I've been listening to a lot of Christian pop music in the car recently just because I'm in the car all the time it seems. So this song keeps coming on that is a fun, hip-hop sort of song called Day One by Matthew West.
After moving on from ministry at GFA, it does feel like a brand new day. Day 1 of the rest of my life, the future has begun. Mercies new every morning and I'm marching onto the beat of a brand new drum, yea, here I come, the future has begun!
What I didn't catch is this part of the song.
Well, I wish I had a short term memory
Wish the only thing my eyes could see
Was the future burning bright right in front of me
But I can't stop looking back
Yeah, I wish I was a perfect picture of
Somebody who's never not good enough
I try to measure up but I mess it up
And I wish I wasn't like that
I wish I wasn't wishing anymore
Wish I could remember that nobody's keeping score
I'm tired of throwing pennies in a well
I gotta do something
Here goes nothin'
This speaks to me right now. It's so where I'm at. When I look back at the past 12 years it feels like a waste. Turns out the ministry we've been working for has misled us and much of what they said, was not what they have done. Scripture and Biblical teaching has been twisted to meet agendas. I know I'm not the only person in life who has been jerked around and I need to move on but how do you?
God has been teaching me some new things and for this I am thankful. Seek only God's Approval has always been my motto. And God has used it in my life to keep me from seeking man's approval. Not to say, I haven't sought the approval of my friends or family but whenever I get too far off track in this area, God has brought me back to this motto. It was taught at GFA but as I evaluate this quote in this season of my journey (I'm evaluating everything these days), I'm reminded that I already have God's approval! He approves of me now and I can do nothing to earn more of his favor. As the song says, "I try to measure up but I mess it up." Measure up to what? The bar keeps moving higher and higher. Who is moving the bar? God?
We move the bar depending on how we perceive the standard. Sometimes it's not even intentional but others lifestyles cause us to move the bar. Or the bar gets moved by how spiritual leaders/pastors encourage godliness. Especially if that godliness is attained by performance or strictly following a set of rules that man has created. I mean, I get following God's principles. That's just the fundamentals of Christianity but what about all the spoken or unspoken rules that we burden each other with. Some examples would be the simpler your lifestyle, the more godly you must be. The more time you spend in prayer, the more spiritual and closer to God you must be. The more you spend in evangelism or working so that the gospel can go out, then God will be really pleased with you and your rewards in heaven will be greater than others. For women, it might be the way you dress. The more modest and feminine you dress, then the purer you are. And then we stand back and judge others based on our perceptions of godly principles. But these principles aren't from God. They look good on the outside and impress us and others but God has not asked this of us.
Micah 6:8 says "One thing I require of thee, that you walk justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God.
Religion can make it much harder than it needs to be. Christianity should be defined by the verse above. So how do I move on? Take that baby step and begin anew. Changing my thinking would be a good place to start. Realizing that I have got God's approval no matter what I do because I believe in the finished work of Christ! Following God should not be hard. His burdens are light. Every morning His mercies are new!
I'm marching onto the beat of a brand new drum, yea, here I come, the future has begun, Day One!