05 April 2008

You're a Word from Heaven

As a birthday gift, Rebekah brought me up to Seattle to see an artist I am really digging these days named Jason Upton (http://www.jasonupton.net/). Jason is part of what some people are calling prophetic worship, which I guess is as good a name as any. But if you haven’t heard him before...DO. His style is to linger on a few phrases, but ruminate on these words over and over again as if in meditation – it can be very, very powerful even on a CD and we’ve been listening to his stuff in our morning prayer time at work for something like the last nine months or so.

But live...that’s a different experience entirely.

I was totally blown away by the power of the Spirit, the engagement of he audience, and the humility of the singer. The dude is way down to earth and very centered. But he’s also aware of the gift he has, and the power and authority he wields. 3 – I thought about you a lot there. You would have loved it. The man’s talent, his passion and his heart are so akin to the things you’ve spoken about, to you own deep heart. I deeply wish you had been there or get to see him somewhere somewhere else.

Anyway, on the point of this post. The most powerful song in the set for me was a song called Sons and Daughters. The words go something like this:

Do you know you’re a Word from Heaven?
Do you know you’re a Child of God?
Do you really know?

Every word sent down from Heaven
Cannot go back up until it’s succeeded
In what it’s meant to do.

Sons and Daughters of the Living God
Sons and Daughters of the Living God
Sons and Daughters of the Living God

It’s a beautiful song (check it out) and singing it there with all these people was working deep magic on my heart. Deep, deep magic.

I‘ve certainly heard this idea before, the idea of how we’re princes and princesses, so I don’t mean to say that this concert suddenly made it click for me, it’s not really like that. No, the idea is one that is both too large to get all at once, and also too Old World for the mind of this modern American. And yet, as the sprouts of that seed slowly rise from the soil of my heart, beginning to show fresh new buds, I think it may be one of the most profound and powerful concepts I’ve ever come to wrestle with.

This concept is at the deepest foundation of many things that I’ve been working through in the last couple of years. From one angle it’s a profound and almost ungraspable statement of God’s love and His commitment to us. We’re not his subjects, or his pets, nor even his friends, we’re His family. And by extension family to one another. Again – of course I’ve heard that before and even said it to others, but the deep strength of that reality is hard for me to really get my hands around. From another angle though it speaks of our own strength and glory, our own royalty as it were and that cryptic passage in Hebrews about all creation groaning for the moment we come to realize who we are...that passage whispers of realities that I am simply unable to understand.

What does it really mean to say that I am an emissary of God? A son of the king on a mission to broker Heaven to this shattered and sick world? As an American, we can sometimes get a tiny glimpse of this when we travel to certain places overseas. Depending where you go, Americans are loved or hated, but we are always noticed. In most places around the world, we represent something that we are generally unable to perceive ourselves. In Kenya for instance, there was a basic assumption that I was wealthy and almost everybody there sort of politely hoped/suggested that I might share some of that wealth with them. At the time, I often resented the situation. I was in fact NOT wealthy, I was a barely-getting-by college student and some people were quite obviously sucking up in order to get something; something I didn’t have. But in hindsight, I’ve realized something – it was all very relative. My just-enough-to-survive budget of about $800/mo was like two or three YEARS of wages to most of them. While I didn’t FEEL wealthy, the objective truth was that I was way, way better off than almost anybody I met. What would I have done differently if I had that in my mind? I don’t know to be honest. But there is something there that I’m trying to understand. Something about being a representative of a higher reality and the authority that goes with that. I’m wondering to what degree I can (or should) write checks that draw on Heaven’s bank, my father’s expense account as it were. Yes, I’d hate for such a check to bounce, but how much more I fear the possibility that I have this unending resource gathering dust on my unexplored desk in the embassy. Not just a resource that I’m authorized to use, but one I’ve been commissioned to use.

A Word from Heaven?
A child of God?
Do I know?
Do I really know?

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