I was preparing for a worship night last week when this idea hit me. Boyfriend Jesus is dangerous. I don’t think anyone else jumps to that point when they are preparing for worship nights. But I was struck by this thought. As I thought about it, it made more and more sense. Here’s my thought process.
Most of the time when worship nights are hard, especially historically, people sort of expected that there would be this concentration of music and praise that you don’t normally get on a regular Sunday morning. It will be less inhibited, more free flowing, even more emotional. People come in expecting a certain experience. You see things like songs with longer choruses and bridges, dim lighting, candles, and this created atmosphere that really speaks to really “meeting” God. It always sounded and looked like you were getting ready for a date. Or at least that’s where my mind always went. Then, we would sing songs like “In the Secret” and “Your Love is Extravagant that speaks to the intimate moments between you and God, which may be true, but sound a little bit creepy.
However, this past week as I was preparing for this evening, I was hit by the weight of the scripture that they were using. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.” As I read the context of this verse, the chapter it was in as well as the one before, God was speaking to a group of people who were scared and frantic. Much like Jesus when he spoke to the wind and waves in Mark 4. It reminded me of when I was little and I’d be running around doing my thing, probably getting into stuff and my mom would call me. She start out softly, just trying to see if I heard her. Then she would call out to me a little louder. Sometimes I’d respond to that one. But if I didn’t, she would come and find me, get down in my face, grab the sides of my head and say, “Stop. Listen. Look at me.” She got in my face, made me focus on here, got my attention, and THEN she was able to tell me what I needed to know. That was effective for a spazz like me. She spoke with authority as my mom and the one making the rules. I had to listen. And I did. The repercussions for not listening were usually pretty steep.
When God said “Be still” he was speaking with authority. He was telling people to calm down and focus on him. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff floating around right now, but I am God. The same thing with Jesus in the boat. He was able to speak with authority to the waves when he said “Peace, be still”. Everything immediately stopped. Then he had the attention of the people on the boat.
In the case of this worship night, I felt that it was imperative that we take the opportunity to listen to God in whatever form that He was speaking. Worship nights aren’t always for these emotional, boyfriend moments. Jesus isn’t your boyfriend anyway. But the emotional moments of intense worship and praise are not always accurate at worst, and incomplete at best. Sometimes, these times or worship and focus are created because God is trying to get in your face, hold the sides of your head, get you to look right at him and listen. Listen deep. Listen hard. Listen intently. He has something to say to you. He has a plan for you this year. His plan for your life and it’s important that you are in tune with him. Sure, black lives matter. Sure, all lives matter. Sure, presidential candidates are vying and lying for your votes. Sure, money is tight. Sure, someone has wronged you. Sure you don’t know what is going to happen next. I don’t either. But I know who does. And he’s telling you to listen to him. He’s not trying to be your boyfriend. He’s Lord. Listen to him.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[b] help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalm 46 (ESV)