LIFE AS A WORSHIPPER (MY STORY)

By Emily Minto


Emil_y_Piano.jpg

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” 

And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” 

The one thing I ask of the LORD— 

the thing I seek most— 

is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, 

delighting in the LORD’s perfections

and meditating in his Temple. 

~ Psalm 27 ~


Every story is unique. This is mine. 

I grew up in an environment of worship. I always loved music and grew up in a home where music was used to worship God and draw near to Him. My earliest memories include worship music playing and my mother weeping and interceding for a friend dying of cancer. I remember learning to harmonise as I sang along with my Mum to a worship song. I loved sitting on my Dad’s knee as he played the piano and sang songs of worship to God. I saw my parents faithfully set up and pack down at church every Sunday and lead their small congregation in simple and heartfelt worship. I would ask my Mum “Are they going to sing the crying song today?”, because there was a certain worship song which always made her teary and I was worried for her. In retrospect, I love that her heart was soft towards the presence of God and that she allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to her in worship. I saw the way my parents connected with God in worship, so it was natural for me to follow in that and I grew to love worshipping God through music. 

Emily's Dad leading worship (with a young Brent Smith on drums!)

Emily's Dad leading worship (with a young Brent Smith on drums!)

In my teenage years, something was happening on the other side of the world in Toronto, Canada. God's Spirit was being poured out in a way that most of the western church hadn't experienced before. Our pastors at the time went and visited and brought back this burning, dynamic, exciting presence of God that was new to me. This was a turning point in my life, as I was now experiencing God's presence in a fresh and powerful way. The more I experienced, the more my worship exploded.

I began sitting at the piano for hours on end, worshipping and writing songs. By my late teens, it was pretty much how I spent all my spare time. My Mum would come and ‘soak’ in the presence of God on the floor next to the piano as I sang and worshipped. At 18, I travelled through North America and some of Europe to some ‘hot spots’ where I knew God’s presence was strong and there was amazing stuff happening. I was so hungry for God’s presence and the more I met with God, the more I wanted! In the natural world, we get less hungry when we eat. In the spiritual world, the more we ‘eat’ and experience of God, the hungrier we become! 

These special times helped build a personal history with God that is so precious to both me and to Him. This well of worship that has been dug over time has been particularly important over the last few years while I’ve been having kids. In this season of life it’s much harder to find time to sit at the piano and worship. But I’m learning about worshipping God in everything, even changing dirty nappies! I’m learning more of God’s heart and character as I relate to my husband and kids. And, just as ever, the more I know of God, the more I want and the more I am compelled to worship.

Your story will be different from mine. Maybe you didn’t have the privilege of growing up in an environment of worship. Maybe you have spent many years running from God. But it’s never too late to build intimacy with Him, and Jesus has ripped open the veil and removed every single obstacle that would stand in your way. Nothing disqualifies you from having intimacy with God. He is a redeemer of time. He is filled with hope for you and he sees into the future to what you will become. You can build your own history with God, even now. 

So how do you begin to find connection with God? It’s no surprise that I would suggest you start by listening to worship music. Put it on and find a quiet place. Close your eyes and picture Jesus. It doesn’t even matter how you picture Him – it may be a picture from a Sunday School book or it may be an encounter you’ve had with Him. Start with that. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you. You don’t have to feel a certain way or use certain words to worship God. Worship is simply seeing how beautiful He is and overflowing with a natural response of love and awe and thankfulness. 

God wants more than our songs. He wants our hearts. He wants our love and affection and adoration. And as we pursue connection with Him, He wins our hearts with His wonderful presence and brings us to a place where we can genuinely say: 

The one thing I ask of the LORD— 

the thing I seek most— 

is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, 

delighting in the LORD’s perfections

and meditating in His temple.

 


Emily Minto is a Canberra-based worship leader and songwriter and is the worship pastor at Redhill Church. She is also a preschool teacher, married to Vaughan and has three young children.