I have an uncle who is a doctor. Growing up, I would visit him, my aunt and my 2 cousins nearly every summer in Florida. My uncle is a big teddybear but as a child, and even a teen, he intimidated me. I had a hard time engaging with him because I was afraid he would look at me and see that something was wrong. He is a doctor after all, isn’t that what they are trained to do? At least that’s how it is in my mind. I would always feel like he could look right through my skin and see there was an issue. It made me want to hide from him, even as a child I knew that was ridiculous, but I still avoided interaction. Crazy, huh? My poor uncle was completely oblivious to the level of anxiety his career choice created in me. I am pretty sure just being a general practitioner would have been bad enough but it’s not lost on me how God works - my uncle is a cardiologist, that’s right - a heart doctor. Do you see where God is going with this? Just pause this storyline for a minute because we will circle back in a moment.
A few weekends ago in the worship greenroom, my worship pastor asked us team members to share about our favorite times of worship. I was the last to speak so all my usual answers had already been said by others. I felt the Lord remind me of when I first received my call to lead worship. I had been singing with a secular band for a while and the lead singer wanted to become the manager having me become the lead singer. I was asking the Lord if this was something He had for me. I remember, my husband, Jason telling me for years that I was called to lead worship. I always denied him by saying worship was too emotional for me. I preferred to sing songs that meant nothing. But soon I heard the voice of the Lord clearly say, “I gave you a voice to use it for Me. You are called be a lead worshiper”, I was elated and terrified all at the same time. I realized what I had been saying to Jason all these years was - worship is too intimate for me because I am afraid of intimacy with God. I can’t hide that in worship.
Intimacy, as I have heard it described, is “into-me-see”. I didn’t understand back then why I was so afraid to be seen by my cardiologist uncle, but I know exactly why now. I was experiencing a physical representation of a spiritual reality. I was afraid he would see that there was something wrong with me even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. It’s exactly what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden. They had complete, unadulterated intimacy with God in the garden. They were naked and unashamed. God knew them, inside and out, and they were great with it. Until - until they stopped believing God and started believing the lies of the enemy. They sinned and obtained the knowledge of good and evil. So for the first time they felt this little thing called “shame”. Shame caused them to hide from God because they were exposed. Their hearts were laid bare and there was now disease. But one of the most beautiful parts of this story, which I had never really seen before was when God, in the first and most symbolic blood sacrifice killed an animal and covered them. He covered their shame with a sacrifice.
Christine Cane said, “The enemy will put shame on you in the very area God wants to use you.” It has taken me to this point in my life to recognize how all of this is connected. That is a long 43 years of shame and hiding. The still unredeemed part of my soul wants to believe the lies of the evil one that say I am not worthy of this call on my life. I am not good enough. There are still areas of my heart that are selfish and proud and ugly. I need to hide from intimacy with God because I don’t want the gig to be up. I don’t want Him to disqualify me because of my lack of perfection. He can’t know about my shame. I don’t want to get naked before Him. That makes me feel vulnerable. I don’t want Him to look at me and see that something is wrong.
All lies! All of it! The enemy is putting shame on me in the very area God wants to use me!!! And he started grooming me for this when I was just a clueless little kid! What a jerk! Are you reading this and feeling connected to what I am describing? Are there areas of your life which have shame - thus fear of intimacy? That is probably the exact area God wants to partner with you to change the world! If you take away anything from this really long story of mine, it’s Intimacy in worship is the key to breakthrough. I promise it is. Just start with that! Just start with “getting naked” in worship and it will bring breakthrough in all other areas. It is wild to me to see how all of this works together. Our God is the very best heart doctor and worship is His remedy to shame and lack of intimacy. Let Him see into you because He loves what He created - You - restored to perfection by His son, Jesus.