Friday, April 25, 2014

Testimony after a long fight...

As most of you know I am very involved with my churches music ministry. I don't know of many churches that have the music quite the way we do. We all just click because God is the center of it all. But that is not what I am writing about today. A few weeks back I gave my testimony before singing a song, OK well I stopped in the first verse and said I had to testify. We were singing the song "I'm Amazed". I love this song because I truly am amazed at what God did for me.

A couple of weeks before that it was on the worship order to sing, however it got bumped to the next week. I knew this song was coming, I also new that I would be singing the verses and lead part for this song. God had been nudging me for weeks to tell my story, but I wasn't sure when or where that would happen. I fought God and said my story is very personal and I will use it when needed. I have in the past shared my stories with others who were struggling in their marriages. I thought ultimately that is how God would want me to use it. But I never dreamed of standing in front of the whole church to share it with everyone. I was afraid I guess of what people would think of me. I had been up there singing a few years ago, but for all the wrong reasons. Pride, arrogance, and a since of entitlement were my motives. My reasons I thought were valid. Here are a few...

"I waited for my turn to sing on worship team, I deserve this." 

"This is the only time that God and I are on the same page."  Yeah OK, because God is like that? Really only one day a week? wow what was I thinking.. 

"The platform was my refuge from all the guilt I was feeling." 

"If I sing up here than no one will really know what kind of life I live during the week. After all I am wearing a suit and singing with expression." 

And the list goes on. All of those excuses and more were completely wrong. I was even confronted by a church member who was trying to help my wife through this. This lady in a very direct way pointed out my reasoning was wrong. I quickly left the room and went home. I was mad, angry, and upset that she would say such things to me. But.. she was right and if she was seeing right through me, than probably every one else was too. I am here to tell you that God cannot and will not use you, if you are broken and refuse to let God mend and heal your wounds. God will not use you if you are not living according to his purpose in your life. God cannot and will not use you if you are saturated with sin. So if you think that you can fool others, you are completely wrong. God exposes your sinful life to others whether you think you have it covered or not. Don't let the enemy fool you into thinking you can live a double life. By that I mean, a perfect Christian on Sunday and a horrible human being during the week. The math doesn't add up. One day acting perfect and six days living in sin. You have yourself fooled if you think that is a good ratio of living. Now I sing only because God allows me too. I sing because I want to be used by God. I sing because I want to be transparent and let others see Jesus in me. I sing because I want to help lead others in worship of a God who is amazing and deserves our praise. I sing because I want to minister to the broken, the lost, the sick and those who need to feel God's presence in their life. 

Moving on... 

The Sunday that I shared my testimony God was not to be denied. Many times a testimony service has broken out in our church. I have gotten the "TSAS" (Testimony shakes and sweats). I chickened out and denied God his purpose of working through me. But this time I was almost in tears before singing, over come with the Holy Spirit in me, the words to the song were denied until I let God's words come out. So I stopped the song and let God do his thing through me. I then sang the song. It wasn't my best but God was working and moving. All this time there was a small part of me that felt like I was being judged for my past. But when I testified I had no idea what it meant to others. I had no idea how God would use that to impact others. The response that I have received has been overwhelming. Truly God healed me completely of my doubts and fears. 

This is what I have taken from this. There are others struggling or have struggled in the past. Marriages are being attacked by the enemy and if we are not transparent of what God can do, than others will continue to struggle. These struggling people need encouragement, but most of all they need hope. Hope in God of his power to make all things right and new. If we have been tried, but haven't testified, than how can God use us to help others? If we don't expose our scars, than how can others see God's ability to heal? Remember the scars that Jesus has reminds of his ultimate sacrifice so we can be free in him. Why not share that freedom with others? I am here to tell you, that God can do anything. God can use ashes and make something beautiful. If you have a story of how God redeemed you, please let God use your story to give others hope!! There as so many who feel alone and feel like that they are the only ones struggling. I leave you with the song that I sang on that Sunday. I'm Amazed sung by Jason Crabb and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.