“And the Lord said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:1-5 ESV)
We were part of a much different church when my wife and I first became Christians. I had been walking with the Lord for no more than 6 months when I started singing on the worship team. This was a very bad thing for me to be doing, and an even worse thing that the leadership of the church placed me in this position. I was so new and immature. They should have known better than to place a microphone in the hand of a newly converted man. There is a reason why one of the qualifications for a leader in the church is that they not be a recent convert (1 Timothy 3:6). The reason is given in the latter part of the verse; because he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. I tried to remain humble and think only of worshipping the Lord while on stage, but to my shame, the accolades that come with prominence got the better of me. I probed to hear what others thought of my voice. I liked hearing compliments and soon swelled with conceit.
God did not want me to remain in my pride, and did not want me to steal glory that alone belonged to him. Through some circumstances, the Lord led an acquaintance to mention to my wife that she had a hard time focusing on the Lord during a worship service because of my voice. I was a distraction for her to sing praises to God. I arrived home one afternoon from work and my wife told me of her conversation with this woman. Karie almost told me out of the corner of her mouth and thought nothing of it. I however was insanely broken and overcome with my sin. The Holy Spirit took the words of my wife and broke me. I went outside and fell on my face in the dirt. I essentially said to God the same thing that Job said in verses 3-5. I felt of small account. I begged him for mercy and forgiveness. I told him that I would lay my hand upon my mouth. I told him that I was done singing in that context and would proceed no further.
The Lord blesses a broken and humble spirit. I felt his presence in that moment in a way that has not happened since. I have had seasons of repentance throughout the twelve years of my salvation, but none quite like then. He spoke deep in the recesses of my heart and asked me to turn over. The sun was shining and the warmth of it penetrated into my crying and dirty face. If you confess your sin, he is faithful and just to forgive your sin; and go and sin no more, were two verses that came into my mind. He spoke to me. He spoke the words of Scripture into my heart and I knew I was forgiven. I also knew, like Job, that I could no longer proceed any further in the direction I was going. I went back into the house covered head to toe in tears and dirt. My wife had no idea what had happened, nor that I had been outside. I told her of my experience, that I was stepping down from the worship team, and that we were leaving our church. She said “okay,” and we were gone two weeks later. The church was a liberal, Methodist church that did not preach or teach the gospel. The Lord did not want us to remain there and I was convinced of it now.
Repentance is a sweet gift. There is such blessing and communion from God in the midst of our painful confessions. It was probably freeing for Job to tell the Lord he was of small account. Maybe the Lord will use either Job’s example, or mine to bring a fresh season of repentance to blow upon your family.