Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Read: Isaiah 12:1 – 14:32, 2 Corinthians 13:1-14, Psalm 57:1-11, Proverbs 23:9-11
Relate: The conference drew the tens of thousands it did every year. The names of the featured speakers were household names whose books lined many shelves and who led churches of thousands. The worship leaders and teams had albums everyone knew and had written songs that were sung in many churches every Sunday. However, the greatest figure at this conference came incognito as a guest using a pseudonym. Jesus Himself was a guest at this conference.
He came and listened to the speakers. He came and sung the songs with all the others, but something just didn’t quite sound right to Him as He heard those who stood up on that platform. Seeking out an opportunity to investigate further, Jesus found Himself back at His hotel bumping into one of the guitarists in the last band to have played. “That last song you guys sang,” Jesus asked, “Do you really believe it?”
The guitarist looked right into Jesus’ eyes and then he looked away. Quickly he glanced to both sides. There was not enough privacy and so he said under his breath, “I can’t really answer that question right here. Meet me outside in about ten minutes and then we can talk.
There was a large clock in the foyer. Jesus milled among the throng coming in and going out as the minute hand on that clock ticked forward from the seven up to nine. He then walked out and headed to the right. Immediately He spotted the same musician leaning against the wall. “I’m sorry, I was so evasive back there. I just didn’t want to have my answer overheard by the wrong person.”
Jesus asked, “So you don’t really believe what you were singing?”
“I do.” The musician quickly responded. “But I don’t want that to become common knowledge. If the others in the band find out that I still passionately love my God, I’ll quickly find myself replaced.”
React: My favorite worship song of all time was written and sung by an artist who, a decade later, declared herself a lesbian. Another major artist tweeted regarding a certain controversial topic, “I don’t particularly care about scripture’s stance on what is ‘wrong.’ ” I also remember reading an interview with another band. The lead singer said something along the lines of: “People keep wanting to pigeon hole us as a Christian band and I think that is unfair. We are a band that plays songs that appeal to a Christian market and some of us happen to be Christian.” It was a shocking statement for me to read in a Christian magazine endorsing and promoting a group I had assumed was a Christian band.
The sad truth is, our music industry is just that: an industry. It is a profit-making business appealing to a Christianized subculture that knows how to speak the right words, wear the right shirts, and sing the right songs but has as much depth and growth as a shallow puddle on a sunny day. Christianity just doesn’t seem to be very Christian anymore. And if you don’t believe me, just ask buzzfeed.
Don’t let me ever lose sight of You. In my worship, in my words, in my study, and in my thoughts, let me ever be about pursuing You. Be my first and only. For those times I have sought after my own gain, forgive me. For those times I have worked towards other purposes, forgive me. In everything I do, be the center. Let it always only be You.