The Backup Singer
“They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.’” John 8:27-28 (NIV)
I’m a backup singer in my church’s worship band. Most singers don’t dream about doing backup vocals. Neither did I.
As a child, I was the one pretending a hairbrush was a microphone, singing with my favorite band playing on the record album, and imaging the day they would call me on stage and introduce me as their new lead singer. That was my dream. Not doing backup harmonies.
It’s amazing how God redirected my life. Now, I wouldn’t trade my place in the shadows of the stage for the promise of a record contract. Why? It’s in the role of a backup singer that I’ve learned spiritual lessons that have impacted my life far beyond a 20-minute worship segment on Sunday morning.
A good backup singer is always listening to the leader, and then hitting the right note to create harmony. Where the leader’s voice goes, mine follows. On the rare occasion when the leader ad-libs at the last minute and deviates from the melody, my job is to stop singing until I can find the right harmony. If I insisted on singing the notes I believe I “should” be singing, I’d create a disharmony that would distract the congregation from their worship.
As a backup singer, I am not to draw attention to myself. It’s not the time to try out a fancy new vocal move, or add some dramatic vibrato. Harmony is not the lead, it’s the soft support that should enhance the leader’s voice, and allow those singing to follow the leader, not me.
Learning to sing backup is a little like being a Christian. Just as I follow the vocal leader, we are called to follow God. If others are watching me, they may be too distracted to following God’s leading. This life is not about me. It’s all about God.
Jesus modeled a lifestyle of watching what His Heavenly Father was doing and listening to what His Father was saying. Jesus openly admitted that God was His leader and that He did nothing on His own (John ). With that attitude, Jesus brought glory to God by knowing the Scriptures, praying regularly, and withholding His speech until He spoke just the right words. He modeled humility that attracted listeners and watchers to their Heavenly Father.
I’ve learned a lot from being a backup singer. Being alert to what God is doing in and around me, then choosing to bring harmony rather than discord is a valuable lesson.
Heavenly Father, there have been many times I have chosen to sing my own tune, rather than follow Your lead. Please forgive me for not listening and obeying. I want to follow You. Help me to listen and obey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Worship: Nearing the Heart of God by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer
Identify one area of your life that is out of tune with God’s will. Determine to make one change to bring your life into greater harmony with God’s will.
What are some ways that choosing our own will instead of God’s will creates discord?
Harmony is pleasing and attractive to those listening. When we obey God, how does that attract others to Him?
How can you be more aware of what God is trying to teach you?
John , “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (NIV)
Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (NIV)
1 Peter 1:14-15, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do …” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105