The deep inner workings of a beggar's mind

Posts tagged “Singing

Refresh

It’s been far too long since I posted one of these. Not that anyone reads blogs anymore in general. Maybe I should just type everything in facebook notes…meh, writing out my thoughts here saves paper, at least.

It’s amazing how quickly one can lose sight of their goals if no action is taken toward making them a reality. It’s so easy to get sidetracked, distrac-“SQUIRREL!!”-ted, and otherwise apathetic (Couldn’t think of another “track” word. Whatever.). These are common, natural dangers, but they are the worst progress-killers ever, and if we hope to honor the Lord and better ourselves and those around us, they have no place in our lives.

This past weekend at Acquire the Fire was AWESOME! Aside from a few…interesting situations which branched off from me driving one of the vans and not knowing the area around the center AT ALL, that is. God really rocked the house (as He always does), and His presence was so tangible, I could almost physically feel His embrace. It was such an enriching, freeing experience to just be able to sit back and worship without having to worry about hitting the right notes on a guitar or the right harmonies in the mic. Many experienced love, refreshment, deliverance, and healing. Some met Dad for the first time. In my case, it re-centered my focus and carried over into the church service on Sunday. I even picked up some great new songs to use in my own personal worship and in my leadership at church. I made a few commitments. I abandoned a few skeletons. I finally turned away from my vomit for one brief and shining moment.

Come Monday, however, I was already back into a few of the things I swore to leave behind. Call it addiction, call it unfaithfulness, call it what you will, but the reality is I need to just lay them down once and for all. They’re just not worth pursuing, but they are “comfortable” (until the guilt sets in). They are “familiar.” And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of crumbling at the first hint of temptation; I’m sick of allowing my life to be ruled by these petty gods. I’m wholly disgusted with the unholy desires of my heart. I’m totally dissatisfied with my poor self-image, paltry commitments, and pitiable disposition toward sin.

I need more. I CRAVE more. More of the Word. More ministry. More time spent worshiping. More of GOD. So many people are content to allow Him to clean up their mess like a butler, then to ignore Him like He doesn’t exist when things are going well. So many treat the Author and Sustainer of the UNIVERSE like some kind of cosmic Genie who is bound to granting us every selfish impulse of our hearts. I’m tired of being one of those people. I’m tired of grieving the Spirit. I’m tired of living for temporary things. I need an eternal mindset.

God, far be it from me that I should push You to the back burner!! I BEG You, don’t allow me to live another day consumed by such meaningless things! Don’t allow me to fall back into the normal “routine.” Take what’s left of my life. Use me how You see fit. I’m tired of living for my own pursuits. I’m tired of rehashing old and worn out posts like this one. You are SO much better than ANY of this. I pray the passion I have now would continue to flood my soul and banish my internal darkness. You removed all the filth from me once and for all on the cross, yet I treat Your sacrifice as a trifling thing. It’s despicable. Yet, You forgive. You love. You hold me close when I’m broken. You lift me up above my curse. Even when I spit in Your face, You just wipe it off and extend Your hand once again. Please forgive me. Please strengthen this feeble heart. Please refresh my life, remove me from the exalted place that belongs to You, and empower me to exhaust my life for Your cause.

To You, and You alone, be every OUNCE of glory.

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Stop singing and start listening

    So tonight on my way home I was listening to Chris Tomlin’s Live at Austin Music Hall CD. I’m not sure what it was, but tonight that CD and all the songs on it struck me particularly hard. It’s like the Lord breathed new life into them for me, which is not an unusual thing after a long hiatus from listening to them. It seems that every time I take a long break from listening to a worship CD, the next time I pop it into my CD player, I realize how wonderful the messages in all the songs are and am moved to tears 9 times out of 10 (contrary to popular belief, crying is not a sign of weakness because even Jesus Himself cried, and He’s one of the strongest people who ever lived if not the strongest).

One song that particularly struck a chord was “How Great is Our God.” If we only knew just how great He truly is, our lives would be completely different. Moses merely saw God’s back, and his face still glowed so brightly that He had to wear a veil to keep from blinding the people of Israel. Ezekiel saw a vision of the Lord in the sky in all His glory and was so blown away by what he saw that he just sat astonished beside a river FOR A FULL  7 DAYS. THIS is the greatness that song talks about. If we were to see even a small fraction of Who God truly is, we would be absolutely wrecked by the realization of how sinful and unclean we truly are, much in the same way as Isaiah was after he saw the Lord seated on His throne.

We sing all these wonderful “praise and worship songs” in our churches and youth groups, but do we really take to heart the power and truthfulness of the lyrics? Do we just sing them because they are good songs, or do the lyrics reflect our true attitudes? Do we just sing them because we can, or do we truly allow the lyrics to penetrate our lives and change us? I’d venture a guess and say that 9 times out of 10 (I really like that phrase tonight, haha) we are just giving God lip service. Sure He loves to hear His children sing about Him, but He loves it even more if they truly sing to Him from the depths of their hearts. It says in the Bible that “God inhabits the praises of His people.” Do we realize just what it is that we’re singing?

Furthermore, worship is not merely an act that we do every time we sing songs, but it is an attitude that should permeate every area of our lives. It’s an awful misconception to think that worship simply means singing songs in church every Sunday and Wednesday. Singing is just one of the ways we express the attitude of worship that is in our hearts.  Other acts of worship are prayer, reading your Bible, sharing the Gospel, or even just encouraging someone who’s having a bad day. There is no one right way to express the attitude of worship. This can be clearly seen in the way people act during the “worship service.” Some people raise their hands, others clap and jump around, others stand still, some fall to their knees, some sit silently, some have their eyes open the whole time, others barely open their eyes, and so on. Every person has a different way of expressing their gratitude and praise to the Lord, and the Lord loves every bit of it.

The next time you go into a “worship service,” be sure to not only focus on hitting the right notes, but focus on the lyrics themselves and come before the Lord with an attitude of worship. God desires us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Let us strive to do so. Until next time, Godspeed and God bless!!

– Brian