27 October 2009

Sloppy Wet Kiss

If you want to get people's attention when you share a devotional or personal thought with someone, here's how to do it:

"I have a confession to make".

And, that's where I'm at. I have not even shared this with my wife yet simply because I have no idea where the Lord is taking this… or me. But what I can tell you that she does know ~ is that God is alive and working in our church body, perhaps like we have never seen before. When faced with hard times, and tough decisions, people who love the Lord and seek to serve Him band together in prayer and sacrifice. I can see and feel this happening. Sometimes God has to show us the end of the rope so that you know you really need to hold on to Him with all of your spiritual might.

So here's my confession: My life has been changed by a sloppy wet kiss.

Legalism is not me, and it is not becoming. I abhor legalism and God has given me the nose of a hound, and the eyes of a hawk to seek it out. But we must carefully balance the freedoms we have been given in Christ, with the irrefutable laws of the character of God and his commandments to us. To further complicate the problem, we, as believers, must also balance the power of Christ that compels or constrains us, with not only our freedoms but with the considerations of those weak in the spirit fighting for their souls.

These issues came to a head last week. My wife had been working hard on producing a new set of music that we can use for a worship service at church. Lacking the provision of a live worship band, we choose to use recorded music for our times of worship. It is generally well received by those who choose to make our church their home. But at the same time, producing a worship set can be difficult as very few recordings are actually produced with the idea of them being used in the setting of a corporate worship service. Needless to say, it takes a great deal of effort to put a set together. With all the effort that is put into it, you can also imagine how important it is that it is received well, not only by those at the service, but by our Lord.

In putting this set together Sonja found a song from a band I did not know, with a singer I had never heard of. This is nothing that surprises me, I like new music, and this band was good. I listened to the song, and it was wonderful! The music was melodious, the harmony was done well, and it was 'full' and strong. But something caused us both to question whether or not to use this song.

There is a line in the song that goes like this: "So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss"… Wow.

It makes you want to clear your throat and almost blush a little doesn't it? Well, it did us. We all have our own visions of exactly what a 'sloppy wet kiss' is, and what it means to us, and somehow those visions never seem to include God. So without going into the detail of the visions, suffice it to say, it gave us both some reason to ponder and seek the Lord.

I researched the band, I researched the song, I listened to the whole song and the lyrics in context. We weighed our freedoms in Christ with those who may be put off by such lyrics. I considered legalism; Am I applying it if I say no? I considered our freedoms; Am I abusing them if I say yes? Then I prayed about it, considered all that I could in my temporal mind and decided to go for it. I felt that the Lord must lead in this, and that He must be in it.

This was a stretch for me. It was honestly a bit out of my comfort zone, but you know what they say about God and our comfort zones; He never wants us to be in them for long. In the end, we played the song, I watched for reactions, and waited for the response. It would seem the Lord used it to bless the body.

So to continue my confession: Since that day, and the tears that it brought to my eyes considering the love that God has for us, I have not been able to get that song out of my head. I've been listening to it for 2 days straight now, and it is not growing old. I think this is the case because God has stretched me, and is growing me.

For your benefit, I have attached the lyrics to this song, and link to it being performed on Youtube. I pray that you will give it a listen, and allow God to work through it.

How often do we consider how much God really loves us? When I do it is usually, in fact almost exclusively, associated with Christ's death on the Cross. The fact that He loved us as much as He did is the reason that Jesus died. I get that, I get that in its totality; a love that cannot be surpassed. But here is why this song has blessed me, and here is why this song is changing my life:

God loves me THAT MUCH, just because!

He is my Father, I am His son. When He thinks of me He simply LONGS for me to be with Him. He loves me because He can, and because I am His son! I love my children because they are my children! Not because of something they did that was good, or something that I did as a service of sacrifice to them, but because they are my children! I love them most when they are closer to me! I love for them to desire to be near me and because they want to be around me. I long for them when they are not around, and wish they were with me, I love them without restrain or restriction. I love when they run across the field as I drive up the driveway, and I love how they will wait for me outside in the rain, just to be the first one to greet me that day as I come home from work. I always think that my love for my children cannot be increased, but it is increased all the time!

God loves us in all these same ways just as much. He desires us, loves for us to seek Him out and wait for Him. He loves that we run towards Him just because we long to be near Him, and in times of need. He loves us not just because we are good, but because we are His children. Let us show God that we CAN love Him more. That our love for Him can increase.

I have not been moved in such a way by prose or song in decades. I'm not only taken back to a childhood of innocence and child-like unconditional love, but my walls of indifference and apathy created by years of age, 'experience' and understanding have been crushed under the unbearable weight of the understanding of God's love for me. Oh, how He loves us, and until we understand this, love itself is somehow less than what He meant it to be, and God is not God.

I implore you to take 8:52 out of your day, and listen to this song and watch this video as you read the lyrics below. May God truly bless you with this song as a continuing answer to so many prayers in so many ways. May your heart be moved not necessarily to love God or your spouse or your children more (although that's a good thing), but to understand how much God loves you, His child. My prayer is that you are never the same. Love God. Fear God, and honor the King!


He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us all,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And the heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain this regrets,
When I think about, the way…

This song was written by John Mark McMillan, and is performed in the Video by a group called The Jesus Culture, featuring Kim Walker singing lead vocals.

But wait, there's more. Learn what the story is behind this song, click here.