Worshipping Critically

As a musician in a worship team for nearly 10 years now, I have learned how to play worship songs. I have learned how to create space. I’ve learned how to play by ear. I’ve learned how to play a chorus with power and strength, and then with softness and tenderness, all in the same song. I have learned how to lead others into a space of worship.
But I have also learned how to be critical; to think what needs to improve; to look for missing elements; to think about whether the tempo is too quick, or too slow; to think about whether the guitar is in tune or not; to think about whether the sound has got the mix right as to how I think it should sound; to think whether this is too loud, or not loud enough.
I have learned how to be critical, but I haven’t learned how to turn that off.
You see, being critical when you have a run through practice helps to improve the sound, improve the flow, improve the music we are using to bring our worship to God.
But as soon as the service starts and we are charged with helping God’s people worship Him, the critique needs to stop. For in that moment, the music is as it is meant to be, and our worship should transcend all else.

The trouble I have found in not being able to stop, is not when I am on stage worshipping and leading others in worship, but it is when I am being lead in worship. My mind is busy critiquing all of the things I have mentioned above. I’m busy telling myself how I’d do it differently, even, better.
But what I’m not doing is worshiping God, for all he is, for all he has done, and all that he has done.
You see, Satan uses critique for evil. He slides it in behind the scenes. He makes you think you’re doing what you’ve always done. But he brings it in to distract us, to frustrate us, to block us, from worshipping our one and true God almighty.

So maybe we need to ask ourselves; Am I going to stand and sing the worship songs, frustrated that it’s not to my liking, or am I going to stand and worship God for all of His glory, all of His grace, and all of His love that He so freely gives us.

Lord, help me remember that you made everything just how you like it. This earth has been around much longer than I, and will continue to be long after I’m gone. And You have been there since before that, and will be there after it. You are so much bigger than my small problems and the issues that I face. And because of this I will stand, and I will worship you. May my soul benefit, may my mind now wander, and may it be with all of my heart.