I love a good honest conversation with God. You know, one without all the thrills & fancy words that we use in church. Sometimes, a quick, simple "JESUS THIS ISN'T MAKING SENSE" really blesses my little soul. Why? Well, don’t judge me, but sometimes, “Father, I come before you right now to just say blah blah blah” doesn’t fully express my current level of frustration and/or confusion with whatever is happening in my life at that time. I don’t know about you, but every now & again, I need to scream at Jesus. We’re not the first though, somebody else screamed at God when they didn’t understand what was happening around them. Don’t believe me? Keep reading….
In Psalms 73, we find a man named Asaph. Asaph is a good, church going man, just trying to please the Lord. Yet, even Asaph, the choir director and the prophet, had a "GOD THIS ISN'T MAKING SENSE" moment (nobody’s above it). Yeeeeessss chil’!! Prophet Asaph is sliiiiightly upset with God. He's considering doing taking the wrong route to get the right thing. He's watching people, who don't even care about God, prosper and spoil their riches. Meanwhile, he's struggling. He's living from check to check while they don't even know (or care) when payday is. He's trying to tithe & these people are in no way concerned with giving a dime to God. They seemed so free, so happy, so....easy. They have the peace he should have. They have the abundant life he was promised....AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN TRYING TO PLEASE GOD! When Asaph looks at his life, he wonders if this whole "serving God" thing is worth it. I mean, he could easily drop the choir, leave the church, and get some of what they have. I think he considers that option too...until he realizes what they have.
Things are pretty sad for about 16 verses in Ps. 73...until Asaph went into the sanctuary of God. (Sidenote: if we were in church that'd be a baaaaaad praise break, huh?) Once he stepped out of his feelings, and into God's presence, Asaph realized that they had stuff, but he had substance. What God had given Asaph would outlast any recession, drought, or famine. It’d move mountains, stop storms, and shift atmospheres. The people he spent time watching and comparing himself had houses that could easily fall, money that could instantly lose its value, and happiness that would always fade. In God's presence, Asaph realized that while he almost slipped, those that he envied were already in slippery places. Who would've thought?! God actually does have a plan! He doesn't see injustice or disrespect, and turn away. He doesn't allow chaos for His personal enjoyment. Wow, huh?
Asaph realized this & felt foolish (“uhhhh….sorry, God”). All that screaming at God, and he simply needed to go straight to the sanctuary. It is there that he declares that while his flesh & heart may fail, God is the strength of his heart and his portion. He now sees that the struggle is real, but it isn't permanent; it produces purpose.
I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate to Asaph. While in college, I was a choir director (look at that!…this isn’t just a director thing though haha). I took my position seriously, and I wanted to lead by example, so I was ostracized a bit. I spent a decent amount of time by myself while most of the people I knew were out doing various things (that they knew I wouldn’t do). I wanted to go out, but I knew that it would impact my ministry onstage, so I stayed at home & off of social media (because that's just reminding me of how much fun they were having without me). I struggled in silence for a while, because I just wanted to be "normal" for once. I wanted to go out & act like everybody else, but nooooooo....I have to love Jesus (lol). There were a few "GOD THIS ISNT MAKING SENSE" moments, but He definitely made up for it when we sang across Texas. There were quite a few times when God literally used us to shift spaces into ridiculous worship. I'm not saying this to gloat (my voice isn’t that great…trust me), I'm saying it because it was in those moments that staying at home by myself was worth it. Like Asaph, I saw the ending, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Now...do you think I went through all of this for Asaph? Or for you? (Keep guessing until you say the latter lol) Many times, we look at what others have, and feel like God has deserted us. We feel like He called us over here to the boring side of life. Most of the time, we know it’s not for us, and that we wouldn’t have half as much fun with what they have, but….at least they’ve got something. If we’re not careful, we’ll make Christianity a list of things that we can’t do, instead of a journey with exponential opportunities. Other people do things that Jesus would NEVER let us do…and they seem to succeed. Is it worth it? Like…really? Is it realllllly worth me not going through with this Jesus? It's incredibly easy to say that being a Christian isn't worth it in today's society....if you don't completely understand what's on the line. For me, it wasn’t just going out, it was preserving my anointing, my integrity, and the power He’d given me. For you, it may look like a source of income, but it’s actually your discipline, your integrity, or your ability to move into destiny on the line. Now, I'm not saying that being a Christian means that you should be happy being poor (PLEASE go get that coin, suga! Haha), but I am saying that it's dangerous (and misguided) to envy others who aren't following God because of what they can buy or how great you think their life is. So before you think that it’s not worth it, before you believe the lie that Jesus has called you to a life of endless & pointless suffering, step out of your feelings, and into His presence.
Worship isn't just good to God; it's good for us. It's in worship that we get answers to our frustrations. Worship creates calm in the middle of chaos. Strength for the storm is found in worship. Asaph realized the end game in his worship. He realized why it's worth it. I think that if you hold on, and go into your personal "sanctuary", you'll be reminded of it too. It may not seem fair, or equal now, but you’ve got to believe that He sees it, knows it, and will not let injustice rule over His people. This is not the time to discount God. What you think others have isn't half as valuable as what He's placed inside of you. He’s given you all that you need to move towards the wealth, the joy, the peace, the strength, etc. that you need. How do I know? At the very least, you’re enabled to worship. Step out of your feelings, into your sanctuary, and get a glimpse of the end game. If you’re not the winner, the game isn’t over. Trust me, He’s never lost before, and there’s no reason that you should be His first failure of all time and space.
So, like the saints of old used to say, put your time in, suga, payday is coming after while.
Background music: Victory Belongs to Jesus - Todd Dulaney & Is My Living in Vain - The Clark Sisters (WITH THE THROWBACK FOOTAGE FOR THE WIN)
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!