If you spent any time AT ALL in the 80s watching TV, at some point or another you heard the “Cheers” introduction song. “Sometimes you gotta go…” (Come on, sing it out loud) “Where everybody knows your name.” It’s okay, I’m giggling as I’m thinking about it, too.
Well, last night, I had to go where I was pretty sure NOBODY knew my name. I was reminded of how Jesus drew back to pray. My day didn’t mandate time away; I wasn’t in a place of desperation. It was simply a matter of me knowing that there wasn’t going to be time this weekend for Jesus and me.
As I walked into the building where I knew worship was going to take place, there was a moment for me just to stop and pray. It was kind of a wash-your-hands before dinner moment. Can I just share that sometimes it’s those moments — those great big breaths before the dive — that allow us to really experience all that we can humanly grasp in a God formed moment.
I must say, the worship team made up of about six extraordinarily young people was phenomenal. But it didn’t matter. Because it wasn’t about me coming to God. It was about me meeting God where He had set aside the time.
Within four songs, I was on my knees. Not in pain or shame though. I was on my knees because there comes a place where love wraps Its arms around you so much that kneeling is the only way to feel like you’re wrapping your body around Him back.
It takes about five seconds in a moment like that to discover exactly how much you are pushing God away. When He willingly gives you love, and you despretely want to respond, you find out where the walls have been built.
Of course, my sin-filled reaction is: “Lord, what do I need to do to get this crap out of the way?”
But here it is: it’s not about us. His response is always a resounding “Don’t. ” (pause) “Let me.”
That invitation comes with a promise that He’s not going to scare us. A reminder that we don’t need to be suspicious of Him. It’s a moment that exposes that we ARE suspicious because we haven’t sought His face enough. If we did, we would surely know His character. We wouldn’t have to remove suspicious. In truth, we can’t anyway. That’s why Jesus told us that some things can only be removed through prayer and fasting. Because through prayer and fasting, we come to know His character, which infuses us with assurance that He is good. He is faithful. He is FOR us. He asks us to seek His face for our sake, not His.
To remain in Him is to let Him choose for us. To choose the time and the place to meet Him. And to choose how to proceed.
I can tell you, there’s freedom in that.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Last night, I was held by my right hand. Just the way I hold Noah when I’m taking him somewhere I ‘ve planned for the day. Just the way I do when I want him to remain calm. He counseled me — exposed my heart — and then led me to a place where I could sing of His glory. Last night I got to be in a place where I can tell you with one hundred percent honesty that there was nothing I wanted in this world more than Him. Where I was happy to have Him as my portion. It was good to be near God. It was awesome to have Him as my refuge. And it’s something that give me great freedom to tell of His deeds today.
Sometimes we have to go to the place where we draw life from Him. We all have to go the place where we can sing “You are good, Lord, so good.” Sometimes, we got to go where NOBODY knows our name but Jesus.