When I was fourteen I began to seek God like I never had before. Reading scripture, listening to every sermon I could, devouring books. It was a sweet time and while I didn’t exactly have my theology sorted out yet (I was a naïve zealot) I am thankful for it.
I started writing music, pouring out my heart to the God I knew could heal and enable me to serve him. I prayed that he would use my life and I promised that I would follow him, seeking his will and calling. I also promised I would never actively pursue notoriety.
Fast forward to now; those promises were made a lifetime ago and I still can’t let them go. “Keep me little and unknown, prized and loved my God alone” (Wesley) was and still is my prayer. But I’m not going to lie, it’s hard, and the social media age makes it even harder. This solo artist with a heart to encourage the body of Christ inwardly cringes and questions her calling and life choices when she sees video footage of other solo artists collaborating and producing records for the masses—with label and church support. I’ve been convicted about those twinges because they are very similar to Saul’s reaction to David when he saw how God was with him and using him. Saul was anointed of God for a specific purpose but his jealousy stemming from his insecurity caused him to lean on the flesh, to seek counsel outside of God’s will, and to even attack David with weapon.
I don’t want to be a Saul. I want to be a David. Someone who recognizes that numbers and outward appearance mean little and that we all have our part to play. When we obey God and rest in his will, we will do exploits—even if those exploits are singing praises to God in our living room.
“Don’t despise the days of small things.”
My path has been unique. It’s been lonely. But it’s been valid and effective. While I may not have the same optics and the effectiveness of my work can’t always be measured tangibly I am praying for the confidence to rest in the knowledge that God has been with me every step of the way, bottling every tear, moving faithfully in every place he sends me.
I also know that I shouldn’t limit the Lord. If he wants me in one of those circles, collaborating and benefiting from the fellowship, I shouldn’t turn down the opportunity just because sometimes those circles get icky. Maybe some do but some do not. A minister recently shared that “it’s hard to do big work alone” and he is so right. This naïve zealot once full of fear of being tainted by compromise is looking forward to a new season, trusting God will keep my heart pure as I move forward and collaborate with people who are genuine in their faith and work.
On that note: there’s a revival breaking out on Asbury University and now Lee University. I’m not there but a longtime friend is and he said the presence of God is palpable. What reaction should we who are not there have? Especially those of us who have been burned / jaded by supposed moves of God? Should we be cynical? Question it? Or should we say, thanks be to God for this work, even if we aren’t a part of it or if it’s not our “thing.” I say we choose the latter and ask God to do a lasting work in the hearts of these young people. And, if you’re like me and have a hard time not being cynical about such things, pray for protection and guidance so that those who are seeking God are drawn to life and not pulled off the path by the “error of unprincipled men.” He is able to answer that prayer. He’s God, after all.
In this hour of comparison, competition and celebrity culture within the Christian community, let’s choose to be like David, standing by, sometimes witnessing the salvation of the Lord from the sidelines. Let’s rejoice that God is moving, even if we are not personally benefiting from his movements. The Lord is on the throne—he has a plan.
Nothing is small or lacks value when God’s Spirit is animating it.
Peace to you, friends.