Nearly two years ago, I was terrified when my Pastor assigned me a specific song to learn. I didn’t really have a hunger for holiness; I guess I figured if I got in the vicinity of holiness most of the time, I was doing pretty good. But that wasn’t God’s standard. Holiness is God’s standard. So my Pastor handed me a CD about a month ago and asked me to call him for my assignment after I’d listened to it. I should’ve expected it, but I was caught off guard. As I popped the CD in while driving home from church, it took me about 40 seconds to realize, “Hey, this is the same song that I’d been running from two years ago.” Obviously, I didn’t run fast enough. Clearly, nobody can outrun God or His will. So what’s the title of the song that caused me to tremble when I thought about me having to sing it? “Hunger for Holiness” popularized by Helen Baylor. Who knows – if I’d taken the assignment seriously when he FIRST gave it to me, maybe I wouldn’t need Weight Watchers…
I had to swallow my fear of “what next?” in order to tackle this assignment with the right mindset and attitude. Because as much as it might bless others, I know that I will also be blessed when I obey the Lord. God wants me to be able to minister every song I sing with conviction – which means I first have to experience the song before I can ever convince someone else to become a partaker of its message. I hadn’t denied my flesh any food it wanted in quite some time. So my course of preparation to minister this song effectively entailed feeling hunger. Because I hadn’t allowed myself to be hungry in a while. My hips are a witness…
So regardless of the day’s circumstances (which included a church gathering that ended with a nice buffet lunch), I consecrated myself to God and asked Him to birth the truth of this song in my spirit. And He was faithful to fulfill my request because it was in line with His will! He kept me so safe under the shadow of His wing that I didn’t even consider reneging on my vow while doing the weekly grocery shopping or when a friend came over to the house and made dinner for my entire family. Because it’s not really about food at all; it’s about my relationship with Him, and whether I’m putting Him first – before anything else I want.
I procrastinated learning that song for weeks, months, and years. And now I’m at the place of repentance. In spite of the fact that I’m just a vessel created for HIS glory, in essence, I had told the Master, “You’ll have to wait until I’m comfortable and ready to sing this song, even if You have a plan to use it to touch someone’s life in a powerful way.” How presumptuous of me – the vessel – to tell the Master Potter, “You should make me into this, and this is how I think You should use me, Lord!”
I diligently practiced all week. So slothfulness was part of my procrastination? Yeah. Cute, right? NOT! Unintentionally, I’d become complacent about songs I already knew and had sung before. This time was different. I made intentional choices to be holy this week, to walk worthy of the calling of Christ on my life. Lo and behold, the night before ministering, the song sounded better than it had all week. I was astounded because the music track was a little high for my range. But since it wasn’t about my personal comfort level to begin with, when I got all that flesh outta the way, God stepped in and did the miraculous – He touched my voice. After all, He’s more concerned with how we yield to His process than whether we achieve our own desired outcomes. So I take no credit whatsoever – He sang and ministered through me. And I’m grateful that He chose me – because He didn’t have to give me another opportunity to complete the assignment.
What do you hungrily crave? Passionately desire? Wistfully long for? Is it Christ? The glib initial response is, “Of course!” But check your actions and heart motives to see if that’s really the case. You might be surprised at what appetite you’ve really been feeding.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart