Preparing Yourself When Times are Good
The Song Lifestyle is finding yourself hidden in the ecstasy of God’s embrace.
Those living such a lifestyle understand that God is always on their side. No matter what happens circumstantially to these people, they are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is good.
David got this concept. In Psalm 27:3 he writes, “I know that God will be there for me so I will not be shaken (Passion Translation).”
Although commentators aren’t sure exactly when David wrote Psalm 27, many believe he wrote it in two different parts: one part when he was not in trouble and the other part when he was in trouble. It is clear, however, that David is writing about how he will be confident in God when trouble comes. Earlier in that verse David writes, “Even if an army rises to attack me, my heart will not be afraid (Passion Translation, emphasis mine).”It seems that David hasn’t seen trouble yet. But he’s living the Song Lifestyle by setting himself up for success while things are good so that when trouble comes, he’ll be prepared. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church calls this strengthening yourself in the Lord, and he wrote a book about it of similar name.
Placing Yourself in His Embrace
A person living the Song Lifestyle will gladly place themselves in the arms of the Lover. As lovers of God, we have full access to Heaven and all the goodness there, including God, through Jesus (Ephesians 2:18).
We don’t have to ask God’s permission to crawl up in his lap and take comfort in His love. We get to walk right up to Him and hold onto Him because He is ours! Song of Songs 2:16 in the New Living Translation says, “My Lover is mine, and I am His.”
As a lover of God, you get to “approach the throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).” You don’t have to be shy about taking advantage of our Perfect Papa’s love and comfort. He belongs to you and you belong to Him!
Getting All of God
The Song Lifestyle is knowing that you get all of God. The great thing is that we don’t only desire Him, but we GET HIM, TOO. Some teach that we must desire more and more of God; that we must constantly be cultivating passion for Him in our hearts. I have a hard time with the idea of “desiring God” because we already have Him. You don’t desire what you already possess. God lives on the inside of you. He is already right there next to you, above you, behind you, ALL AROUND YOU. Stop trying to cultivate desire and begin resting in Him!!!
You get to have as much of God as you want.
The Shulamite discovered this in Song of Songs:
In chapter two of the Greatest Song, the King finds the Shulamite and says, “Come, my dearest, hurry my darling, come away with me. I have come as you have asked to draw you into my heart and lead you out (SoS 2:10 Passion Translation).” Earlier, back in chapter one, the Shulamite asks for the Lover to take her away into His heart and lead her out. “We will run away together into your cloud-filled chamber (SoS 1:4 Passion Translation),” she says.
Later in chapter two, the Shulamite gets cold feet (SoS 16-17). She is offered as much of the King as she wants. He’s right there to sweep her away, but she changes her mind and sends him away.
I believe this is exactly where the church is today. For years the church has been crying out for more of God and working hard at cultivating our passion for Him. We’ve been so preoccupied with stirring ourselves up in order to desire Him more and more that we have missed Him trying to get our attention. He’s RIGHT THERE saying, “Here I am! I’m here! Come away with me!”
It’s terrifying when God begins to answer our cries for more of Him. Like the Shulamite, we believe that it’s going to be so wonderful to be in the arms of our Lover 24/7, but that kind of closeness makes us vulnerable. Vulnerability with Mr. JoyBomb causes us to look deep within ourselves, and sometimes we see things that aren’t so nice. To top it off, God begins to shape our desires and we may begin doing things we never thought we’d do. Often times, since we’ve given Him full access to our heart, He begins to ask us to do uncomfortable things, like give a prophetic word to the lady at the grocery store or pray for the man in the wheelchair.
I don’t get it right all the time. I am working, right now, with Papa at shedding my fear of man. I hear Him asking me to pray for people at Target all the time, and I don’t do it. It’s not that I don’t love Him or that I think He’s nuts…it’s that I don’t want to look stupid. Here’s some truth: if you’re going to be a lovesick lover of God, you’re going to look stupid sometimes. This is a hard truth, and it’s what I’m talking about when I say that we are like the Shulamite who wants more and more of the King until she gets Him.
I don’t want to talk you out of living the Song Lifestyle. This is a journey and you’re not going to get it right every time. But the journey is the fun part. God will not be angry with you if you fail. Just pick yourself up, look deep into His eyes, and keep loving Him. Living before His eyes is the safest place you can be.
The Ultimate Hiding Place
David writes in Psalm 27:4 “Here’s the one thing I want from God, the thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with Him every moment in His house, finding the sweet loveliness of His face; filled with awe, delighting in His glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to Him that He takes pleasure in my every prayer (Passion Translation).”
This one verse, if there is just one, sums up the Song Lifestyle. Wanting (and getting) all of God is summed up here. Living with Him in His place and gazing on His beauty is the Song Lifestyle. This is living a lifestyle of worship and choosing to delight yourself in Him no matter what is happening. This doesn’t mean to pretend your problems aren’t there, but it’s choosing to look at God and delight in Him no matter what. Graham Cooke says, “Remember, your circumstances are not the problem. Your perception of your circumstances is the problem!” He also says, “Whatever we focus on, we give power to. Take your eyes off the negative and you will disempower it.”
“Whatever we focus on, we give power to. Take your eyes off the negative and you will disempower it.”
What Graham Cooke is talking about here is choosing a different thought pattern. We delight ourselves in the goodness of the Lord and our circumstances will not matter anymore. So often when we choose to look at Jesus instead of looking at our problems, the problems tend to either go away miraculously or they just don’t bother us anymore. What was once a major problem for you turns into something that is just there trying to get your attention. It used to grab at you and get you down, but now that your perspective has changed and you’re looking at the bright Morning Star, you just can’t seem to focus on the negative any longer.
Choosing to live close to the Lord will always turn out to be the best decision. Choosing to put yourself, like David did, in a place where you are gazing at our Lover in the secret place of worship will never turn out to be a mistake. Living a hidden life in God is ultimately our only option. He is our hope. He is the truth. He is our Wild Lover.
Today I’ll leave you with the song “Mighty Work” by a wonderful worship band called Brian Shilts and the High Country River Drinkers.