Hearing God’s music

by Max Lucado

Let’s imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing. You take the book home and get to work.

Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the book open and follow the instructions step by step. You even read the words aloud so she’ll know that you’ve done your homework. “Lean with your right shoulder,” and so you lean. “Now step with your right foot,” and so you step. “Turn slowly to the left,” and so you do.

You continue to read, then dance, read, then dance, until the dance is completed. You plop exhausted on the couch, look at your wife, and proclaim, “I executed it perfectly.”

“You executed it, all right,” she sighs. “You killed it.”

“What?”

“You forgot the most important part. Where is the music?”

Music?

You never thought about music. You remembered the book. You learned the rules. You laid out the pattern. But you forgot the music.

“Do it again,” she says, putting in a CD. “This time don’t worry about the steps; just follow the music.”

She extends her hand and the music begins. The next thing you know, you are dancing—and you don’t even have the book.

We Christians are prone to follow the book while ignoring the music. We master the doctrine, outline the chapters, memorize the dispensations, debate the rules, and stiffly step down the dance floor of life with no music in our hearts. We measure each step, calibrate each turn, and flop into bed each night exhausted from another day of dancing by the book.

Dancing with no music is tough stuff.

“Let God have you, and let God love you—and don’t be surprised if your heart begins to hear music you’ve never heard and your feet learn to dance as never before.”
~ Max Lucado ~

TRUE MEANING OF SALVATION

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].
Matthew 1:21 AMPC

We are saved when we are able to find and understand that the true end and scope of life is God! Apart from God, we are and have nothing! The totality of our life is GOD! Nothing else, nothing more!

MORE OF JESUS LESS OF ME

Culled from 30 devotions for youth leaders

Two full tables of guests never looked at me.

I stood behind the lectern and addressed an audience in Frederick, Maryland – only to discover that a significant number of those in attendance paid no attention to me. Their eyes were locked on Jennifer.

Jennifer was a competent and enthusiastic interpreter. Her language? Sign language.

Youth for Christ in Central Maryland leads a vibrant, impactful ministry at the Maryland Deaf School, and many of our advocates, friends and supporters attended the annual fundraising banquet to show their support.

My words found a home in Jennifer’s hands, whose job it was to convert my verbalization into motion. Even as I referenced members of the deaf contingent, their eyes never looked my way—they remained fixed and focused—on Jennifer.

It unnerved me at first, but over the course of 30 minutes I found it to be beautiful and appropriate. My text was John 14:6: Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The experience became a lesson, not for the audience, but for me. My message, rightly and humbly communicated, should push the gaze of those I lead, of those I serve, of those I communicate with, off of me.

Is it possible that even as I communicate the message of Jesus, I am “pleased” that the eyes of the crowd are on me? This reality convicts me, as it rightly should.

The words of John 14:6 reverberated through Jennifer’s hands. Her silent competence pounded the reality of my calling deep into my soul.

My effectiveness should be measured by where the eyes of those who follow me gaze. At me or at Jesus? Is it my compelling delivery that draws them or the unconstrained message of the Gospel? Would I be content if the people in the room never saw me?

I was in the classroom, even as I stood at the front of the room. Through the silence – I heard my Master. Only Jesus. Always Jesus. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.

More of Jesus – and yes, less of me.

GOD ON THE INSIDE

“You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.””
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭35:34‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If the Israelites had to be conscious not to defile the land because God dwelt there, how much more we of the New Testament who have God in the inside of us continually. We ought to walk with the consciousness of God on our inside, justifying and keeping us in the right!