All scripture is from the ESV translation unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Yesterday we completed an event at Texas A&M called Heart of Worship that I was blessed to be a part of. It was 24 hours straight of unplugged, student led worship on the A&M campus. I’m writing this blog to share with the world some incredible truths that I learned from it and ones that I knew in my head but was able to experience first hand.
1. God uses ALL of his followers to advance his Kingdom.
One of the greatest displays of God’s grace is the fact that there are many ways God could advance his Kingdom, but he has chosen to use sinners who have been saved by grace to do so. Heart of Worship is a result of what the Lord can do through two redeemed college kids who simply let the Lord work through them. Conner Wright (the other guy with whom I put this on) and I simply said, “Let’s let God have his way with us.” It brought me to tears when I arrived at 8 a.m. after catching up on some sleep and saw people standing there worshipping God. God worked through me to put this on. Me. A man who is bent on running away from God. If there’s one thing I want you to takeaway from this it’s that I am no one special. God wants to work through you just as powerfully (though it will look different because he will utilize your spiritual gifts), as evidenced by the following verses.
[Jesus Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
LET HIM WORK THROUGH YOU AND HE WILL! Please don’t miss that. I want to see his kingdom move and people radically changed by the gospel. I can’t imagine what my campus would look like if the Christians here just let it all go and said, “I am your vessel, empty and ready to be used however you wish.”
2. Prayer must be the basis of every ministry.
I saw the Lord work so powerfully through prayer during this time. In the book Radical, David Platt wrote that God is ready and waiting with all the resources of Heaven to bestow upon those who want to see his Kingdom move – we just have to ask. A week before this was supposed to go down we only had 6 people signed up to cover 48 time slots (30 minutes each) and my first reaction was to say, “I need to go and call all my friends and post all over Facebook. That’s the only way this will work.” Then I remembered Platt’s words. Prayer. I fasted for the next 24 hours and asked that God would incline hearts to this ministry opportunity and he answered in power. The next night there were 18 people signed up. By the end we had 37 people sign up to lead worship all but a few of whom were fully willing and desiring to lead for a full hour, so we had to say no to a lot of them! I credit all of this to God working through prayer.
These were a few of the other things that I prayed for:
1) God would be glorified – he was.
2) people would be drawn closer to him – they were.
3) people would be saved - I am not sure if anyone was saved through this event but I know many seeds were planted, which is what we’re called to do (Mark 4:26-27 - And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how).
4) that it wouldn’t rain - it didn’t.
5) that it would warm up (it was around 32 ºF when it started) – I got a SUNBURN standing outside during the event the next day. Maybe I shouldn’t have prayed as hard for this one…
6) the leaders would show up for their allotted times – they all did. Every one. I didn’t have to call or text anyone.
7) though we had reserved the stage in Rudder Plaza, the female a cappella group at A&M reserved the use of amplified sound from 12:30-1:00 pm (not sure how no one saw that conflict happening). Because we had no amplified sound, we couldn’t compete with them. I sat and prayed that it would deter no one from worship and about 20 seconds after I prayed everyone scooted up next to the stage. Some might say that “that probably would’ve happened anyways” but I think that that’s exactly what the Devil wants us to think – that prayer did nothing.
Without prayer, this whole thing would’ve flopped. Praise the Father for his faithfulness.
3. There are so many ways to worship.
I was prepared to lead for a couple hours if need be during the night, but enough people signed up that both Conner and I didn’t have to lead at all! I was talking to a friend about it who said that he wanted to witness to some people next year if there wasn’t enough room for him to lead worship because, after all, witnessing is worshipping too. I thought about this and realized how many different ways I had worshipped God over the 24 hour span – reading scripture, praying to God alone, praying over people, sharing the gospel with people, and singing praises to him. It was all worship, and it was all beautiful.
4. No one is beyond need of prayer/encouragement.
I love sharing the good news of Jesus with people but, per usual, Satan twists inherently good things so that they glorify him. For the first hour or so of the event, I intentionally didn’t talk to people who were singing the songs because I figured, “they’ve heard this song, so they probably go to church, so they’re probably saved, so I don’t really need to talk to them.” LIES. There was one guy who was jamming out and I went up and talked to him and after a while he really opened up and confessed to Conner and me that he was struggling heavily with pornography addiction and we were able to speak biblical truth into him and pray over him and he broke down crying. God’s grace penetrating people is one of the most beautiful sights on this earth.
5. The gospel never returns void.
One of my brothers in Christ shared a passage during the event that rocked me.
Isaiah 55:10-11 - “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
This goes with the earlier passage from Mark. I am called preach the gospel but faithfully leave the results up to God. That’s what evangelism is. I can take heart and know that God is using my preaching of the gospel even if I can’t see its effect. Obviously, this does not mean that every seed I scatter will grow, but my prayer is that some of the seed will fall onto good soil and produce a hundredfold grain.
6. “If you want to experience God the presence of God, make disciples.” – Francis Chan
Every time I share the gospel with someone, I fall more and more in love with Jesus. It makes it more real for me. After the event ended at 8 p.m. yesterday, I had a burning passion for God that I’ve only felt a few times in life. I just wanted to hug everyone that I saw and tell them about how good God is. In Matthew 28 Jesus commanded us to make disciples and he would be with them. In Acts 1:8 he said that the Holy Spirit would be with us so that we could be witnesses (among other reasons that are revealed elsewhere in scripture). I’d be pretty upset if I gave you an iPod to listen to music and you used it as a coaster because that’s not its purpose. The lifestyles of many Christians say, “I know you want me to make disciples and gave me the Holy Spirit to help me do so but I’d rather just put my cup of coffee on it.”
7. A prophecy?
This isn’t really something I learned, per se, but just something cool I wanted to share with you all. I talked with a guy during Heart of Worship who said that he had a vision that God was going to bring a revival like a tsunami on the A&M campus. Yes, please.
Thank you for allowing me, a broken sinner, to worship you. Let my worship not end at music. Let me walk in worship in everything I do. Whatever is hindering you from working fully through me, take it away. I am your vessel. Be glorified in me. Bring revival to the Texas A&M campus. Bring a desire into the hearts of the Christians at A&M to see your kingdom moved in power, and then do it. Move in power. Blow, mighty breath of God. I’m caught up in grace like an avalanche. I want others to love you and to know you intimately. I pray all of this in faith and in the name of your Son, Jesus, who was victorious over sin and death.
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.