I have rediscovered the music of Keith Green. I absolutely loved his songs when I was a young follower of Jesus. Green was killed in a small plane crash in 1982. Recently I downloaded some of his tunes to the iPod and this morning one of them randomly (?) popped up during the morning walk. Keith Green’s song of worship “Oh Lord You’re Beautiful was just what I needed to hear this morning.
Oh Lord, You're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek.
For when Your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.
My heart aches for the angry, frustrated, tired and discouraged Christians who live the Christian version of Henry David Thoreau’s quote.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
I think that describes the spiritual experience of too many followers of Christ. We make it about right actions instead of realizing our righteousness is only because of Christ. We seek to impress instead of seeking His face. And I too often forget that His eye is always on me and His grace always abounds to me. That happened when I believed in Christ.
Keith Green’s song continues…
I want to take Your love and shine it all around,
But first help me just to love it, Lord.
And if I'm doing well help me never seek a crown,
For my reward is giving glory to You!
I want to reflect His love but first I have to let Him love me. That sounds so elementary. But I spent decades trying to earn His love when all I had to do was receive it. Now as I receive His love I can live in gratitude as I understand His unmerited favor that was extended to me. And I realize that both my salvation and my journey with Him are all because of grace. I cannot do either on my own.
If you are living a Christian life of quiet desperation I pray that you will trust the truths of the Gospel. That you are righteous. Yep. You. Righteous. Not because of your discipline or begrudging compliance or stiff upper lip right actions. You are righteous because of Jesus. As my friends at Truefaced so eloquently say…
Maturing in Christ is simply growing into what is already true about you. You are righteous. You are a saint. Not because of a single thing you did or can do. Because of Christ.
If you find yourself tired and angry and frustrated I pray that you will trust these truths. Don’t go to the grave with your song still in you. One of my favorite quotes comes from Keith Green.
"It's time to quit playing church and start being the Church”.