Resisting and Preparing for Worship

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7 (NASB)

As Sunday mornings go, it was fairly typical.  My family was piled in the car and we were headed out early.  My wife and I, and our son, were part of the worship band on this particular morning so that means the whole family had to get up early and be there in time for rehearsal.  It seems to me to be somewhat tense around the house each Sunday that we are on the schedule.  Maybe it’s just our family, but I have a feeling that other families have similar experiences.  In fact, I would assume that single people have some stress on these days of early morning preparations too.

I realized that I was tense when I made some kind of comment in the car and my wife looked over and said, “Are you alright?  Is there anything wrong?”  It’s only then that I became aware that the tension was not only within me, but had begun to extend into my interaction with others.  What was somewhat perplexing to me was that I didn’t feel especially stressed or irritable – but I was certainly acting that way!

What was going on and what can be done about it?  Our Christian lives are full of pitfalls as we battle sin, the flesh and the schemes of the Devil.  Often, we know things aren’t right, but which of these enemies do we blame?  We must bear the responsibility for our actions and words, yet there are real pressures that influence us from within and without.

As I drove the rest of the way to church that morning, I kept hearing our verse go through my mind.  Especially the word, “resist.”  Although we often try to resist some kind of influence in our own power, we find our ability to resist weak.  I had a battle beginning in my mind and heart, and somehow I needed to resist the urge toward irritability and change the direction of my heart and attitude.  Could I do it?  Could I win the battle?

Not on my own.  And this is where I’d like to encourage you.  We’ve all had these moments where some darkened mood begins to affect us, and we’ve struggled to change our attitudes and demeanor.  Satan’s scheming is targeted and deliberate, and it should not surprise us that we are attacked on a Sunday morning as we prepare to serve the Church and God’s people in worship.

Whether or not these attacks are promoting our own selfish nature, or rekindling some besetting sin, resistance is the key.  However, our resistance must be in the power of the Holy Spirit.  We must not try this on our own.  We can go immediately before the throne of God and ask for His help.  He has promised the grace we need in these times of need (Hebrews 4:16), and He is always faithful to keep His promises.  Jesus Himself called the Holy Spirit our Helper, and He resides within us to foster our obedience.

In fact, you’ll notice that the beginning of our verse reminds us to submit to God.  It is within our submission – admitting our own weakness and need for Him – that the Holy Spirit will come alongside to help us resist.  Victory truly is ours, but the victory is always under the work of Christ and His provision in our lives.  Submit and resist.  Ask for His forgiveness and allow Him to change you – then serve you Church in the freedom of His love and power!

Father, thank you for Your grace in times of need.  Help me remember that we have a scheming Enemy bent on our destruction.  When I am weak, help me through the power of Your Spirit to resist sin and my fleshly desires.  Amen.


Posted on September 15, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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