A few years ago, I stumbled upon a song by Jason Upton, Do You Like The Song I Wrote For You?
I meditated on this song for most of 2019, asking God the same questions Jason asks within the lyrics, "Do you like the song that I wrote for you? When you see my soul do you still see you? Do you like the home that I have built for you?"
I've recently found myself meditating on these words yet again. I can’t say God's response to my questions has always been what I thought I would hear. I've fallen short on several occasions. I've gotten distracted, even by good things. The Lord is constantly inviting us into moments of reflection that realign us and set our hearts back on course.
I have only been a Christian about 7 years. I recognise how easy it is to become conversant with Christian lingo and a regular in religious activities. I recognise how easy it is for your gifts and talents, even those used to serve God, to outpace devotion and intimacy with Him. I recognise how the call to ministry can overtake the call to abiding in the Vine (John 15). It’s so easy to get so busy serving the Lord in what we think He wants and what we think would please Him. Seldom do we stop to ask Him if what we are offering Him is even what He really wants of us.
Pride cunningly sneaks in with spiritual maturity. Contentment with one level of faith settles in our hearts. We find ourselves measuring His delight in us by what our hands produce and what the world commends us for.
Is what I am sharing with the world birthed from muscle memory and reliance on my gifts and talents or is it birthed from ongoing intimacy with the living God?
It's so easy to become content with looking spiritually fruitful and anointed to others even when our hearts are so far away from God. We need to constantly ask ourselves, "Was the purpose of what I produced to minister to the heart of God or to assure the people who know me that yes, I am still Christian?" If we are not careful, the amplification of everyone's applause for what we produce can end up being louder than the voice of the Holy Spirit convicting us of what God is not pleased with.
What does fruit matter if He isn’t in it?
What good is success if He isn’t pleased?
There is a real danger of appearing more spiritually mature but less tethered to God’s heart.
There is a real danger of what you are producing not being pleasing to Him.
The lyrics of Jason's song invite us to the place of searching and allowing God to strip off things. Even when what He asks us to lay down may look good to everyone else.
The longer we are believers in Christ the more necessary it is to frequently have time for prayer and reflection. I am still learning to ask the Lord, "Are you pleased with my life and devotion to you? Am I loving you well? Are you pleased with me?"
I’ve learnt what the Lord wants of me as His daughter is so different from what the world demands of me.
If I sing, did it minister to His heart?
If I wrote a book, or blog post, did it please Him?
If I started a business, did it honor Him?
If I hosted an event, was His hand and heart in it?
If He called me to love someone difficult did I do it?
I am determined to never be so set in my ways of what I think He wants based on my comfort that I am not willing to adjust and surrender daily.
Examine me, Lord.
Do you like the home that I have built You in my heart?
What’s taking up square footage in my heart that has taken Your rightful place?
What's taking up residency in my mind that grieves You?
What needs to change?
What needs to go?
What needs to grow?
I can only find contentment in His pleasure.
I can only find peace in His applause.
I can only find true joy in His delight.
Nothing else suffices.
And if nothing else suffices, then my journey of faith on this narrow road calls me to continuously examine myself in partnership with the Holy Spirit, asking Him to search every crevice of my heart, mind and soul exhaustively.
As I ask, "God, I’m a little older now, do you like what I’m doing for you? Do you like the home in my heart that I have built for you?" , I pray to one day at the end of my race hear, "Well done, my good, faithful and abiding friend. I am well pleased."