Welcome back. You are welcomed here.
Last night slash early this morning it all came to a head. Couldn’t sleep, worried about a million little things, feeling attacked in the usual areas – you’re not important, God can’t use you, comparing myself to others who seem to have it all together, focusing on all I’m not, forgetting God’s promises and goodness.
So as I prayed, I told God through my tears, “Jesus, why don’t you help me? Why do you let me go through these times…” “I wish I would feel none of these things, why do I keep coming back to this place? Why don’t you help me?”
One of those nights…
The more I prayed, the more upset I got at the seeming silence from God, which made me feel even more awake, ie not sleeping which frustrated me even further. I kept saying, “Jesus, why don’t you let me sleep?”
Amazing how much why this and why that is in my conscience in times like these. We all know Job’s story and the foolishness of why questions, but there I was, being human and a fool. Been there before. How about you?
Then something really weird happened as I prayed. I fell asleep. What was weird about that is that I didn’t feel tired at that particularly moment, it was as if God said, “let me show you how powerful I am. I can put you to sleep in the blink of an eye, that’s how great and awesome I am…” I woke up sort of shocked at the experience of falling asleep unexpectedly, as if I had angered God and He showed me a little bit of his power and that I am but dust.
This morning it all kept hitting me like a ton of bricks. So as I layed on the floor talking to my wife about last night and with little David running around us with his truck, we talked. I love those moments when we can be real with one another. She encouraged me to not swing all the way to the other side, but to listen to God’s voice. Good advice.
I’ve been unwilling to give God control, I’ve been holding on too tightly to my life, job, decisions, who I’m supposed to be, what I’m supposed to be doing. And for the last 4-5 weeks I was sure trying to be all things to all people. It doesn’t work, it never does, not for long at least. God wasn’t anywhere to be found, not in my songs or in my worship, not in my service or leadership, not in my blogging or songwriting.
He was in the surrendering. Last night, there He was and it wasn’t pretty, in fact it was almost scary. God is a consuming fire. Yes, I remember that Third Day tune, I thought it was just a song.
I have to surrender trying to do stuff on my own strength. You know, the Fall Kick Off thing and all that goes with that in churches, where you have to DO, DO, DO. I’ve been there, and I’ve done more this year than ever. God is at work, people are being changed, lives are being touched, artist transformation is happening, I’m counseling, serving, singing, etc. There have been some dud moments along the way as well. But it’s been a lot of me and not enough of God.
“I consider all things loss, for the sake of knowing you…”
The irony is that I’ve been seeking God, in His Word, worship, friendships, at home, but I have not been listening or obeying God’s voice. He’s been telling me to surrender it all and I’ve been unwilling to do it.
Psalm 33 was the latest challenge:
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
It’s not the size of the army that saves me, it’s not the great ministry around me that makes me or breaks me, it’s not my efforts that make me look good or not. If the Lord had not been on our side, we would have despaired. Apart from me you can do nothing.
Yeah, yeah, I know. And that’s been my problem, I thought I was doing well but I wasn’t. I was counseling people with the stuff, but not heeding it myself. So no song has been written, no book, just this post to you the reader. I’m no where special or new or exciting except humbled and ‘filthy in my sin’ of rebellion, control, self-dependency and disobedience.
The Spirit says, “Trust me. Let me guide you, I am the best thing in your life. I am your wisdom for life, for ministry, for leadership. I am your worship leader, your administrator, your pastor, your guide and counselor, I am the Spirit.” Yes, Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory. Let me start there, let me not forget this moment.
I surrender Lord, I think.
I am sinful and temporal and forgetful and my flesh is weak. But my heart has turned to You. You are my all in all Jesus, help my unbelief, forgive my rebellious nature, turn not your Spirit from me, my bones are out of joint, I am broken and alone. But my heart has turned to You. Don’t stay away, there’s no one to help but You, don’t stay away, what else can I say but You? But You. Save me, Oh Lord.
Into the future,