It happens to every worship leader or pastor probably every Sunday. You are preparing to lead or preach and thoughts or emotions begin to race into your heart.

 “Why are you pretending to be such  a ‘good Christian’? Don’t you know that you are a total hypocrite? Don’t you remember what you were thinking earlier today? How can you stand up in front of these people and assume this place of honor when you know you are a fake?” 

Sometimes the accuser goes after your gifts.

“Your guitar sound awful today! Why didn’t you practice more? Ugg, that note was so flat! You are embarrassing yourself; just quit before things get worse.”

These are the work of spirits and your own sin that are waging war against you. They want to fill your head with lies so that you become so paralysed with shame or fear that you fail to trust in God’s power and you begin to look at yourself. Fortunately, we have the countless examples in scripture of how God’s children fail to reject these lies and yet He is gracious and patient. Think of Abraham’s lie about Sarah to Pharaoh, Israel’s response to the spies report of Canaan, or the disciples scattering from Jesus after he was arrested. Fear and shame are the scorched earth of a demonic campaign to usurp the good, gracious promises of our loving Father.

As a worship leader, when these lies coming rushing into your head, you can only fall on the power of God to fight the battle. If we look at our own resources to fight the battle we can lose our courage and like the army of Israel in the face of the warrior Goliath, we tremble in fear. If we fix our eyes on the power of our Redeemer, who is mighty to save, who has been faithful in the past to be our refuge and strength, then we will be like the young David who faced the power of the enemy without the King’s armor because he had the protection of the one true God. David was able to remember how God had delivered him from the bear and the lion and that was the power of his faith. Every Sunday, we practice the Lord’s Supper so that we can also look back and remember God’s faithfulness and find the power, not in our hands, but in the Rock of our Salvation.

Spiritual warfare is real. It’s not the stuff of teenage vampires or back-masking subliminal mind control. The weapons of the enemy are more subtle and more crafty. Observe how your heart responds in worship. If there is fear or shame, then you are being attacked and you need to “preach the gospel to yourself” in order to remember God’s unshakable promises. If you are feeling conviction or reverence, these might look like fear and shame, but they will ultimately lead you to the cross and in the end, to comfort and joy.