I spend a great deal of time in prayer when I prepare for my time of leading worship in my church. There are technical musical issues, equipment concerns, and above everything else, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance to select songs that will be sensitive to the Pastor’s message and uplifting to the congregation.
This past worship session was a mighty spiritual struggle. It began a month earlier as we sought to learn several new songs. Scheduling conflicts with several worship team members led to a last minute rescheduling of rehearsal on Saturday evening, instead of the usual Friday evening. During the rehearsal, it became clear that one of the new songs we intended to perform was not ready. Reluctantly, we decided to substitute another song. The next morning was Sunday and we arrived one hour before service for a final rehearsal. We began with prayer and dedicated the service to the Lord. But as I prayed, I sensed Satan’s attempts to derail our service. Within the next 45 minutes, unusual technical complications such as my vocal microphone completely going dead and sound imbalance of the instruments occurred. There was a potential error in one of song arrangements, previously undetected. Because of all the delays, my voice was insufficiently warmed up. As I sang, I began to experience a sense of nervousness, fearing the music would not come together in time for the service.
I was flustered and knew there was only one thing to do. I stopped the rehearsal and announced, “We need to pray!”. We stopped and prayed two more times during that rehearsal. The technical failures stopped, the songs came off, and God was faithful as He brought us through that battle.
After the service, a dear sister in the Lord came up to me and thanked me for leading worship. I shared with her the spiritual attacks that occurred and recounted how we had to interrupt our rehearsal three times that morning to pray and claim God’s promises. I told her that we were definitely under attack by Satan, for he hates to hear God’s people worship and praise God. We could have focused upon our problems but we chose to focus upon Jesus Christ and His promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us.
Her eyes widened and she slowly replied, “I’m getting chills.”
I was puzzled. “Why?”
She spoke in measured tones, “I grew up in the church but I always thought of Satan as this comical character, with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. I never took him seriously. As I grew older, I realized that my understanding of him was distorted and wrong. Satan is very real and he attacks us in many different and subtle ways. What you just shared with me is a reminder of this.”
I nodded and thanked her for sharing. I recalled historical essays of the origins of the appearance of the devil. In medieval times, Christians naively thought that depicting Satan as a caricature of a horned creature with a tail and pitchfork would annoy and humiliate him, eventually chasing him away by wounding his pride. Good thought but completely misdirected and wrong.
Satan wants us to think he is an impotent and forlorn creature who exists to make our life annoying. Satan is real and far more dangerous than we can ever imagine. He not only wants to make our life annoying, he wants to destroy our very soul. The Apostle Peter described him as a lion, prowling around and waiting for opportunities to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8)
Thanks be to God that He has already won the victory over Satan through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Satan knows he is defeated and does everything possible to hide and subvert this truth, interfering in our lives, hoping that we will take our eyes off of following Jesus Christ and, instead, focusing upon on our problems.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
The episode that occurred with the worship team was a sobering reminder to myself and others that life is a continual spiritual war. Satan can use technical glitches and pray upon my insecurities, making me believe the lie that God is not in control. But God is supreme, always in control, and has already defeated him!
Place your trust in Jesus Christ, the Lord of the all creation!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.