Over the past few years I have become a fan of contemporary Christian music. This is not to say that I have given up the old hymns and Psalms that I’ve learned and saying as a youth. The hymns and Psalms will always be a special form of worship for me but today’s contemporary Christian music brings a message that is understood by today’s people and especially the youth of today. Many of these songs speak of the situations where are Christian values should stand out amongst the people throughout our group of friends and colleagues that we see on a day to day basis. There is one song in particular that was recently released by Josh Wilson that has brought a special meaning to me. That song is called “I Refuse”.
In the world that we live in today it is so easy to pacify someone who is suffering by just saying the words “I’ll be praying for you”, and then walk away without ever remembering to pray for that individual. We have also become accustomed to look for others to do the jobs that we should be doing, that Christ calls us to do. Many churches struggle today because people do not get involved because I believe it is someone else’s “job” to perform that particular duty. This song by Josh Wilson ties in with this message as well as with my own personal transformation that the Lord has been working on in me for the last six years.
It was six years ago that I came to realize that many people have forgotten how to reach out to one another, how to pray for one another, and how to care for one another. We are so busy with our own individual lives that we do not have time or do not take time to be the Christian we should be and that is to show Christ’s love in all that we do. In his song, one set of the lyrics is written:
“Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes, And act like everyone's alright When I know they're not This world needs God, but it's easier to stand and watch I could pray a prayer and just move on Like nothing's wrong.”
This is what I’m referring to when I made the comment about saying that we will pray for someone when in reality we don’t. If an individual is asking you to pray for them, why do we not stop right there and then, and pray for them? Why is it that we have to pray for them later that day when it is convenient for us? When Christ was approached by sinners who needed prayer and healing did he say I will pray for you and continue walking or did he stop what he was doing and heal or pray for the individual that ask? If we are to be Christ like, we must “refuse” to continue what culture has taught us to do and stop and pray for that individual immediately and continually until their prayers are heard.
Another section of the song which is actually the chorus states:
“I don't want to live like I don't care, I don't want to say another empty prayer, Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else, To do what God has called me to do myself, I could choose not to move, But I refuse”
This particular course is what has resonated with me. For the last six years I have chosen to follow what Christ is calling me to do instead of what I think I should do. As the lyrics say, I don’t want to live like I don’t care anymore, I don’t want to say another empty prayer, and I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself. I have committed my life to working with those who deal with addiction problems as well as children who are living in homes with parents who are dealing with addiction problems. I gave up a career that paid well here on earth for one that is building me treasures in heaven. I believe we can all learn from these particular lyrics that have been written in this song. We all need to wake up from the daze we are in due to our busy lifestyle, open our eyes to our surroundings, open our hearts to the Lord’s will and then reach out to those who have been reaching for our help that we have been too busy to notice.
Another section of the song’s lyrics also speak volumes in what we need to be doing today as Christians. The lyrics state:
“I refuse to stand and watch the weary and lost cry out for help. I refuse to turn my back and try and act like all is well. I refuse to stay unchanged, to wait another day to die to myself. I refuse to make one more excuse.”
The key words here are “I refuse to stay unchanged, to wait another day to die to myself”. Each day we must die to our self and take up our cross and follow Christ. This is the direction that he gave us in Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (ESV). The lyrics also state the refusal to continue to make excuses. We have become a society of excuse makers so that we may follow and fulfill our own self-centered needs instead of the needs of others. We often will look down on others instead of humbling ourselves to help meet the needs of those that are “weary and lost” crying out for help.
It is songs such as this that I pray will have an impact on people and that it will open their soul to the needs of others instead of keeping the gift that God has given them. Just as the song says, I refuse to sit back and watch someone else do what God has called me to do. I make the same challenge to you as you listen to the song and read the lyrics on the video that I have linked to this blog in hopes that it will at least cause you to look at the actions of your current lifestyle and whether or not you are building a life with earthly treasures for only yourself or are you helping to increase the kingdom of God and in doing so building up heavenly treasures.