John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
“He made the lame walk and the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits while His heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like if we let Jesus live thru you and me”
The chorus of this song came literally in seconds and all in one piece. I couldn’t write it down fast enough, partly because there really are a bunch of words flowing here! Some days later I brought the chorus lyric to a writing session with my friend Don Chaffer. He is really gifted at just backing up from a song and really pulling out of other people what’s in their heart about a given idea. We had a great time of fellowship around this text and I feel like this maybe the most transparent I’ve ever been in the writing process. The opening line probably will at first catch listeners off guard, but I hope then the honesty of the whole moment will resonate with them and perhaps God will open ears at that point to the idea of the chorus.
It seems to me like so often and for so long now in the church, we talk about grace and we talk about being set free from “the law” but there has always still been this unspoken pressure, the idea that if you aren’t able to pull off this list of Godly looking stuff in your life then obviously you’re more messed up than the other folks around you in church, who many times at best are merely giving off the appearance of having things together. Again, it’s not that I’ve ever heard anyone say this out loud, but growing up, the way I watched church members treat each other spoke more clearly than words. As a young person, this told me that church wasn’t somewhere that I could really be who I was and not be judged harshly for it. I HATE THAT!
When Paul talks in the book of Galatians about the fruit of the Spirit, He wasn’t making a to do list… hello!!! You don’t include fruit in your Sunday morning, “holier than thou repertoire”, it grows naturally from a healthy tree. And even though Jesus said that we would know a tree by it’s fruit, we may not know what season of growth the tree we’re trying to be so critical of is in anyhow. That’s why He also said, “judge not...”. God’s not looking for folks who will just try a little harder to get it right next time. He’s looking for people who will finally get it thru their heads that they can’t do this on their own. We’re all messed up and we all fall down, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. We can open up our lives and let the Holy Spirit live there in such a way that He takes over everything and the fruit that is the natural by- product of that indwelling looks like our perfect example, Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, help me realize just how badly I need you! Help me let you have your unadulterated way in me, and as I do let me show others the grace that you have so unfailingly poured out on my life.
Mike Weaver is the lead singer and guitarist of Big Daddy Weave. The band's fifth studio album "What Life Would Be Like" is in stores July 22, 2008.