This is the most vulnerable post I have ever written, and I hesitate to write it.
Several years ago, I was a staff worship pastor in a vibrant, growing, worhsiping church. One Sunday morning, the worship was especially powerful, and the Spirit of God was thick, nearly tangible in the room. It was a beautiful, glorious, worshipful moment that pulsed with passionate worship of Almighty God.
For years before that day, I had struggled with little thoughts that would creep into my head while I was leading worship:
“Who are they? They must be new.”
“Why doesn’t he sing?!?”
“She is beautiful!”
“I just don’t think they like me.”
“I wonder what’s wrong with them today.”
“Where is everybody?”
It’s not that these thoughts consumed me, they would just crop up here and there at inappropriate times, distracting me from the issue at hand: leading God’s people into worship. I realized that they were seeds that the Devil himself was trying to plant in my brain to get me off track.
There’s an old saying: You can’t help it if a bird poops on your head, but you don’t have to let him build a nest there. It wasn’t a full-on attack… it was more insidious. Satan was pooping on my head.
But that morning, Satan brought his ‘A’ game. At the end of the worship set, the congregation erupted in spontaneous praise, lifting their hearts, hands and voices in new songs of praise and adoration. I stood there marveling, thinking how beautiful and wonderful it was. I felt humbled and honored.
And as I stood there, Satan slithered up next to me and whispered three deadly words in my ear:
“You’re so cool.” Immediately, a wave of nausea swept over me as I realized what was happening. The Liar himself was trying to take a beautiful moment of worship and make it about me.
“You’re so cool.”
You’re: He wanted to make the moment about me. It had always been my intent to lead worship in such a way that I would diminish and God would be magnified. I would decrease and Jesus would increase. The Enemy would like nothing more than for me to seek (and take) glory for myself.
Cool: He knew that I have always struggled with feelings of insecurity and inferiority and that now, as a worship pastor, many people put me up on a pedestal, or even treated me like a celebrity. He knew the battle that waged within me to remain humble. I had grown in my confidence and self-esteem as I was fulfilling my calling to lead worship, but Satan knew my past and he knew my weaknesses, and he knew how to push the right buttons.
So: He wasn’t just telling me that I was cool, he was telling me that I was so cool. Cooler than the rest of the worship team… Cooler than other worship leaders… Too big for my small church and my small town… Destined for greatness… SCOTT JASMIN: The next big worship-leading sensation! Blllaaarrrgggghhhhh!(my best puking sound effect.) He was preying on the weakness in my flesh that longed for acknowledgement and approval.
It gets worse. As I thought about what he had said: “You’re so cool,” I realized that he had chosen his words very carefully. This was no haphazard jab. It was a carefully calculated attack. He had deliberately and carefully chosen to attack me at my weakest point because… he knew me. He knew my fears. He knew my weaknesses. Like a savvy warmonger, he had studied his target and planned his attack based on my weaknesses!
And Satan is no slacker. He is surgically efficient at what he does. He is not called ‘the Accuser’ for nothing.
I had to admit it… he was right. Because of my insecurities, I did have a deep-seated longing for acknowledgement and approval. My flesh craved it.
Regardless of the health and strength of my Spirit-Man, the Enemy knew my fleshly weakness, and he was attempting to exploit it.
But he is also the Father of Lies. So even though he was right about me, he was also lying to me. “You’re so cool” was an attempt to subvert my integrity and humility.
I share my story in an attempt to help (and warn) you, my fellow worship leaders. Satan continues planning his strategy to trip me up in an attempt to destroy my walk, my ministry, my marriage and every aspect of my life. It’s who he is. It’s what he does, and he’s not going away.
What about you? Where is he attacking you? What is he whispering in your ear?
Don’t be fooled. He knows you too. He’s been studying you. He wants to take you down. So be innocent as doves, yet shrewd as snakes. Be aware that the Enemy is determined to take you down, along with your ministry.
But… greater is He that is in you than he that is whispering in your ear. Let me say that again… Greater is He that is in you than he that is whispering in your ear!