I love a good conference. We just had one at church with two completely different, two completely amazing speaker/teachers. What I love best is that they had so many mic drops over the course of four days, it has given me a lot of material to dig into to write about.
And here we go…
One of the more iconic songs of the past few generations is the classic “My Way,” originally sung by Frank Sinatra. This song is timeless; each generation since 1969 has embraced it on some level.
Why is that? We could simply write it off as some old warhorse of a song from days gone by but we don’t.
It’s because “My Way” is a love song to self. Perhaps the love song to self.
The personal pronoun count in that 244-word song is 26. 26 mentions of I, I’ll, or I’ve. “My” is sung 10 times in the song.
There are no mentions of “we” or “us”.
“I” has no time for you. Or we. Or God.
That lazy, never-going-to-get-to-it God that some people talk about like He’s all-powerful and stuff.
Interestingly enough, we have come to see that reliance on self as a strength. And when we do, that’s the song we gravitate to.
It just gets us. You know, the solitary us-es, the misunderstood, the visionaries, the outliers.
When it all (whatever adds up to the all in your life) rests on you and your resources alone by your choice, it becomes very hard to have faith in anyone or anything else.
In this mindset, we often become our own god.
It makes sense; we believe we can control all things at that point. We are a kingdom of one.
This weekend, Robby Dawkins had this to say:
“Unbelief makes us subjects rather than rulers. Our unbelief keeps Satan in power.”
Uh… can he say that in church? Isn’t that getting kind of personal?
I felt that very carefully cultivated covering of “I” just shred after this was spoken.
Are we not exceptionally well-schooled to live it MY way?
When you say it like that, Robby, it starts sounding more like “his” way.
Life in the Kingdom of One is not just lonely, it is frustrating. When we come to the end of ourselves, our energy, and the always limited resources of this tiny kingdom, we find we are nowhere near the exalted heights we may have set our sights upon.
We can thrash about, blaming others and judging the world around us to be broken and inadequate. Something always seems to be in our way, wrecking our plans and hopes and desires.
I don’t know about you, but whose handiwork does that sound like?
In the Kingdom of God, things, people, and enterprises get built, not broken. Families and fellowships and brethren to walk alongside of are created and in those relationships, we are fed, refreshed, and strengthened.
And when we are weary or wounded, we have many to lean upon.
It becomes very difficult for Satan to get in there and mess things up.
You see, when we rely on God first, truly casting our care upon Him, the Kingdom is fortified.
How can that be? Are we not just draining some of God’s resources off?
Yes, we are. But as our need is met, our faith in the Giver grows and the allure of the Kingdom of One fades and our hands and voices and hearts lift to give the Lord all the glory He deserves.
Without our striving for it, He gives us what we need to live in Him. He does this because we are one in Him, part of Him. He gives to us as He gave to His Son because we are not ever apart from Him.
We are family.
Definitely not alone.
“I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.”
As popular as those lyrics are, they are an illusion.
All of my hopes and dreams mean nothing if I cannot share them with people. That’s not just end product thinking; I want to share everything, the whole journey with my family (on earth and in Heaven) because at the end of the day, I would rather celebrate the we in the successes, rather than sit by myself and take credit for the I or the my.
I’d rather do it His way instead.