One of the easiest temptations for worship leaders to fall into is the sin of pride. It silently
sneaks into our hearts at the most unexpected times to whisper us lies that may sound like:
“Sunday mornings depend on me,” “I am irreplaceable,” and “I deserve praise for what I bring to
the table.” Pride hinders unity, camaraderie, and collaboration of teams and ultimately leads to
division. Pride takes our gaze off of the why behind our service and causes us to fixate on the
what. When we get caught up in thinking about ourselves and our own giftings, we miss the
whole reason that we initially gathered together as believers in the first place — to worship our
King who humbled Himself in the most extraordinary way to give us new life.
Psalm 99 gives us a command about how we are to worship our King. It says “Exalt the Lord
our God; worship at His footstool! Holy is He.” (Psalm 99:5)
Worship at His footstool. His footstool? The low, resting place for someone’s feet? This was
surprising to me. I didn’t expect the Bible to say something like “worship on the stage in front of
God and thousands of people,” but a footstool seemed so low that it caused me to pause in
reflection. It caused me to check my heart and ask myself if I was really okay with a footstool
being the place I am called to worship.
I believe Psalm 99 is a picture of how our hearts should be postured in worship. To worship at
His footstool means to humble ourselves completely at the feet of our King and worship Him as
someone who is far more high and glorious than we can ever comprehend. It is a call to lay
down our feelings of significance and impressiveness before our God who alone is worthy to be
As worship leaders, how do we model this?
- Remember where you’ve been. Call to mind the faithfulness of God to work in your life, to
rescue you from sin and death, and draw you to His heart. Remembering where we have
been helps our hearts to be in a right recognition of who God is and who we are. We are
completely undeserving of His gift of grace and eternal life; we have done nothing to
earn these gifts. So let’s walk in remembrance and humility to recognize the incredible
gift that we have to even draw near to the throne of our King and worship at His
- Spend time in the Word. God’s word is meant to change us and stir our hearts to follow Christ more closely. James 1:22-25 describes God’s Word as a mirror that helps us to see a reflection of our sin. The Bible exposes our brokenness in the light of a perfect Savior and loving Father. Seeing God’s holiness should cause us to take action in obedience and practicing God’s Word.
- Don’t do it alone. Attempting to fight pride in isolation is an uphill battle. God, who models fellowship for us in the Trinity, calls us to confess our sins to one another and encourage each other. Invite others into the messy parts of your heart, and give them the freedom to call you out when they see pride surfacing in your life.
- Welcome and invite feedback. This is a really hard one. To invite feedback into your life means that you are giving someone else permission to show you exactly where you need to grow. When feedback is given without permission, it can be easy to respond with pride and disbelief. But when we invite and welcome trusted friends to give us their perspective on where we can grow, it helps to chip away at pride that is in our hearts.
What a GIFT it is to worship at the footstool of our Heavenly Father. What an honor that God
would allow broken, sinful people to draw near to Him in worship. May our hearts continually
remember this gift and be postured humbly before our King.