I was pretty busy this past weekend—busier than usual anyway. I really don’t get out much. Anyway, an old high school friend of mine came out to visit for the weekend. The plan was to go out with a few other people in the area that are from my guild. (Yes, by “guild”, I do mean of World of Warcraft variant.) Whoa, that means I need to be social in the real world? Like I said, I don’t get out much.
With the exception of one of my housemates, the people I was with are not Christian. Actually, I really don’t know exactly where their hearts are with their Creator, but my observation tells me they aren’t Christian. Besides, I’m not the one to judge. The point is, I prayed that I would be on my best behavior and that my actions and words would be more Christ-like. This is something I definitely need to work on. It’s really easy to get back into old habits especially when an old high school friend is with you.
Now, when I say I am on good behavior, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be preaching the gospel to my non-believing friends at every chance I get. If that were to happen, the only friends I would end up with are the ones that already have a clue about the gospel. I want my behavior and attitude to be Christ-like. If the Holy Spirit is in me, it should be obvious that I’m a Christian without saying anything, right? (See Matthew 5:14 ff)
That said, this post isn’t about how we got together for dinner on Saturday night which followed a bit of singing at a Korean karaoke bar in LA—I should probably stop with any further details right there. I know everyone had a great time that Saturday night. It was fun to get out and do something different.
The next morning, I took my friend to the airport. On the way back, I felt a large burden in my heart. I don’t know what that was all about. I felt like I needed to pray for my friends the night before. The prayer felt authentic. It’s like I knew each person well enough to get a hint of an idea of each of their burdens in their lives. We are all adults—mid to late 20′s—going through real life issues—whether it was over a job, a broken or mending relationship, soul or purpose searching. That burden amongst all of us was real. I carried that feeling on Sunday. I felt sick for most of the day. I lost my appetite. I didn’t want to do anything. I wanted to stay in solitude hoping to hear God’s voice.
I went to church later that evening. CCV was having a special worship service. The entire service was nothing but musical worship. The church is blessed with some of most talented musicians in the area. The church felt it was time to take a step back and breath—to thank, praise, and listen. I wasn’t quite sure if my voice was up to the task considering I just spent the night at a karaoke bar, but I was there ready to give it my all. Again, I carried this feeling of burden weighting me down. I don’t know if it was just mine, but it felt like from the knowledge I knew from my friends, I carried some of that pain.
When we—the congregation, God’s church, in His house—began to sing. I was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 8:20) and began crying out to God. And this wasn’t a battle cry or anything like that. My tear ducts began to overflow and I couldn’t control this emotion. At that point, I knew I heard his voice. I remembered what He had sounded like. That voice I heard over 10 years ago and was only lost through the distractions and decisions I selfishly made. He told me everything was going to be okay and that I should not need to worry (Matthew 6:25 ff).
I asked God what should I do next. He answered in the most amazing way. Being in authentic worship is awesome. It’s a stunning reminder that He is always moving in you and He will keep His promises to work through you. Thank You.
I was relieved.