The lyrics that really caught my attention are these:
Which brings me to my first B Word...
When I first heard the song Oceans, I thought it applied mostly to people in the foreign mission field. To that group of people within our community that travel to South Africa every year, or to our church group (including my Kendall) that travel to El Paso every year. Yeah, that song was probably just referring to "those" type of people, right? Then it hit me majorly! We all have borders we've set up, it's called our comfort zone. I'm a preacher's kid; I've been in church all of my life. I've said all the cliche terms you can think of about making Christ the Lord of my life, but have I ever really told him, "Hey, you take me where you want me to go. If it's out of my comfort zone, I'll make it happen." Honestly, in my head, it's probably been more like, "I'm a little nervous about what you're whispering in my ear, God. I'll consider your nudge, and if it's convenient, I might make it happen."
When we sing the lyrics of this song I am telling God, lead me where I am uncomfortable. Is it to volunteer somewhere where I am reluctant? Is it to show extra kindness to someone that I avoid? Is it to take a neighbor in need a meal? Is is to cash in my savings on a one way ticket to South Africa? If something just popped in your head, there's a chance that might be it. Don't set limits with God, let Him lead you where your trust is without borders.
Beloved is a word we don't use very much these days unless we're buying a sappy Valentine or Anniversary card, but it's a term of endearment used over and over in the Bible. It means "dearly loved." Luke 3:22 says, "and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” This is right after Jesus was baptized. Jesus knew he had pleased his Father, and now it was his mission to get stuff done. The Bible tells us that we are beloved. No more worrying about fitting in, or winning Christ over, it's time to accept that we are His beloved and spread the Word to the world that they are beloved, too.
Beginning something new is often the hardest part for me. Once I have figured out what God is telling me I need to do, acting on it is even harder. James 1:22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Yes, you are saved by your faith, not your works, but effort is required to grow in spiritual maturity. If there's something on your heart, pray about it. Pray that God leads you to make a decision, and when he does, act on it!
What makes you brave? The first lyric in Oceans says, "You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery, in oceans deep, my faith will stand." That's it; faith! I remember about ten years ago I was wrestling with a career change, and literally pleading with God while I was in the shower to have my answer written in the fog on the bathroom mirror when I got out. Guess what? He didn't. I had to rely on my faith that once I made a decision, it would be OK.
If God is calling you to do something in His name, have the faith to be brave and set it in motion. 1 Chronicles 28:20 says, "Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished."
Sometimes when you stop by my blog it's lighthearted, sometimes it recipes, but today I took it deep! This had been on my heart for a while, and after hearing Oceans in the car the other day, I came home and typed this up. I hope you found some inspiration in it!
Thanks for reading!