One of the verses that has been most impactful in my life is Proverbs 27:19. I actually first discovered this verse in my high school Bible study. Our teacher asked us to share our favorite verse and everyone kept sharing John 3:16, so eventually he told us no one else could use that verse. The sad fact came in that I was stuck, that I didn't have another verse to share. That was a tough moment for me, but I had to find something. So I did what any other kid would do. I flipped open my Bible and pointed at the first verse I could find, and there was Proverbs 27:19. I was convicted by this verse, because as a pastor's kid, I was looked on to be a leader and example of spirituality as a teenager. Unfortunately I was not a leader, and even though my peers couldn't see that, according to this verse God did.
When we look at this verse, it starts off with the image of one's reflection in the water. We have all stood by a pond or a lake at one point and seen our reflection. That is the image in which world sees us, and the same image that we are judged by so often. However God looks beyond that, and instead He looks at the heart. I know you have probably heard that a thousands times, but truly think about that for a second. That it is a frightening thought! So many of us believe there are things we can never speak of again and hide them deep down. So for a second let's pretend all those things were out in the open. Just imagine that you had stamped on your forehead who you REALLY were. Are you the same person everyone sees on Sunday lifting your hands in worship? Would you be ashamed of what people would see? I know that when I came across this verse, I was ashamed. I went into church with a mask that had a smile on my face, while in my head I was counting down the minutes until the Patriots game was on. I was going through the motions and I would have been ashamed for people to know what was really going on in my head.
This verse is also a powerful reminder for us in our worship as well. I believe one of the biggest roadblocks in worship today is when we prioritize our performance rather than our heart of worship. We focus so much on playing the right note or hitting that high falsetto part, and we miss out on true authentic worship. Unlike the business world we are not called to fake it till you make it. To truly create a house of worship, we must first have hearts of worship. I come back to this verse and I'll ask myself, would God be pleased with where my heart is right now? Would God be pleased with my worship? As you prepare for your worship service this Sunday, read this verse, and prepare you heart for what God has in store. That is the first and most important step to excellence in your worship.
Check out the video "Going Through The Motions" by my friend Ryan Walters below. This is a great video talking about the heart and taking off the masks that we wear in our lives.