Last night Pete & I had to pleasure of going to a fantastic show put on by Calvary Chapel St. Pete. The musicians were Phil Wickham & Leeland! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! The concert was so anointed. Not only because Phil Wickham is so completely and geniusly gifted, but because the Holy Spirt was there dwelling with us! It was a couple of the kids' first concert, so we were pretty amped for what they were about to experience!
Little did I know how much I was about to be blessed. Come to find that these musicians, these guys, are just people, so warm, so genuine, and just shine with Jesus' love. Phil's set was unbelievable filled with heavenly ballads sung directly to the skies! What I didn't expect was Leeland's performance. From their CD, I expected it to be just a really fun time, but I was so blessed by what he had to say. His heart was overflowing with the love of Christ - something he said really resounded with my heart -
"I grew up in church. Both of my parents were worship pastors so I was the kid hanging out in all the choir practices and in all the Christmas plays. It wasn't until the age of 11 that I felt and understood God's sacrificial love for me. Now I'm going to be honest - being in such a great Christian culture and being in church my whole life is sometimes really hard; it's really easy to complicate our faith. But listen, it's really simple. True love is giving your life for someone else. And that's what Jesus did for us on the cross, and that's what we need to do. Give our lives for the Father. If you're here tonight and you have yet to do that, I am going to invite you to do so in a minute, but maybe that's not you. Maybe you have already given your life to the Lord. Maybe you are here holding onto things in your life. Maybe you are in church everyday of the week and are only giving him certain parts of your life, just the spiritual parts. Christian - the only way to receive God's love and to show it is to give it ALL. You can't go halfway. It has to be everything."
I realized that was me. Even though Pete & I are pretty active in our church, and there is nothing I love more than to serve my Heavenly Father, I haven't given it all. I must confess, it's not always with a heavenly attitude that I sing or sweep or serve, and it's something I have been trying to work on, but my flesh is weak. I prayed a prayer last night that Jesus would take my WHOLE LIFE. That He would be in control of ALL things for His glory. I pray that this fresh overflow will continue in my heart, as it is so honest and so neat to not have a care in the world except for my love for Jesus. It may sound irresponsible, but it is the exact opposite. Who better to take care of me than my heavenly father? He knows what's best and I can entrust only Him with everything.
Like it says in I Corinthians 13:1, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." Leeland also said this,
"Worship is not about singing. Don't you think if that were the case, everyone would have been gifted with a voice or the ability to play an instrument? But one thing everyone in the world has is the ability to love. Worship is a lifestyle. It's what our hearts do. It's about what happens outside of these doors. If we can't worship God with our lives outside, then he doesn't want to hear what is happening in this room. Like it says in Amos 5:21-32,
“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments."
A strong word coming from God, but true. He knows us so well and knows our pain, our sorrow, our affliction. He endured them so that we wouldn't have to. He wants all of us all the time. And that's what I have decided to do! Just give it ALL to Jesus! I am so excited, encouraged, and refreshed. I share this with you to encourage you as well. It seems to hard to just let go and Let God (as cliche as that sounds) but there isn't a better decision you could EVER make.
With Utmost Sincerity,