If You Want To Hear God Laugh...
Singing with Worship Team at New Life City Church
I’ve heard people say that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. In my last post, I did just that. I thought I had a clear vision of what I would do with my business going forward, but perhaps the only thing I was 100% sure of was that God wanted me to turn it over to Him.
I have heard a few friends talk about the Lord giving them a word for the year. This was new for me, but the word that kept coming up was Sabbath. Sabbath (or “Shabbat” in Hebrew) means rest or cease. At the beginning of the year, I made a few aerobic dance exercise videos to Contemporary Christian music. It felt easy, and it flowed like the Holy Spirit was just handing it to me. After several months of finishing the videos and posting them to YouTube, it began to feel like plowing hard dirt. I also had an impression that the last YouTube video I filmed, in which I spoke on obedience, was going to be the last one. It felt finished. I felt very confused, because I was so sure that this YouTube channel was going to be God’s plan for my future. However, I also lost my desire to do it anymore.
I prayed about it, because I couldn’t get any peace. Was I being lazy or idle in God’s plan for me? I asked the Lord to tell me, in no uncertain terms, whether He wanted me to do more YouTube videos. The very next day, the devotional that I was reading on the You Version Bible App said “Stay off YouTube!” I was floored. I think in the context of the devotional, it was talking about being more mentally present in your day to day life and your walk with the Lord as opposed to more time on social media (sound advice). For me it was much needed confirmation and answered prayer. I immediately felt peace. I was released. I could Sabbath! I could rest easy for His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
I began to question whether I was ever to do the YouTube videos at all. As I started to freak out a little bit, a song that was randomly playing on Spotify said “I know what it’s like to have a toddler freaking out...” I started laughing, because I have referred to myself as a spiritual infant that is now a toddler going through the terrible twos. In other words, God was telling me not to freak out. I was learning to actually listen to what the Father wants instead of exerting my own plan.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8 ESV
The Holy Spirit was leading me in a new direction. It was time to rest and be refreshed. New instructions were coming. The next instruction I got was to grow where I was planted, at my church. The Lord called me through a vision to join the Worship Team. I was terrified, but after resisting for a week or two I finally obeyed. It’s been several months now of battling through my fears and getting on stage to sing with the group. There have been a lot of nerves, anxiety, and a few sleepless nights. Each time I sang with group it got a tiny bit easier.
Through this I’ve learned to trust God more and more. I’m finally getting out of my spiritual diapers. I’m finally learning and believing that God’s plans are not to harm me, but to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He means it. He is faithful. He keeps His promises. And He loves me. He really does actually love me, warts and all. I can trust Him. I’m learning to trust Him more and more… with everything.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 ESV
I have meditated on this verse so many times. As I battled with fear, I knew I was missing something. Somewhere deep in my soul I had submitted to a lie, that anytime something humiliating or bad happened to me, that God was punishing me. I finally came to this realization over the past week as I meditated on this verse again. The Holy Spirit exposed it to me. I repented for believing such a lie and started replacing it with the truth. God is love (1 John 4:8). He is a good, good Father. And just like that, all the fear about singing on stage at church was gone. “The truth will set you free,” and “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:32,36 ESV). I was able to get out of my head and worship God in freedom, because I trust Him. That trust brings hope and courage (Psalm 31:24, Job 11:18).
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer
I heard this quote for the first time, last week. It helped me break through that wall. The words that come to mind for me when I think of God are "Love" and "Father," simultaneously. The lie that He was punishing me or going to punish me didn’t fit. If God is love, then He is also love the way that He defines it through His Word. Try substituting God every time that "love" is mentioned in these verses:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10 ESV
Now go through the above verses with His Son, Jesus Christ ("Yeshua HaMashiach" in Hebrew).
The more we study God’s Word through the scriptures the more we get to know Him and His character. We get to know how much He loves us.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 ESV
I really don’t know what God’s plans are for my future and my business, but I trust Him. I’m doing my best to listen, one day at a time (“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 KJV). I don’t know if there are more videos in my future later on or if it's finished for good. I’m not worried about it. I will be still and wait for the Lord, knowing that I can rest in the palm of His hand. He’s got me by His grace, and that’s more than enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Questions/Actions for Reflection:
What about you? What comes to mind when you think of God?
Who is guiding your life? You or God?
Are there fears or past hurts in your life that are shaping your view of God?
Ask God in prayer if there is a lie that you have submitted to that does not reflect His character. Repent or turn from that lie, and replace it with God’s truth through His Word (the scriptures). Allow His grace and forgiveness into your heart so you may begin to heal.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105 KJV