Posted by Chris
Let Your mercy fall upon this place.
As I’ve started going through the process of writing for our next album, one of the things I wanted to be able to accomplish was to capture what was happening in the world around me, in the church around me, and within my own life. I wanted to be able to be honest with myself in a deeper way, in a more vulnerable way, and to be able to communicate to those who are hurting and show them the real hope of Jesus Christ in a deeper and more vulnerable way. There is so much brokenness, despair, hopelessness, hatred… and it’s consuming us all in some way.
Satan has been attacking the Church since its inception, and for the last several years, he has tried as hard as he ever has to destroy that which God has intended for good. I have watched from a distance, and I have been right on the front lines of the spiritual battle that is happening in the Church… in my church. The enemy has been successfully ripping families apart; crippling leaders; causing massive divisions, exoduses, infidelity, suicide, financial collapse, hate, fear, jealousy, doubt. And yet we sing about a God, a Father who is supposed to set us free from those things when we give our lives over to Him. But how often to we cling to and try to hide the things that make us dirty instead of turning them over to our Redeemer? How quickly do we forget to “…cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9b). We forget to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (12:12), instead finding ourselves opening the door to let the enemy take over. The war is certainly already over, but the battles still rage on, and we are waving the white flag, feeling that we are alone, and hope is lost.
It is heartbreaking beyond words when the Church stops being the Church and wastes its time with internal conflicts, personal attacks on our Christian brothers and sisters, and worse yet, on those who do not know about our Savior who overcame the darkness and who overcame their failures. How can we be the Light for the lost when we cannot even be a light to each other?
So I pray that we fall on our knees before the King and cry for Him to pour His mercy over us once again. That we would be the Church that would edify one another in love and discipleship. That we would truly surrender every area of our lives to the one who has promised to cleanse us through and through. That we would experience a body-of-Christ sanctification.
Fill us with the fullness of Your grace.
One of the biggest misconceptions of the Church has probably always been the notion that you somehow have to achieve perfection before or after you give your life to Christ. Unfortunately this mindset has been deeply rooted into the Church itself, which totally nullifies the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. Perfection is only attained when we are taken to our eternal home and given our eternal bodies. Until then, our life pursuit should be to continually seek God’s grace, understanding when the Spirit is convicting us of things in our life that are messy that need to be turned over to Him. And we can only truly continue to turn our messiness over to Him by journeying deeper and deeper into who He is… through His Word, through prayer, through serving one another, to seek and to ask to be filled with His love and his grace each day. That’s the message that we need to take to our world. That’s what our testimony is all about – what Jesus has done and continues to do in and through my life as I journey deeper with Him.
Let Your kingdom rise upon our praise.
My hope is that we can come to the Throne and in one agreement we lift the name of Jesus. That no matter what our circumstance is, we know, we believe, we declare that He is Sovereign over all of it. His promises are unfailing. I want the world to look at the Church and see a collective of messy people who are on fire for Jesus and what he has done through them, giving him praise for the mercy and grace he’s so freely offered to us through the incredible incomparable sacrifice he made for us on the cross. Giving him praise for who he is as the King of kings, who walked out of the grave, conquering death. Giving him praise for sending us his Spirit, who guides us and convicts us and stirs within our hearts.
We exalt You, Lord of everything. Jesus.
He has led us through valleys before, and will continue to lead us through the ones yet to come. He’s has conquered the mountains that stand before us, the fear that tells us we’re worthless and incapable of receiving His grace. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). Though my church is hurting, though so many friends and loved ones are hurting, Christ is still Lord over all, and he has already conquered this battle.
And so this song is for the Church. This song is for myself. For Ali. For our spouses. For the worship ministry team. For our friends. For our families. For the Sunday School, small group, and ministry leaders. For the congregation. And maybe this song is for you, too. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18a). Let Jesus be the Perfect Love that he is.