Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thoughts on "Our God"

This weekend at Granger Community Church, we launch our How to Wreck Your Life series.  It's basically a series on how running after "idols" can literally ruin your life.  Rob is teaching and will cover the basics of how God desires to be absolutely FIRST in our lives.

The song lyrics of Chris Tomlin/Matt Redman/Jonas Myrin/Jesse Reeves' song "Our God" are:

Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind
there's no one like you none like You!
Into the darkness you shine out of the ashes we rise
there's no one like you none like You!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

As we sing the lyrics, "God, You are higher than any other," this is a dangerous set of words to sing.  If this is in fact, not just words on our lips, but the meditation of our hearts (Ps. 19:14), then we are called to live as if it were true.  If Jesus is higher than ANY other, what is the impact on my day to day?  How do I spend my time?  How do I spend my money?  What are the moment to moment thoughts in my head?  

He is a jealous God, but certainly jealous with good reason.  It is for our own good that He desires us to love Him.  When Christ is seated on the throne of my life, there is peace through trial, joy through pain, hope through suffering, and the list goes on (Isaiah 61:3).

The truth in all of this is that left to our own devices, we are COMPLETELY unable to do ANY good thing, much less give up the idols that can seem comfortable.  But through Christ, we know that all things are possible.  Love to hear other people's thoughts on this.

This weekend, as we worship in song, may we always be mindful of what we sing.  It is our desire to see our church grow in this respect.  That our people would catch and retain great theology as it applies to their lives.


Matt Esau said...

I find myself thinking about this all the time as I sing. "If I REALLY believe these words are true, my life would be nothing like it is right now." It feels good to sing things we want to be true and wish were a reality in our lives...but I know there's a huge disconnect there for a lot of people.

In my opinion, part of the reason why this may be the case is service programming. If I sing powerful, life-changing words to and about God and then move as quickly as possible on to the next song, it's like hitting a brick wall.

I need it to simmer. I need to sit square in God's lap and soak up the theology. If i don't soak it up, how can I squeeze it back out when I go out into the world or at my job or in my family? I think we as a busy, consumer culture could make great strides in our relationships with God if we could put the breaks on a bit.

If God is higher than any other, I want to give more time to simmering and meditating and worshiping. But yet we move through all of these things so quickly sometimes...hmmm....

Dan Vukmirovich said...

Agreed, Matt. It's the curse of what people expect from a service. They have a certain time frame. I wonder if we programmed more space what that would look like. How would that time be perceived by a newcomer? Good food for thought. Love to see how we continue to grow as a church in this respect.

Chelle said...

Great thoughts, Dan! I know your heart is beating fast to lead us in worship. That said...I know you have to be thoughtful of people's time, but:

"It's the curse of what people expect from a service."

What about what God expects? If programming is instrumented from this approach, I think everything else will flow/fall into place. I imagine Sunday morning pace is frantic in most households before they enter our church doors. Slowing that pace down through worship seems to actually make sense to me.

I am just rambling. Thoughts?

Dan Vukmirovich said...

I think a key element for providing space in a service has to do with what is being preached. As you'll hopefully experience this weekend, the topic really fits have what we call "response time" following the message. Certain topics, like how to be a better parent or how to handle your finances don't offer this as much.

My hope is that we're able to guide our people well through times of reflection. I've been in too many places where little to no instruction is given for silent prayer/reflection times and I know that newcomers are often lost. Giving our people helpful thoughts to process is critical. As our congregation grows in this respect we may do less instruction. You guys can pray for us as we try to lead through this well.

Looking forward to this weekend. Praying for God to move in amazing ways!

dale said...

"The truth in all of this is that left to our own devices, we are COMPLETELY unable to do ANY good thing, much less give up the idols that can seem comfortable. But through Christ, we know that all things are possible."

Very, very true. At least, I know it is for me. It's funny actually that Melisa and I were making jest at the phrase "let go and let God" and how easy it is for people to use this as a crutch for comfort in their lives. While we should trust God and allow His hand to guide our lives, I still believe that takes some level of action on our part. We have to trust, we have to follow, we have to surrender our lives, and we must worship surrendered and allow ourselves to truly be engaged in His presence.

Our own comfort might keep us reserved in worship - I experience this from time to time. Using this particular song, when I get to the bridge "if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?", it's a powerful moment every time I hear it. All the things that fight to stand against (what the person behind me thinks, the yucky situation over here, some unfavorable life event over there) become powerless.

I agree with Matt - some space in certain worship elements could be helpful to stay in the moment of worship and reflect on what we've just proclaimed in song.

Christine Sweet said...

This service rocked my LIFE! I enjoyed God this Monday morning a little more somehow because of it. Thanks for all you do!!!

Dan Vukmirovich said...

Christine, that is awesome! It's cool that you worded it that way - that you ENJOYED God today! That is so often forgotten. It's cool to think that even the founding of our church is based on the old Wesminister Catechism which says that: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." So cool. Glad your day is encouraged.