hope and her family visited a small gathering of people in a basement and encountered the presence of God in a new way. “I had been “doing ministry” for so long that I had ignored so many parts of my heart and life that needed ministry. I was desperate for healing and a fresh encounter with God. That year of rest became the foundation for discovering a new way of living with Christ. Week after week I would enter God’s presence during worship and the word and experience deep emotional and mental healing that I had long thought was impossible.” This “gathering” would eventually become what is now The Belonging Co. church.