Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Challenge

By Belinda

Sometimes God speaks on many levels, driving home a message loud and clear. Sunday morning was one of those times.

Before I left for church I read a blog post written by my friend Dave Hingsburger, in which he wrote in frustration about the deification of a soccer player:

What makes him a God?
According to the women interviewed: he's hot.
According to the men interviewed: he's rich.
Yeah, that's what I want in my God. I have need of a cute guy who can kick balls with incredible accuracy when I'm in the depths of despair. Yeah, I really want a God, who looks good in ripped jeans when I'm struggling to make it through my day.
How shallow have we become?

His question, "How shallow have we become?" challenged me. I get so caught up in trivia and forget the truly important.

I was singing on the worship team that morning and got to church early for our practice. Frances, my friend who is also on the team, said she'd been thinking about the Marvin Gaye song, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, and how apt it would be to change the word "guy" to "god." It fit my train of thought about Dave's post.

Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I knew
About your plans to make me blue
With some other god that you knew before.
Between the two of us
You know I love you more...

Our worship team leader, Cheryl, wanted to practice a song that was new to us: Revelation Song. We'd never sung it before but as we did, we were captured by the power of the lyrics and the beauty of the melody. We managed to learn it well enough to include it and it was the last song in the service before Pastor Dave spoke.

Pastor Dave's sermon was inspiring and challenging, from Philippians 3:13-14, on single mindedness and passion.

Philippians 3:13-14 (New International Version)
13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

He also referred to Matthew 21:28-32, the story of the two sons whose father asked them to go and work in the vineyard. One refused, but later did; and the other said he would, but didn't. "Which of the two was obeying his father?" Jesus asked, as he challenged those listening, saying that the prostitutes and hated tax collectors would go into the Kingdom before them, because they responded to John the Baptist's call to repentance.

Again, I checked my faithless heart. In the story of the two sons, which one am I more like? I am quick to respond, but often lack follow through.

The beautiful song we sang that morning, Revelation Song, by Kari Jobe, drew all of us back to a place of worship as we sang words that painted a picture of his awesome majesty and beauty.

Through all of the words I read, conversations, and the sermon that morning, God's Holy Spirit wooed my heart back to where it him alone. I pray that you are as blessed as we were, as you listen to the song.


Deidra said...

That story about the two sons is a favorite in our family. It always reminds us that God desires sacrifice more than obedience. Sometimes we confuse the word "sacrifice" with "suffering" and we run from both. But they are not the same. Not always. Thanks for this post today. Be blessed!

Belinda said...

Did you mean to say, "Obedience more than sacrifice?" because isn't that what God said to Saul when he sacrificed instead of obeying? I'm just checking. I want to get your message fully as you meant it, but you may have meant it as you said it. Confused? I can do that! :)

Thank you for your blessing--you be blessed too.