Make Me Holy: A Journey in SongJune 18th, 2013
As a musician, more specifically a songwriter, it is often easier to express myself through music. I recently wrote a song called “Make Me Holy.” So often we get to hear the song of a songwriter but not their heart. I wanted to share my heart with you and why I wrote this song. You can listen to the song here.
We serve an amazing and loving God who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So much of the division in the body of Christ is born out of a failure to understand or accept who God is and all that He is. We live in a consumer-driven society that attempts to cater to our every preference and demographic in its marketing, products, etc. Unfortunately, this consumerism extends to how we choose to view and engage with our God. So we often come to Him with the intention of picking and choosing His characters and qualities that we feel we need or want the most.
The Human Tendency to Reject God
In the beginning and throughout the Old Testament we see God the Father engaging with His people. Many reject Him; humanity lives in rebellion to His will and is subject to the consequences of our sin going all the way back to the garden of Eden; yet God is faithful and patient. He finds those who are faithful and makes His presence known among His people. Then, with the opening of the New Testament, we see God the Son, born in human flesh, sent to save man from our sin. While it is clear in the Scriptures that God existed in three persons eternally, this revelation of Jesus as the Son of God in human flesh totally rocked the religious institution of that day. He was a man, and yet He spoke with authority and forgave sins. He brought understanding to the intentions of the law and simultaneously brought freedom through the shedding of His blood and the introduction of God’s immeasurable grace! Yet the introduction of Christ brought controversy and division. God’s own people rejected Him, and what would later become known as the Church was divided. To this day, the failure to acknowledge the deity of Christ and His work to bring us to salvation has divided the Jews and Christians.
Then as Christ prepares His disciples for the end of His earthly ministry, He promises the Holy Spirit to His disciples (John 14). In John 16, He describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit as a comforter and an advocate for those who are in Christ. His description of the Holy Spirit demonstrates the essential role the Spirit plays in the relationship of the Godhead and in maintaining the communion between the Son and His bride, the Church. Christ encourages His disciples to look forward to the coming of the Spirit with excitement, and He approves the Holy Spirit with all spiritual authority to “speak” to the church on behalf of the Father and the Son. When the Spirit arrives we see unprecedented unity, and the Church of God begins to grow; however, not long after, we once again begin to see God’s people follow a familiar pattern of rejecting God in His fullness and trying to pick and choose the aspects of His character that they find appealing. Man attempts to recreate God in his own image. Now 2,000 years later, the modern Church is still divided and struggles to accept God for all that he is.
My Journey in Writing “Make Me Holy”
There is so much theology and doctrine that could be discussed in what I have just said; I will not even try to address it all here. I just want to give a background for why I wrote this song. After years of strong biblical teaching and Christian education from grades 1 through college, I still found myself grasping for a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit. After re-reading these passages in John, I couldn’t understand why I felt so under-prepared to articulate my relationship with the Holy Spirit and His work in my life and the church. I can discourse on end about maintaining a Christian Worldview or the different doctrines within the Protestant designation, and I could spend a week telling you how much I love Jesus (I probably could spend more time than that. Jesus is awesome and I’m head-over-heels in love with Him), but I always felt lost for words when trying to articulate the work of the Spirit. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me because I didn’t want to fall prey to the tendency that I previously described, to fail to accept God for who he is and try to recreate Him in my own image. Through His word, some supplemental reading and the influence of godly men and women, God took me on a journey that transformed my intellectual understanding of the Holy Spirit into a more intimate and personal relationship with Him. It is no coincidence that this journey itself is “Spirit-led.”
The journey is not over. I am so excited to continue to get to know the Lord for all that He is, and I realize that my limited human mind can barely scratch the surface of the magnificence of the God that I call Father, Brother and Friend. I am humbled by the reality that the Spirit of the living God dwells in me, and though I didn’t always observe His presence, He was faithfully working in and through me (and sometimes in spite of me). As a songwriter, I sometimes find it easier to sing the things I often can’t find words to speak. I wrote “Make Me Holy” as an expression of love for the Spirit of God and a growing understanding of His role in helping me to become more and more like Christ. I also wrote it because I know that I am not alone in this journey. I pray that this song would be an encouragement to all my brothers and sisters who are starving to know God in His fullness and are learning what it means to worship God in Spirit and truth, longing to experience communion with the Holy Spirit that brings unity to the body of Christ, of which I am humbled to be a part.
“This song will be featured on OneVoice’s upcoming, 2-disc CD project, “Victory In Worship” scheduled for release this September”