When I was in the eleventh grade, my father accepted God’s call and started his own ministry. No longer was I a third row member of Greater Powerhouse COGIC, but a full fledged member of Vision to Victory Ministries COGIC. When you first start a ministry, you don’t have a lot of members, no building, and you lack the “church accessories” such as musical instruments, podium, benches, etc. We had our first service in our home with about 12 people in attendance. On that Sunday, I was the usher, greeter, member of the praise and worship team with my mom and a member; all wrapped in one. As time went by, we were blessed to rent a building and began to have bible study and launch our youth ministry. When God started to bless the ministry, my position began to change rapidly with the growth of active members. My father shifted me to lead the youth ministry but that was short lived; but God had another plan. After being removed from almost every position I held in church, the Lord left me at the altar and put me permanently on the praise and worship team. Little did I know, the altar was where I was suppose to be. For the next six years til this current day, I have led the saints into the presence of God. I didn’t start as the praise and worship leader, I had to be called and molded by God for such a time.
There were many Sundays when I wanted to quit and many Sundays when I didn’t sing; because my respect for God went further than the respect of people. If I was not right within, I was not singing. I can remember a many days complaining about being “stuck” on the praise and worship team. I knew that God called me into different areas but I was unable to go forth. This soon turned into a dangerous place for my soul, my dissatisfaction and wondering eye led me into a backsliding state. I began to give up on God and the gifts and talents he had given me. I no longer found my joy, my strength, my hope in God but in my misery. Before you could say cheese, I was back in the world partying, drinking, cussing, lying, gossiping, and being rude. I was unhappy, angry, sick and depressed. The distance between God and myself was galaxies away from each other. The devil had taken over me to point, I was doing things I never thought I would do and even with all the knowledge my mother taught me growing up; I wouldn’t repent because I thought God didn’t care.
However, as the respectable young woman I was raised to be, I kept my sins a private affair and continued to do what pleased my parents. In other words, I came to church every Sunday and sang songs. But, how many people know it is a blessing to have saints in the background praying for you?! The saints wouldn’t let me leave the praise and worship team, no matter how hard I fought. I am so thankful that God did not give up on me, even when I was doing horrible things, blacked out, and contemplated taking my life; he spared my life every time. After, everything I went through, with all my broken pieces; I surrendered my life to Christ and his will. That very day, I became a new creature in Christ and all I desire is to please him with my life. Today, I understand why I couldn’t leave, for if I left I would have never my made it back to the altar to get my deliverance.
One day, while having a moment with God through studying his word; I stumbled upon Malachi 1. The book of Malachi is a summons to repentance and revival. In the six chapters, the prophet summons the people to forsake their spiritual doldrums and halfhearted commitment to the Lord and return to an active faith and the practice of devotion to God. In the first chapter of Malachi 1 starting at verse 6, Malachi is talking to the priests about their unworthy sacrifices. He goes in about how to they put no respect on God’s name nor his altar. The priests had become bored and gave God everything but the very best. God told them that all over the world they worship me but his very own people who he loved, wouldn’t give him his due respect. In the second chapter, God talks about what he is going to do them.
This spoke volumes to me and it opened my eyes to everything I have been going through. I was giving God half-hearted worship, I had become bored with my worship and just like the people of Israel, the congregation accepted whatever I gave them. Ever since that day, I refuse to give God a half-hearted praise and worship! Every time I touch the mic at church, I give God everything that is within me! No matter how much sweat comes down my face, I will God his due praise because he has been that God to me! It does not matter if no one praises God with me, I will not stop giving God praise! Even if my team doesn’t sing or praise and worship the Lord with me, I will give God everything that is within me and some!
So, I encourage every single reader to read the whole book of Malachi, and examine yourself! We are living in the last days and Jesus is sure to come! It is time to get right with God through and through!