Depart from Me, I never knew you

This phrase from Matthew 7:23 has been running through my mind the last couple days.  What grabs my attention is the verse before where it says, “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons and perform many miracles?”.  These people were calling Him Lord and clearly thought they were in, so it does get your attention.

First, this verse has the potential to scare most of the current church here in Loveland and elsewhere.  If we live with a works based mentality, then most of us are in trouble.  The people Jesus referred to healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed many miracles.  Most of us haven’t performed a handful if any.  We would normally think anyone doing any of these miracles would be a shoe-in to heaven.  How could anyone perform these miracles and not “know” Him?  Good question!

I’m not even going into a debate about “once saved, always saved” or whether we’re secure or not.  For me, this scripture does bring that question to mind, but what the Lord has had me focus on is the “I never knew you”.  This in itself is another example in scripture of the Lord choosing to relate to us. Of corse He knows us, because He’s all knowing, and He knew us from the womb.  This scripture lets us see He wants us to be “known” by Him.

I desire to prophesy, heal the sick, and raise the dead.  I believe we’re even commanded to do all these things, but I think we have to remember daily to make ourselves “known” to God.  For me, this is a new concept to make myself “known” to God.  I’ve always focused only on knowing Him, and trying to find out more about Him.  I’ve also always thought of intimacy with Him only from the one sided aspect of getting to know more of Him.

So, my encouragement  for you is to make sure you’re making yourself “known” to God.  It’s clear that we are called to do powerful and amazing works for Him, but we can’t let the pursuit of works take the place of knowing Him or being known by Him.  How cool will it be to stand before the Lord and He open His arms to give you a warm embrace(or maybe a high five)!

Peace Out!

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Non-Christian Songs in Church

What do you think about playing “non-worship” songs in church?  Let’s assume we’re not talking about a song with graphic or unclean language and ideas(talking about sex inappropriately for example).  What about playing a song that does have anti-biblical words, but we just play the music and sing no words?

Here in our Loveland, CO church we played “Every Day I Have the Blues” and people loved it.  I don’t know the last time I had such a response after our meeting.  We’ve had people requesting more songs like it.  So, is it wrong for us to enjoy music in church?  Good grief, if you think that stop being stupid.  We aren’t playing these songs to take the focus off God, we’re just coming together and enjoying music.  I think more churches would get people in the door if they would start playing musically relevant songs every now and then.

Do you find yourself having a problem with playing “Rock and Roll” in the “House of God”?  As Pastor of Elevation Church Steven Furtick recently said on the subject (paraphrased)” WE ARE THE HOUSE OF GOD!  This is just a building!”  We can’t forget this, but we do!  If you listen to a song on your iPod, it’s no different to here it at church.  We’ve got to work through the double standard we’ve been taught all our lives, and stop being stupid about it.  We’ll never break the hypocrisy out of us until we start getting rid of this kind of crap!  Music is only one aspect, but it’s very revealing on how you feel.  We need to be “real” in all we do, and stop making fake fences.

So get rid of your crap, and I’ll work on mine. 🙂

Later

Worshiping in Difficulty

I thought it might be a good idea to talk about difficulty(since my eyesight is failing in my left eye).  The doctor is saying my MRI shows abnormalities in my brain(like I didn’t know that already).

So, in thinking about it, I find myself wanting to draw into God and worship Him even more.  In that way, this difficulty is a gift.  I want to worship more, but worship with song less(hmmm).  I want to pour out thanksgiving from my heart, but don’t really want to sing as much right now.  The enemy has in no way taken my song, I just want to worship even more in conversation with Him.  It’s been an interesting time.

The enemy has been in full attack mode trying to kill my resolve, but to no avail.  I’m receiving my healing even as I type.  My healing has not been instant, but gradual.  Understanding why God sometimes heals fast and sometimes slow is a topic for another blog(and your guess is as good as mine).  Never the less, my eyesight has been returning as well as having less “other” symptoms.  Woohoo!

I’ll end with this.  Worship Him in every way you can!!  Don’t take your ability to sing, dance, think, etc. for granted and use it while you have it.  The fact is that in this life, we will ALL experience death if we’re not here till he returns, so seek Him with ALL of you!

Peace out

Worship Music Intensity & Church Meetings

So I’ve been wondering about music, and it’s role in feeling God’s presence in a service. I, of course, consistently wonder about the role of the current western church. We are constantly striving to have “great services” on a weekly basis, but we obviously miss the “changing lives” aspect so much of the time. That will have to be another post all together.  What I’m wondering is, how far should we strive to go with a 30-40 minute “worship” set on Sunday morning?  Worship has been growing in intensity in our church lately, and it’s brought out these questions in me.  I intend to continue down this same path while asking God for instruction in these areas.  Is it ok to just look for an AMAZING experience with God in a single service, or is the “in a service” grid all we have to work from?  I think we’re so used to “the guys up front” doing all the ministry, we don’t think about coming to the service to minister.  I guess I’m wondering where we’re supposed to end up if we make our main focus more, more, more, even though I also know I want more, more, more!  I agree with Graham Cooke in saying that our western church has excelled in teaching how to become HEARERS of the word without being DOERS.  So, do our services entice people to want more of His presence, or do they satisfy them until next week?  I think that’s the real question.  My desire and aim is that services would continue to grow in intensity seeing more of His glory with new glimpses into the kingdom, and that God would rip us away of our training to go away and do nothing.  I believe we will never see this nation change if we continue to sit in chairs and be satisfied with “great meetings”(or sit in meetings and do nothing more than critique:).  My prayer is that we’ll stir people into a new desire to find His presence in every aspect of their lives, and in the mean time find more of His presence in our meetings together!

Peace Out!!

Musicians

Hmmmm.  What to think about musicians?  I’m a drummer and aspiring guitarist.  I used to live in a place where you didn’t get opportunities to use your gift at all.  There were amazing players sitting all around you week after week, so there wasn’t enough need for players to go around.  Now I’m in a situation where I guess players get to play more than enough, because they actually turn down opportunities to play in front of hundreds of people.  I will say, I don’t prescribe to the notion that in order for a player to play at a church they need to be plugged in at that church.  I think it’s good if they’re plugged in at a church, but it shouldn’t be a requirement for a week here or there at another place.  What “the church” needs is more Good musicians!  It’s not a requirement for worship to take place at a meeting, it’s a requirement to move forward in quality and standards.  You can worship without music at all and should, but that doesn’t mean we should set no standards for what comes off the  stage.  I don’t want to walk into the local club on Friday and hear better music than I can find in a church, but it’s more often the case.  We need to be thankful for where we’re at, but also press for higher and better quality.  I think it would be cool to be able to find out what percentage of the population is actually gifted with a high musical IQ.  I wonder if you knew that percentage, (then narrow by those that are using it) how many people should there be in your local church that can really play?  Of those, how many play contemporary instruments?  Things I ponder…  All that said, I have the privilege of playing with some amazing players week after week and feel very blessed.  I can usually find replacement players(not so much this week), but I know lots of places that can’t.:(