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Joel Called Me Out

It was a cloudy Sunday, and I felt lazy. I’ll confess, I didn’t go through my usual Sunday routine. I didn’t read my Bible, and I didn’t pray to start my day. I told myself that it was time for a spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological cheat day if there’s such a thing. Bottom line, I was feeling freaking lazy, and everything else was a lame excuse. I also broke my fast that day. I helped myself to a bag of popcorn, a can of tuna and liver spread. Please don’t judge. I didn’t mix them up. I ate them separately if that makes it any better. I learned from my son that there would be no worship service that evening. The Hillsong live concert album recording replaced the regular service. Man, I didn’t want to go to church because I was feeling lazy! My 2016 self would have sold his liver to get an opportunity to see Hillsong United play. Not me on that day. Though the event was free, I didn’t want to go. I’d rather eat my can of tuna and liver spread. As the day progressed, I felt conviction from the Holy Spirit. I heard Him remind me “Always do the right thing.” So I willed myself to do my chores and do it right. I also forced myself to prepare for church. Long story short, my family and I went to church. When we entered the doors of the venue, it felt like we entered a different realm. The stage set up was excellent. The light show was magnificent. There was a net that covered the stage which caught the lights. The lights danced around the stage and bounced everywhere. It’s like we’re trapped inside a cage of dancing lights. The music at the start of the recording pumped me up. Why shouldn’t it? They were playing rock and roll! I felt so high, and I thanked God for forcing me to be there. They dropped confetti from the ceiling, and the lights hit the confetti as they fell to the people whom arms were raised in worship. The lights hitting the confetti had a magical effect on me. I thanked God for allowing me to enjoy this special moment with my family. The worship team played unfamiliar songs after that and to be honest, my mind wandered. I tuned out, and I couldn’t even remember what I was thinking about. I was at that lost state when suddenly Joel Houston stopped playing and addressed the crowd. He said, “Sometimes it’s hard for us to sing because we can’t believe the words of the song.” That caught my attention, and I looked at the lyrics of the song flashed on the giant screens. The song was all about being forgiven and living in the freedom of sin. Was I not able to worship because of my laziness and selfishness? That statement felt right to me at that moment. I focused on myself— with what I want and what I think— that my worship to God couldn’t go beyond my physical boundaries. The sensation I felt was just conceived by my senses and didn’t touch my Spirit. Joel then said, “If you find it hard to believe that you’re righteous, think about Jesus!” Joel reminded me that worship is not about me. It doesn’t matter If I don’t know the song. It doesn’t matter if the music is not my preferred genre, worship is not about God blessing me, it’s about me blessing God! The Bible says:

Psalm 103 

King James Version (KJV) 103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

I know that Joel Houston didn’t call me out. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who knew my heart who used Joel to remind me about the reason why I worship. I worship God because that’s the whole purpose of my being. I was created to praise and worship our loving God!  

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