Fear was again flooding my heart as I stood to sing in church this weekend.
The kind of fear that confidently insists, more like a certainty – things are going to go wrong and there’s nothing you can do. You might have some experience with that. My hours situation at one of my jobs was hitting a severe snag and the next step was uncertain. The worst case scenario is so easy to jump to.
I’d been praying. But I took it another step that night and chose to worship through intentional song.
It was an act of defiance against the fear.
You’re reading the words of an absent-minded man. I must confess that there are too many weekend worship services where my mind wanders. I start thinking about my book, or my finances, or maybe an unrelated theological question I’m grappling with, or perhaps a disagreement with a friend I’m worried about. Before I know it, the music has ended, the sermon has begun, and I’ve hardly sung a word with any real passion or focus.
But last weekend, I did.
The worship was an act of war. There was vinegar in it. I wanted to strike back against the fear, invoking who God is and who I am in his eyes.
Too often Christianity is portrayed as strictly passive. “Be still”, “be still”, “be still”. Sometimes God’s servants are told that. At other times, they’re told to fight. The epistles are full of intentionality, alertness, demolishing strongholds. Military metaphor. And one thing Paul tells us over and over is to worship.
As I did so last weekend, the fear was replaced by peace. I did nothing to make it happen myself. Things simply settled down inside, the certainty of the worst case scenario pushed aside like the smoke that was blown out of our valley today, superseded by peace. The peace of God.
What an incredible resource God has made available to us!
I’m Scripturally convinced that Christianity is not passive. At least not against our enemies, or against the obstacles God wants torn down. Sometimes the best response to adversity is simply to turn directly into it. An act of defiance.
If this seems like a really, really simplistic blog post today, maybe that’s all right. Maybe the deepest, most powerful truths are still the simplest ones.