David was just a young shepherd boy, the youngest of eight sons, forgotten and unseen by his father.  It’s easy to imagine his days in the fields, silent and slow, in time with the steady rhythm of the sun across the sky.  But as he learned to shepherd his flock of sheep, David learned to tend the heart of God in the place of worship and adoration.

Even at a young age, his heart of extravagant devotion was beautiful before the Lord.  As David was serving faithfully in the wilderness, watching over his flock, God was removing Saul from the place of leadership and proclaiming through Samuel,  “The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:14).  The Lord was looking for more than a king to command, He was looking for a king who championed His heart.  He found that in David.

David’s love for God was cultivated in the secret place, the wilderness.  There is nothing that confronts the tantalizing pull of ambition and recognition like the hiddenness and obscurity of the secret place.  As worship leaders, the wilderness is God’s grace to us.  It is our chance to live before an audience of One, to learn that His approval really is always enough.

The wilderness is also our opportunity to perfect the most precious gifts that we can offer to the Lord. These gifts are 1) a sincere heart, 2) listening ears, and 3) a steady gaze.

The one who embraces these values has embraced the spiritual posture of a prophetic worshipper.  The one who lives these values is on a collision course with God Himself, for God cannot resist the lovestruck heart that is fully dependent, leaning into His will and seeking His face.

As we cultivate these three simple but potent values, we will learn to tend the heart of God through awe and wonder.

The Three Values of a Prophetic Worshiper

1.   A Sincere Heart

1 Samuel 16:17 “Do not look at this appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

2.   Listening Ears

Psalm 130: 5-6 I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

3.   A Steady Gaze

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”

True Worship


When the author of Hebrews encourages us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,” he is offering us a solution for sin and the key to endurance.  In the light of His majesty, the vapors of time and space and pain and pleasure mingle to nothing.  Every lesser thing simply fades away.  Jesus is the all-consuming focal point, the beating heart from which all life comes.  Can a person become lost in such beauty?  I would like to suggest that this is the goal, the end for which we must strive to enter.

The first step to having our eyes fixed on Jesus is to take them off of ourselves.  What can a person bring before an all-sufficient God? Our very best offering is like dung or rubbish before the All-Consuming fire of Love and Holiness.  C.S. Lewis expresses it beautifully in his fiction, “The Great Divorce.” A human spirit visiting heaven for a day from hell wants to be recognized for his value and gifts.  He is answered: “‘No’…, ‘I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed [in heaven] at all.  No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them.  No atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God.’”  To look at yourself or your abilities when standing before the Eternally Transcendent God is like staring fascinated into your grubby pocket when you are poised above the majesty and terror of the Grand Canyon.  It’s best to lay yourself aside for a moment and gaze on Him.

Whether or not we can bring anything to God doesn’t really matter once we have actually seen Him.  He is so beautiful, so resplendent, so glorious that once we have encountered Him all we can actually think about is how wonderful He is.  I call this experience the bliss of self-forgetfulness.  It harkens back to the days in the Garden when Adam and Eve walked naked and unashamed with God.  There was no need to consider themselves, but only to delight in the fellowship they shared with their Maker.  This fellowship and unity was so real that when it was severed at the entrance of sin, Adam and Eve only at that time perceived their nakedness.  Self-awareness came because they, like Satan before them,  had made self their god.

As people chosen, sanctified, and redeemed under the blood of Jesus, God is calling us to return to the self-forgetfulness that comes from being one with Him. Fixing our eyes on Jesus calls us to the glory that awaits us.  Colossians 3:1-3 says: “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” This week, let’s hide ourselves in the all-sufficient completeness of Jesus.  Let’s lose ourselves in the awe and splendor of His nature and character.  Let’s disappear in the revelation of His beauty and majesty. This is true humility. This is true worship.

Hannah Stevens