hallloo precious children of God!! =D
this morning, i watched Mark's testimony on Ben's blog [benflores.blogspot.com...tnks ben =D] and he was talking about his feeling unworthy and that he constantly felt satan telling him that he's just not good enough... God wanted him to start his own ministry, but he felt really scared to get over his fear [cause he's dislexic] but he decided to jump over the edge of the cliff of fear, he decided to leap in faith, even if he couldn't see where he was going!! and one thing which really struck me was what God keeps on telling him every single day: "I don't need you, but I want you!!" God is God, he doesnt need anything cause He's God and has all things, and still... HE WANTS YOU!! try make the emphasis on every single word....
God wants you... God, the maker of Heaven and earth, the King of Kings really doesnt need anything, and He still wants us!!
God wants you... He doesn't just think you're sweet to get to know, He doesn't just think that you're an interesting person, He doesn't just like you, but He WANTS you!! :D with all His heart!!! look what a Father we've got aye?!
God wants you... YES, YOU, specifically you!!! He's interested in you, as an individual, as His beloved child!! and He really thinks you're worth dying for, infact He even sent His Son to die for you!! so do know that you're loved with all His heart!!!
so then later on in the day, i was like illa i havent listened to a podcast of Tim Hughes and Al Gordon for about 2 months!! so i decided to go on their worshipcentral podcasts, and my eyes fell on Tim's talk called: The Secret of Success. so i clicked it and started listening to it... illa and it was exactly about what Mark [of casting crowns] was talking about!! Our worth in front of God's eyes!! and it really touched me guys!! i managed to find it on Tim's blog [www.aboutlife.com/timhughes], so here it is =) read it, dont get discouraged with the length, u'll read it in such little time, i can assure you =P!!! u'll be amazed at what God's telling you, today!!! so here it is :D
The Secret of Succes
Recently the Telegraph ran an article entitled: “How the pressure to succeed is creating a generation of unruly, depressed teenagers.” In the article it states that the number of 15 year olds suffering from anxiety and depression has increased by 70% since the mid 1980’s. Even worse - we see the rate of teenage suicide grow as the years go by.
Pressure to ‘fit-in.’
Success isn’t just measured by our achievements. Success is about our need to be accepted and our need to be loved. Driven by this need we push and push to try and earn respect and gain acceptance. We work crazy hours to gain that promotion. We push our bodies to the limits to make the grade. But is it ever enough?
As Freddie Mercury the lead singer of Queen wrote,
I recognise in my own life a need for acceptance and significance. I frequently feel the pressure to succeed as a husband, as a worship leader, as a song writer, as a friend, even as a Christian. Ultimately our desire to be loved isn’t wrong in itself. Nor are our hopes and dreams wrong in themselves. However for me sometimes my desire for success becomes an unhealthy distraction. It leaves me exhausted and frustrated.
Antidote to pressure to succeed
I want to share a phrase that I haven’t been able to shake. It’s been challenging, inspiring and reforming me.
“I am loved by God, and I love God; therefore I am successful.”
Could this simple truth be the secret of success?
I AM LOVED BY GOD
It all starts here. We love because He first loved us.
Like Michael Angelo’s picture on Sistine Chapel - God’s arm reached down to us.
Just over a month ago - I became an uncle for the first time to little baby Noah. The day after he was born, Rach and I went to visit him in hospital. Obviously I’m biased but I think he is absolutely gorgeous. But when I stopped to think about it - I couldn’t help realising that little baby Noah to date has caused his parents no end of grief. I mean he put his mother through over 36 hours of agony before deciding to make an appearance.
Not only that, but Noah keeps Mum and Dad up all night, demanding food and attention. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s costing them an absolute bomb. I mean there’s a buggy, a car seat, there’s endless nappies and baby clothes. And do you know what - little baby Noah…hasn’t even said thank you. No flowers for his Mum, no smile for his Dad. Yet watching his Mum and Dad - they love him with all their heart. He doesn’t have to do a thing - they just adore him. They could spend hour upon hour simply gazing at him. They love him…because he’s there’s.
At start of Jesus’ ministry, when He is baptized, in Matt 3:17, we see the heavens open, and a voice from heaven proclaim,
“This is my son whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Before Jesus had performed any great miracles, before he’d healed anyone, before he’d raised anyone from the dead - His father was pleased with Him.
We need to learn to accept the free gift of God’s love.
We need to learn that it cannot be earned.
It is not distributed according to our success.
It’s a FREE GIFT lavished upon us.
Perhaps one of the characters in the bible that most understood this was King David. In the bible we see time and time again evidence that David did not link his earthly success or lack of it, with his acceptance of God’s love.
Ps 17:8 - “Keep me as the apple of Your eye.”
Clearly David had already made the assumption that he was the apple of God’s eye.
Psalm 18:19 - “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because He delighted in me.”
Psalm 41:11 - ‘I know that You are pleased with me.’
How many of us feel that we could say this with confidence before God?
Psalm 139 - “For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”
David was grounded in the knowledge of God’s pleasure and love for him.
This truth liberated him.
It’s as if he’d say to God - I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
When he messed up - I’m sorry God, but I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
When full of fear and doubt -Where are you God, I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
When we truly accept this simple, yet startling statement of truth, it has the power to transform our perception of success. Success doesn’t get better than being loved by God. “I am loved by God and I love God, therefore I am successful.”
I LOVE GOD
One of my childhood hero’s was the golfer Nick Faldo. I vividly remember watching him compete in the 1996, US Masters at Augusta. Over the four rounds it appeared to be heading towards an easy win for his rival, the Australian Greg Norman. On the final round, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman were paired together with Norman holding a commanding six shot lead. Victory was surely his. However tension rose as Norman made a very edgy start dropping important shots. As Norman crumbled, Faldo got stronger and stronger. By the 18th green, Faldo was in the lead and holed his putt to win the prestigious US Master. Then Nick Faldo made a generous sporting gesture and went over to Norman and warmly embraced him. At this Norman unexpectedly broke down in tears. Afterwards at the press conference the ice cool Greg Norman openly explained why he had been so moved by Faldo’s actions. He told the press that he hadn’t broken down over a lost game of golf. There’d be many more games of golf to win and lose. Rather he had broken down because when Faldo embraced him, it was the first time he’d been hugged by a man since his childhood. His distant father had never shown him affection and Faldo’s gesture had really got to him.
We have a Father in heaven who loves us beyond measure and intimacy with him means drawing near.
Songs of intimacy
There’s been a wonderful emphasis of late on songs that are about the Grandeur and Majesty of God. Songs that speak of His greatness... However I wonder if in the wave of enthusiasm to make Him glorious - we’ve lost a sense of drawing near - of intimacy.
What an honour it is to stand from afar and revere the King of all Days. However He has called us to something deeper - He’s called us to be friend.
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masters business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my father I have made known to you.”
Intimacy is an essential element of our worship, but intimacy doesn’t have to be all about slow mushy love songs. I wonder if we’ve developed a narrow mind-set of intimacy.
Mike P was telling me about a conversation he’d had with Martin Smith about the subject of intimacy. Mike had been sharing his view that intimacy was about exchanging sweet nothings between a husband and a wife. Martin agreed but said that intimacy wasn’t just about being quiet, in fact intimacy could also be bold and expressive. Like cycling at top speed through a field together with a loved one, with the wind rushing through your hair, laughing out loud and sharing the moment together.
Intimacy can be found in those quiet still moments before God. But it can also be found in those moments of abandoned celebration. Intimacy is also experienced when we are at our most vulnerable and honest. LAMENT can also be profoundly intimate.
In our everyday lives, the people that we are most likely to share our deepest fears and questions with are those we most love and trust.
So I ask the question as worshippers and worship leaders, how are we forging an intimate relationship with God? Too frequently I get more caught up in work and doing things to the point that I neglect the most important thing - loving God. How often do we spend time on our own worshipping - not just for the sake of picking songs?
Therefore I am successful
Because of this amazing truth no matter what else happens in my life - I am already successful. I have received His amazing free love and have become a follower of Christ. It doesn’t get better than that!
I want to share a story about a father and son.
When Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 the umbilical chord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain, leaving him a quadriplegic. His parents Dick and Judy were told that there would be no hope for their child’s development. Despite being told that Rick would be “a vegetable all his life,” his parents were determined to raise him as normally as possible. Being unable to speak, a group of engineers built Rick a special designed interactive computer that allowed him to communicate his thoughts by using the slight head movements that he could manage.
At the age of fifteen Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a local lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Out of love for his son, Dick, who had never previously done any long distance running, agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. They finished next to last, but were elated with their achievement. Overwhelmed by the experience Rick managed to communicate to his parents that for the first time in his life, in that race, “he just didn’t feel disabled.” Spurred on by this revelation, father and son, ‘Team Hoyt,’ began entering more marathons. After four years of marathons they attempted their first triathlon - the combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of cycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming.
To date they have raced in 64 marathons, 78 half marathons, 206 triathlons and they once trekked 3,735 miles across America. In each race Rick enjoyed a sense of joy, success and satisfaction. He came alive. However in many ways, practically he did nothing. In fact he made the job more difficult for his father.
To Dick though - that didn’t matter. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than seeing his son alive.
We are called to be in an intimate relationship with our Father. GOD DELIGHTS IN US. He rejoices over us with singing!!!
“I am loved by God and I love God, therefore I am successful.”