Your Word Still Speaks to Me
As we head into a new year I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and hope. The end of 2013 brought some big changes in my life and in the life of our family. Allison and I are so grateful to God, our family, and the community of Valley Springs Church for walking with us through this season.
As I look back, two of the songs we wrote last year seem to have a real poignancy about them. They are part of the language of my own heart as well as our church's worship expression here in northern California. "Your Word Still Speaks to Me" began with Jesus' own description to the disciples (and to us) about the role of the Holy Spirit and the rich economy of the Trinity in communicating the truth of the Gospel to us:
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard... He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, 'The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'" - John 16:13-15
In this passage Jesus is describing the time after he ascends to heaven when he will send the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (as recorded in Acts 2). The Holy Spirit would guide the early followers "into all truth" and work powerfully in their lives. Two thousand years later, he still speaks to us! We have an advocate in our ascended Lord Jesus and in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus knows my worries, my fears and my failures, and he knows when I need the power of his living word to guide me into all truth. Because he intercedes for me, he is able to remind me of his Gospel promises by whispering into my heart through the Holy Spirit.
"Unshaken" is another song that was written in 2013. It is an expression of God's amazing faithfulness to us in spite of all the various ways we may feel or act towards him. He is completely unshaken by our anger, rebellion, and self-destruction. He loves us regardless of the state of our heart - whether we are running away from him or running full tilt towards him. He loves us the same. Personally, I have experienced seasons when I have tried to compartmentalize my sin and hide from God, yet he remains unshaken and he always draws me back to himself.
Over the past several years Allison and I have developed a great friendship with Sarah Branaman, owner of the Conservatory of Dance and founder of Ballet Rejoice in Rocklin, CA. We have had the privilege of partnering with Sarah to create chorerography to some of our original worship songs. Most recently, the ladies of Ballet Rejoice shared their artistic expression on "Unshaken." Their participation in worship provided a beautiful way to visualize the lyrical truth of this song.
As 2014 begins we enter it with the hope that God still speaks to us, he still whispers his truth to his children who are desperate for him. We enter this new year with the firm foundation that despite our circumstances, despite our failures, God remains unshaken. He is always faithful.