I think too much. I analyze, plan, consider, rehearse, summarize and make endless lists… Up until recently I thought this was just part of my personality. But last week for the first time, I considered that perhaps over thinking was just another coping mechanism and attempt to control my life.
So, as of last week I began somewhat of a ‘fast from thinking’. Not all thinking of course, just the compulsive thoughts; rehearsing the past, worrying about the future, weighing up decisions and scenarios that haven’t actually happened, but just in case they do: ‘I’ll be ready’ [smile].
Anyway this post begins with the good type of thinking.
Often God often speaks to me as I allow my thoughts to drift. A series of seemingly unconnected moments can suddenly collide and bring truth to the surface. An experience, a memory, a passage of scripture, a conversation… These moments begin to buzz around in my mind. At times I sense God drawing my attention to these moments; to look deeper, to ask questions, to desire His perspective on whatever has caught my attention.
A moment…As I led worship a few weeks ago I noticed a beautiful family as they stood together and worshipped Jesus. One of them, facing a huge health challenge presently, was physically weak and so, sat down as the rest of the songs played out.
I was moved as I observed them. Whether seated or standing their countenance remained the same; stoic, resolved, faithful: they were there to worship Jesus. Their current situation would give them many reasons to bow out yet here they were undeterred and continuing to believe for their miracle.
This circumstance could mirror any one of a number of situations in your church or mine. All different walks of life make up any congregation. Some walk in seasons of blessing, celebration and joy, while others face illness, loss and the very real and sometimes complicated issues of life.
This is one of the incredible things about the local Church. In some seasons when I am weak I may need to ‘borrow your faith’ yet in other seasons you may need to ‘borrow’ mine. Regardless of our circumstance we journey together leaning on one another for support all the while reaching for Jesus.
As I looked out upon this beautiful family I was deeply convicted to sing with even more abandonment, to stir up my faith in Jesus with greater urgency, to declare Jesus reign over them (and others) and I was inspired to believe for more of the miracle working power of God in the unseen.
A memory…As I reflected on that morning I was reminded of a thank you letter we (the worship team) had received years earlier expressing gratitude from a woman undergoing treatment of cancer. She shared her thanks for us bringing a song week in and week out during times when she was unable to stand, raise her hands or even utter a word. She shared that during times where she couldn’t sing that we helped give her heart give expression to God, we praised on her behalf. Our song became her song and in my words she ‘borrowed our song,’ she ‘borrowed our faith.’
A passage…Luke 9 begins with Jesus calling His twelve disciples together and giving them power and authority over all forces of darkness, to cure diseases to bring hope in His name. As He sends them out, He tells them to take nothing with them for the journey, no staffs, no bag, no bread or money, not even an extra set of clothes.
Later in this passage (verse 42,43) Jesus heals a young boy, freeing him of an evil spirit as the boy returns ‘to his right self.’ Onlookers then stand ‘amazed at the majesty of God.’
Four weeks ago I was captivated by this word ‘majesty:’ mighty power, sublimity, grandeur, glory, magnificence, splendour, superbness, greatness of God.
Oh that we would truly stand in awe of His majesty…..
As I went back to the verses preceding, I felt an impression of the passage in relation to our corporate worship and in our everyday lives.
Jesus has given us the same authority to heal and restore in His name but like the disciples, He is asking us not to rely on our ’stuff.’ His power is not revealed in our ability to sing, play an instrument, lighting any one of our securities, possessions or man made conveniences. A lot of it is all great ‘stuff’ and it is worthy of pursuit especially when it helps us complement and reflect what God wants to do, but we need to rest in the knowledge that His power is revealed not in these ‘things’ but only as we lift up and believe the name of Jesus.
When Jesus steps in and does what only He can do, like the onlookers in the passage, our only response is to stand amazed at His majesty. We are not enamoured by a person, a gift, we are focused on Jesus’ glory alone.
I want to let go of my ‘stuff.’
I don’t want to rely on my thinking, my abilities, my systems and structures.
I want more of Jesus.
I want to lift His name higher, see more of His miraculous power at work in and though my life.
Perhaps this week someone needs to ‘borrow your faith?’ Doesn’t that make you want to believe with greater expectation? Or maybe you’re having one of ‘those weeks’ and you need to borrow my faith? I can believe Jesus for you…
This whole message is beginning to unfold with greater clarity over the last few weeks. In terms of a pilgrimage to worship I see ‘this place’ a far off and I am eager to know more.
There are still so many unknowns but what I do know is this:
As darkness continues to cast its shadows across the earth the light of God needs to shine brighter, carried by those He loves.
We all need a greater revelation of Jesus.
We need to share Him.
We need to declare His reign on the earth.
We need to stand together and let the song of God become more embedded with the revelation of Christ today.
What is the ‘stuff’ that you are holding on to?
Are you ready to let something go and fill that space with more of Jesus?
Let us press on,