(Note: Please don’t forget about my Saturday, November 28, 2009 post, “So, You've Been Given the Pulpit . . . Christmas.” I truly would value your answers to it, and I think you would be blessed in the time spent with God seeking your answer to it, and others would be blessed by what you share.)
I heard an interview on K-Love radio yesterday with, I believe, Jeremy Camp. In it he said something that spoke to my heart. I will paraphrase it since I was driving and couldn’t write it down.
Basically, he was talking about the songs he writes and he shared how he had set out to write songs that connected with and touched the people and ministered to them. During the process God told him, simply, “You write songs that touch Me, and let Me worry about ministering to the people.” Jeremy said it was so freeing because he realized he only needed to write songs for God and God would do the rest.
As a pastor I found that speaking to my heart. There is such a temptation to preach to, or at, people, and to weigh their possible reactions to things in your mind as you write them. You have to battle all of those things aggressively or they will start to be the driving force. Each week I have to bring myself back, out of that place, and simply ask, “Father, what do You have for this Sunday?”
I don’t think that the struggle is simply for those in ministry, either. I believe that we all struggle with focus and where we put our eyes. Some struggle with wanting the glory of men more than the glory of God, so they live in fear of the cost of open worship or testimony. Others struggle with ministering for God, hoping it will bring intimacy with God, instead of ministering FROM a place of intimacy with God. Many of us carry burdens that the Lord never put on us, because His yoke is easy and His burdens are light. The struggles, the pain, the doubt, the fear, the longings, the needs—the all can weigh so heavily that we sometimes forget the model of Mary, to simply take the time to sit at His feet.
So, maybe the lesson in this busy season from the Jeremy interview is this—before we wear ourselves out trying to do good all around us let’s first simply worship and adore Him, and see what comes out of that. It is truly amazing what He can and does do through a surrendered heart and life that is fixed on worshiping Him! When we let go and let His Holy Spirit lead, the world is turned upside down. It is not about not doing anything—our faith is called to be an active faith expressed in works—but it is works that come from the place of our faith, works that are led by the Spirit who inhabits our praise and worship, works that spring from a place of love for Him and others.