Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hide and Seek

About once a year I post about a song that has a deeply moving affect on me.  I don’t look for an “annual” song, it just kinda happens this way.  Believe me, much more than one song consumes me yearly; I’m highly motivated by the power of music.  I’m frequently sending screen shots of songs along with my thoughts to our Worship Pastor, which usually fires up some good conversation between the two of us.  Last year a song from Bethel called One Thirst became my obsession to the point that I sent him so many messages he finally said, Dude you’re becoming a One Thirst zealot.  I agreed. I know I’m weird like that.

Today’s song though is called Out of Hiding from Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger (The Undoing album).






Know this though, what I’ve gotten out of this song, or any song for that matter, may not be the writer’s inspiration at all.  This is just what moved me.  I urge you to explore too and let the song take you where it will. 

Come out of hiding
You’re safe here with Me

There's no need to cover
What I already see

You've got your reasons
But I hold your peace
You've been on lockdown
And I hold the key

'Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave

Now rid of the shackles, My victory's yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There's no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You're not far from home

I'll be your lighthouse
When you're lost at sea
And I will illuminate
Everything

No need to be frightened
By intimacy
No, just throw off your fear
And come running to Me

'Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles, My victory's yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There's no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You're not far from home
Keep on coming

And oh as you run
What hindered love
Will only become
Part of the story

Baby, you're almost home now
Please don't quit now
You're almost home to Me

Wow, right? Here’s what I thought the very first time I heard this song, Ah, confession and repentance.  Wait!  Don’t let that run you off.  I know those words often strike fear in Christians. Sad but true.  Notice how I started my thought? I’m putting emphasis on the, Ah part.

If you grew up in church, in the Bible Belt and you are my age or older you might correlate the words confession and repentance with memories of a pastor in a bland colored suit, veins popping from his neck, pounding his fist against a large wooden podium as he demands you to repent!   Let me be clear, I’m not disputing the importance of the command to repent at all.  I’m writing in support!  It is a necessity to our salvation. How can we possibly acknowledge a desperate need for a Savior and a turning our lives in a different direction without it? What I want to do is serve the topic to you a little differently. Instead of force feeding it to you like the yellow Triaminic of the 1980’s I want to offer it to you like a warm apricot fried pie from my Grandma’s dinner table.  I want you to imagine confession and repentance the way Jesus presented things to people; never forced, always loving.  Somehow through the years we’ve made this process demanding and harsh.  But I just don’t know how, if we are seeking true repentance and not lip service, that we think harsh and demanding produces the peace, healing, mercy and love that is offered through guiltless obedience to this command. 

Recently in my own life and in the lives of those around me I have seen firsthand the BEAUTY and FREEDOM of loving, Holy Spirit led confession and repentance. This was intended to be a positive thing and I feel like He’s beckoning us to run to Him because He is safe and cry out!  Listen to it in the words of this song when it says, 'Cause I loved you before you knew it was love- And I saw it all, still I chose the cross- And you were the one that I was thinking of- When I rose from the grave- Now rid of the shackles, My victory's yours- I tore the veil for you to come close- …just throw off your fear- And come running to Me…

I don’t know about you but most of my life I never thought of repentance to be beautiful and freeing until I experienced it for myself.  Then I saw God wants us to obey this because an unrepentant heart separates us from Him and those gifts of beauty and freedom are offered only on the other side confession.  He desperately wants to remove that weight we are carrying around our neck, not punish, shame or embarrass us.  Yet He also loves us enough to allow us to make that choice for ourselves, never forced only urged – ah, the beauty of free will.  Remember Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Go back and reread those lyrics again.  Or better yet, spend 99 cents and download a copy.  You won’t be disappointed.  Soak in the words. 
In closing, if you still doubt God has lovingly provided confession and repentance because He is for us and loves us just read these scriptures. (all emphasis below is mine)

1 John 1:9 ESV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16 NLT  Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.


Proverbs 28:13 ESV  Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.