The following devotional was written by Matt Maher. Matt lives in Nashville and recently released All The People Said Amen on Essential Records. The two-time GRAMMY nominee’s most popular hits include Hold Us Together, Your Grace Is Enough, Christ Is Risen, and Turn Around. Maher is simply grateful for the opportunity to write songs that somehow help people along the way. “It’s a humbling but great reality,” Maher notes, “to be able to help write songs that the Church can latch on to, and then you wait and watch what happens.”
In the book of Numbers, chapter 22-23, there is the story of Balaam, a non-Israelite soothsayer. Everyone knows the part about how God used a talking donkey to reach him, but the rest of the story is just as interesting. He was asked repeatedly to give a curse towards the Israelites, but all three times, he came back with blessing for the people of God.
In the second of these oracles, Balaam says, “God is not man that he should speak falsely, nor human, that he should change his mind. Is he one to speak and not act, to decree and not fulfill? It is a blessing I have been given to pronounce; a blessing which I cannot restrain. Misfortune is not observed in Jacob, nor misery seen in Israel. The LORD, his God, is with him; with him is the triumph of his King.” It goes on, but that last line, “with Him is the triumph of His King” in other translations says, “the shout of the King with them.”
I thought, that was a great image of who is instigating worship – the LORD! Not us. God initiates worship, not the other way around. When you pray in the morning, God is already moving and stirring, way before you say good morning to Him. He is already working in every situation of your life.
So, if we looked at worship that way, maybe it wouldn’t depend so much on our emotional status (aka, how we’re “feeling”). Maybe it would be more about having faith and letting the shout of the King – the voice of Jesus – awaken and stir your heart.