The sound check was a disaster. The focus – on the stress of getting the mix right, fixing the in-ears. A bunch of us snuck off to the green room to snack and avoid the stress. Then our SA Worship Central director had a great idea… “Let’s pray”.
Worship is about connecting with and encountering God – ye it’s for Him, but the promise is that He inhabits the praises of His people. Distraction, noise, and stress disconnects our focus in worship. As we still our hearts and fix our eyes upon Jesus he makes a way where all seems lost. He brings a still, calm and peace to the chaos and stress of our lives.
The prayer I felt to pray in the green room was along the lines of ‘let every eye be fixed on Jesus, and every heart stirred in worship of Him’. He is our focus.
The opening video, played in darkness, echoed my prayer – the audio visual of revurberating noise, building, frustrating every heart, reminding us of the stress of the day, suddenly stopped to soothing keys and words encouraging us to focus and fix our eyes on Jesus.
Lights illuminated, the set list of the days reahearsel somewhat dismissed as Tim Hughes humbly, obediently led the team in a slightly different direction that culminated in free singing of new songs.
In a moment of waiting on Him, a young man sang out from the depths of his heart, and Tim led us to join in as together we sang ; “You put this song in our hearts, You put this song in our lips, You put this joy in our hearts, I will praise you, praise you Lord.”
A call to pray for healing brought many to the front. At some point before the night concluded with us singing and jumping with joy in our hearts to The Way, I recall Tim using these same words ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’. I don’t recall his context, but it impressed on me my primary personal takeaway for the weekend – Fix your eyes on Jesus!
In the end we had a great worship night at the opening of our Worship Central Conference South Africa with Tim Hughes and an impactful conference would follow.
When we humble ourselves, when we realize our efforts can’t force breakthrough, when we get our focus right, when we fix our eyes on Jesus; He meets us, we encounter the beauty of His glory and grace, he brings peace, joy, healing and so much more.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB)
FIX YOUR EYES PAST YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE. FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. THE ONE WHO GIVES US THE GRACE AND POWER, AND WHO PERFECTS HIS FAITH IN US, TO OVERCOME.