What a word.
I wonder sometimes what sort of power it carried when first the word was spread about Jesus.
The "Good News". It wasn't a Christian word. Somehow, though, I imagine the kids running down the streets to their friends, "Hey! Did you hear the good news?”
It feels exciting. Good. A little weighty. But also light. It feels like hope.
I grew up wondering what all the gospel meant. When people talked about the gospel, what were they referring to specifically? I'm sure it varies to some extent from person to person- everything does. But this year, for possibly the first time, I'm learning what exactly it means. And more than that, I'm learning how to live it.
It's amazing to see how God uses the events and the people in my life to teach me more what this means. It blows me away to watch as He puts together the groups of conversations and events and situations that all point me toward the thing that He's trying to get across to me. Lately it's been pride. For the past couple of weeks, I've been struggling with this pride that has told me I have it all together and that I have what it takes. But God has brought to my attention consistently just how untrue this is.
Every time I'm tempted to forget, something else happens that brings me back to a place where I realize just how much I need Him, how dependent I am upon His hands to mold me into the person I want to be- the one He made me to be. As I sit here unsure how to move, He molds my heart through His word and His love and His people.
It struck me the other day how quickly my dreams could be over. At any moment I could develop a disease or break my arm and in that moment I would lose my ability to play bass and guitar, possibly forever. And the level of fear that arises in me when I think about that tells me that yet again I've put my trust and my hope in something other than God. I've come to define myself by the abilities that God has given me while forgetting that it was God who gave them to me.
"The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The Skies proclaim his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world" - Psalm 19:1-4
It's so humbling to think how every piece of God's creation screams his praise. Without so much as a word the trees point to his majesty and the sunset to His beauty and and the stars to His immensity. And yet I, who was made in His image; I, who He died for; I,who was loved by Him even when I was weak (always) and fell down (more often than I care to admit); I try to achieve His glory for myself. How does that make sense?
What an awesome privilege it is to be able to point people to Christ, to inspire people to follow Him. What a great joy it is to use the gifts He has given me to help others worship Him who has given us more than we could ask or imagine. There should be no fear in me over losing those gifts, but instead gratitude and humility that He has allowed me to use those gifts and given me the opportunity to use them in a way that is honoring to Him.
Every moment that I have I want to worship. In my music, in my school work, in my friendships, in my quiet time I want every thought, every action to honor God. I want to live a life of worship. I want to praise him in every moment, the good and the bad. I want to live a life whole-heartedly devoted to Him so that when I die it is not my name they remember, but God's.
I'm not there yet. I don't know if I ever will be. But there will be no more half-hearted devotion, no more take-it-or-leave-it faith. I'm handing over every dark and cobweb-filled crevice of my heart to be lit and cleaned and refined in the fire. I cannot lead others in worship through music when my life is not living worship. From this moment on I'm all in.