I have a friend who is a worship leader. His ministry is to lead the congregation to a place where they focus and participate in worshiping and praising God. It’s a fine line that he must walk to keep the music and his comments on track with what the pastor’s message is going to be for that Sunday, and keep himself open to any change that the Holy Spirit wants to make. So he often plans for “spontaneous” praise.
While it may seem a contradiction, there really must be planning for “spontaneous” praise. On our own, we tend to fall into habits; what worked once should work all the time. Until we realize that it doesn’t. Then we try to fix it, using our own talents and abilities. Bad move! Think of how often we hear about members of various congregations question the type of music that the worship leader chooses…as if the type of music matters to God. But we struggle to try to satisfy what we think their worship needs are. Eventually, we all hit our limits and discover that we simply need help. And then we remember, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
We should “plan” to depend on God, not on ourselves or others. And it’s never too soon or too late to trust in Him. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2)
If that means that we have to plan for spontaneity, then we must do it. I know that in my own life I am very organized. I have routines that help me get through each day. As I get older, my memory has faded a little. So I make lists of things I need to, want to, or hope to accomplish. In and of itself, that can be a good thing. On the other hand, it can make me very rigid and not very spontaneous. I can get so busy that I don’t allow time for God to approve or overrule my “plans.” Focusing on my lists may get “stuff” done, but all that “stuff” provides a type of white noise that blocks out whatever God would prefer for my life. My mind and ego want to do everything on my own. Yet I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. (Romans 7:18) Instead, Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:16-17)
So, “Be still, and know that I am …”! (Psalm 46:10) Plan for time to hear from God. Plan for a quiet time. Then bring your racing mind under control and let God do His thing. That planned spontaneity will change your life and those around you.