Something simple, yet supernatural took place this week while I was attending the Church of God General Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee.
No, I did not gain a recording contract from the Music City.
I told the country music executives that I was only in town for a conference, and was not yet prepared to launch a solo career as ‘Little Brett Hogland’.
That was probably a good move, as I was attempting to sing in the car while out of town, and my 4 year old daughter said, ‘Uh, Dad, we need to talk about your own flavor that you keep trying to put on songs.’ #1 hits are certainly not in my future.
But, there was an incredible hit in my present that was more melodic, more moving, more mighty than I could have imagined. The ministers of our denomination had gathered from across the world to make selections.
Select leaders. Select future directions. The decisions before us were meaningful and monumental. We had information. We were about to have deliberation. Yet, before it all, we had a massive moment of consecration.
Our General Overseer led us in one of the most intimate and inspirational times of consecration I have witnessed in a group setting so large. We partook of the Lord’s Supper – remembering the blood and body that redeems us all.
We washed one another’s feet – recounting that great example of service set by our Lord. We knelt and prayed – not for a meaningless moment of motions – we bowed, we wept, we worshipped…we surrendered!
On our knees before our fellow ministers, washing their feet in service, we surrendered. Humbly receiving the cup of communion, looking to Christ completely, we surrendered. Bowing before the Lord, broken, and desperately seeking His healing touch upon our world, our nation, our church, and our lives, we surrendered. Prior to selection, we surrendered, and it was powerful.
It was powerful because it followed the model set by Christ. He was about to make the largest selection in history. He would choose to accept the nails, the thorns, the blows, and the load of the cross for you and me.
How could He make such a large selection? He first surrendered. In an upper room, He donned a towel and served His disciples, washing their feet. He poured the cup and broke the bread, symbolizing His body and blood that would be offered, pointing His disciples to the power of Passover.
In a garden, He prayed, not in trivialities, but in earnest brokenness, until His sweat dropped as blood. Jesus surrendered. He humbled Himself completely before the Father, yielded His all to the divine will, and passionately pursued His purpose. And, in surrender, He stood strong, made the right selection, and slaughtered His enemy…and ours.
No matter what selection is before you, when you do not know what to choose, choose first to surrender. Fix your focus solely upon the Cross of Christ and be broken again by His unfailing love for you.
Find someone to serve. Humbly bow before a friend, or enemy, and wash their feet in kindness and service. Pray – not quickly or conveniently, but passionately, strongly, crying out to Christ until He not only hears you, but you hear Him.
Then rise in strength and trust the Lord to direct your steps in His good, perfect will. When you are broken before the Lord, you will never be broken by the world. He will hear you. He will see you. He will lead you. And that is the only #1 hit I am after!