This past Sunday at church we sang a song called “Bones” by Hillsong United. I was given the privilege to lead it for our congregation. A year ago I would have never even told you that I led a song for our church, rather, I would have just left it at the fact that we sang and I enjoyed it. However, over the past two or so months the Lord has really been doing a transforming work in my mind and when you see fruit from the transformation and taste a little bit of victory, it’s deeply satisfying. That is, the grace the Lord has poured out on you.
I’ve been discovering that when the Lord calls you to an area in your gifting to serve the body of believers He’s placed you in, timidity in entering into that calling out of fear is simply false pride. The gifts He’s given you are just that, gifts. You did nothing to earn it or even ask for it, so step into it with grace, confidence and a humility asking the Lord to accomplish in the Spirit what only He can. How much do we all miss out on simply because fear is holding us back? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit I’m so guilty. Lord, help us. And He does! I’m convinced that when the Lord transforms your thinking, it in turn transforms your serving.
Can anyone say rabbit trail? That’s is absolutely not where I was planning on going when I started writing this post, but it’s certainly what I’ve been challenged with lately so I’ll leave it in there and move on. Grin. (I’m feeling a little all over the place today.)
Originally, what I wanted to share with you these simple lyrics we sang.
Oh Jesus, Alive in me.
Short and sweet, yet simply profound.
Isn’t that what we’re all after? That Jesus would be alive in us each and every day?
That we would be different, think different and act different because today He was alive in us? I don’t know how I can tangibly explain that Jesus makes a difference, but He absolutely does, without a doubt. If scripture tells us that it is “to our advantage” that when Christ went away He would send us our helper, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7), then I want to press into that advantage.
In my obsessive, anxious mind, uttering the words Jesus brings me almost instantaneous peace. Only Jesus can do something like that.
“You can calm the ocean, speak peace into my soul. Take me as I am, awaken my heart to beat again.”
When I feel like my world is spinning out of control, the fact that my name is engraved in the palm of God’s hands is indescribable. Translation: He really does care for me greatly and deeply.
“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16
When someone disappoints me, I’m all the more reminded that Jesus is the ONE person that won’t disappoint me. He’ll never leave me or forsake me. Does that mean things always go the way I wished they would? No. That would be a far cry from reality. But I do know that the things I’ve always hoped for that have eventually let me down, He’s not only come through but exceeded those hopes and dreams.
Yes, Jesus, be alive in me.
I recently told my coworkers that worshiping through singing sets my mind in a posture to receive from the Lord and be content in His love.
I sense His love and his pleasure when I’m singing and worshiping. You might not know it from the outside (much like you might not know when I feel like I’m going crazy from the outside), but the way it brings a calmness and peace to my mind, the joy I feel from worshiping, is almost unmatched. It’s simply where I can feel His presence. And it is good.
I know enough to know that feeling His presence isn’t the basis of our faith, but I can tell you it’s important. When we learn to seek God and find Him in our own intimate way, I know He is pleased as well. I’ve well learned that I don’t get any pleasure out of knowing Christ intimately through the faith of someone else.
There are few things I can do that allow me to surrender my frantic thinking and enjoy the Lord’s presence. Reading a good book allows me to do this as well. It doesn’t mean I never worry again, but it’s in these moments that I can breathe a sure breath and know God really in in control.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I want more of His presence. More of His Spirit. More of His peace. More of His mind.
I don’t know where and when you most sense God’s pleasure and presence.
For some it’s singing.
Whatever it is, wherever it is you feel most at home in the presence of God, I’d encourage you to find it, cultivate and practice it often. Finding Him as our refuge and shelter is of utmost importance.
You can ask my coworkers, I don’t go a day without listening to music while working in the quietness of my own office. And rest assured, nearly the minute I walk away from my desk, I’m either humming or singing something. It’s true. And maybe annoying. But it is for my good.
We know this to be true; the nearness of God IS our GOOD.
Oh Jesus, Alive in me.
Yes and amen.
“But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter, as I declare all the things you have done.” Psalm 73:28 (NET)
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:2