My heart is being stirred like I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I’ve been keeping it inside, thinking, praying and allowing Jesus to do some intricate heart surgery. I feel that my life has become so domesticated and at the same time so complicated.
As I complain and struggle with not seeing the fruit that I dream of seeing though the ministry I am involved in I’m beginning to realize the the biggest stumbling block is myself. The weekend away was not what led me to this point but rather gave me the time to step back and get perspective, time to LISTEN. I haven’t been taking time to listen to his voice. Honestly, I’m not so sure that God has even tried to speak to me recently. I’ve refused his voice and chosen not to listen so long that I believe my heart began to grow hard. I’ve been doing a lot of “good” but I’m not called to be good. I’m called to passionately follow Jesus above all else.
As God would speak to me, I would hear him and then act on the parts that I thought I could handle. There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. When listening stops…I believe that speaking gets more quiet and less frequent. It’s because God’s voice gets lost in the crowd. I see Jesus in the crowd but I haven’t wanted him enough to do whatever it takes to get through the crowd. As I write, I recall many times that God has whispered and even yelled to get my attention but I refused. God has used speakers to comunicate the need to refuse the crowd and pursue Jesus at all costs. Francis Chan spoke on this at Momentum when he challenged us to go up the down escalator to chase after Jesus. Last Wednesday night even I spoke on how Zacchaeus didn’t allow the crowd to keep him from seeking Jesus. I challenged my own students to identify what in their lives might be “the crowd”, what has been crowding Jesus out of their lives. I’ve crowded Jesus out of my life and I haven’t begun to admit this until this past weekend.
God has not only spoken through his Word these past few days, passages like the story of Zacchaeus, and through a book, “The Barbarian Way” but through an experience on Sunday afternoon. One of the places we went in NYC was to a service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I didn’t expect the encounter with the Living God that I so desperately needed, especially not through a choir. But, as they sang the following song my spirit was moved to the point of tears. I’m usually so domesticated that I will stand when everyone else stands, I will sit when everyone else sits. I rarely if ever cry, especially not in church…I used to but my heart hasn’t allowed such emotion to overtake me in quite a long time. This was different. I’m sure it wasn’t the song as much as it was God’s Spirit actively breaking my heart the previous couple of days. However, the timing and lyrics of the song spoke in a way that I desperately needed. I was moved to tears, I stood, I didn’t care, I was worshiping my Jesus for the first time in a long time. It was a taste of Heaven…I’ve never observed and then joined in with such a diverse group pouring out their hearts to Jesus.
Even as I type this “confession”, sitting at Panera Bread, the song is ringing in my ears on repeat and I stop periodically as I fill up with emotion, power, strength and a desire to make Jesus the only one.
None But Jesus
In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
When You call I won’t refuse
Each new day again I’ll choose
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
In the chaos, in confusion
I know You’re Sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
When You call I won’t delay
This my song through all my days
All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope, all of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord Forevermore