I feel fake.

When I’ve struggled all week to spend time with Jesus and arrive on Sunday morning with my heart in a million places. When I feel grumpy about how much sleep I got, the lack of coffee in my cup, and the amount of responsibility before me. When I realize that to the core, I am focused on no one else but: me.

I feel fake. When I ascend the stage and my first thought is about how I look -- or rather -- how I perceive people think I look. “Did I spend too much time on my hair? Not enough? I knew these shoes were a mistake.” And the self-talk takes over.

I feel fake. When I open my mouth to speak and feel like my brain is racing to come up with words to say. When I say a prayer and hope that others are impressed with my use of Scripture and sense of depth. When I’ve sung straight through a song and never once stopped to engage with the truths on the screen.

And I feel fake.

But...

I feel alive.

When I humble myself as I drive to practice, asking God to meet me right where I am at and draw me into His presence. When I realize I actually can’t do this on my own and need His Holy Spirit to wash over me and equip me for the task ahead.

I feel alive. When I ascend the stage and feel God’s gentle hand behind me, encouraging me to speak with courage and conviction. When I forget about “me” and only see the beautiful myriad of souls before me, hungry for intimacy with God’s heart.

I feel alive. When I sing in power and the truths coming out of my mouth touch my heart so deeply that tears well up in my eyes. When the Lord bestows His love on me through the power of His Spirit and I feel the tingle of His presence in my soul. I tangibly watch as His love engages with and touches heart after heart in front of my eyes… and I feel nothing short of alive.

We all have this choice… to lean on our own understanding with these natural self-seeking, self-elevating hearts OR to acknowledge and give it all to Him, our praiseworthy God.

Oh friends, do not succumb to the fake. Don’t miss out on the beautiful combination of opportunity and responsibility that God has called you to as you usher God’s people into His presence. He must increase, and we must decrease. We are most alive when He is at the center.

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