Last night I went to the best concert I have ever been to in my life!
If Bethel Music comes to your area later this year or ever really, get tickets and go! It will be a life-changing worship experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Many of the Christian songs and videos I post on my blog here are from Bethel Music. On their website, Bethel Music describes themselves as a community of worshipers:
Bethel Music is a community of worshipers pursuing the presence of God. We exist to gather, inspire, and encourage the global church toward deeper intimacy with the Father. Together, we express who God is and who we are in Him, capturing fresh expressions of worship in every season. -From BethelMusic.com
The current tour they are on is the VICTORY Tour. Their latest album, “Victory,” is inspired by the story of King Jehoshaphat and the unlikely victory won by sending worshipers to the front lines of battle. This sounds a lot like my blog’s tagline!
Jehoshaphat’s story is one of my favorites tucked away late in the Old Testament that I want to return to and pull out some nuggets from. He was one of my favorite kings of Judah and he has a really sweet name.
The concert included most songs off their new album, “Victory,” and some mainstay songs that have become fan favorites over the years, many of which you would hear every Sunday in most churches throughout America.
Before the concert started, I was praying, “God, open my eyes and ears to your words and vision for my life.” Then throughout the concert as specific lyrics and other ideas popped into my head I wrote them down in my journal. I will return to these lyrics and the things that came to mind throughout worship and try to continue to unpack them and share them with you, in hopes that I might be an encouragement, and if I struggling through stuff, you can keep me in your prayers. Thanks in advance 😉
Tasha Cobbs-Leonard opened for Bethel Music with some powerful, soulful songs including: “The River of the Lord,” “Gracefully Broken,” and “Break Every Chain.”
Her first song set the tone for what God was saying through out the night:
…All my sins are washed away
In the river of the Lord
-from “The River of the Lord,” by Tasha Cobbs-Leonard
I saw someone at the concert who I haven’t seen or talked to since my ex-wife and I separated. My immediate feelings were judgment. I didn’t even talk to them, but I felt judgment inside of me. I had thoughts of, What if they spoke with her? What would she say? She is blaming EVERYTHING on me. What do they think of me? I’ve never told them my side of the story.
My next thought was from the Lord: The judgments of other people are their issues, not yours. You are forgiven. You are free.
Later in the concert, I was convicted of doing the same thing, but against my ex-wife. I heard the Lord speak in my heart: I died on the cross for her sin too. She is forgiven. Live in forgiveness towards her.
I need to let go of any and all bitterness and resentment I have towards my ex-wife. Bitterness only hurts me. It is self-destructive. Any time I have feelings of anger and bitterness towards her is a chance I get to forgive again and let go. I can release whatever is trying to rise up in me and express its indignation and instead declare, “Yes! I understand that she did x, y, z… and I forgive her. I release that offense. I am moving on with my life.” Each time I will get closer to the “surface,” where I feel like I can fully let go of and release all the past from her so that I can be free. Every time I hold on to something from the past and become bitter, I dig the hole deeper. Greater degrees of freedom in my life is an important theme I am learning in this new season. God can set you free from something in your life, but then it is your responsibility to walk out in that freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
God set you free to walk in freedom, not to return to a life of slavery. If you can forgive someone who has wronged you, it is a gift of freedom. You can be free from needing to judge them, you can be free from needing to hold them accountable, you can be free from making them pay for their wrong, you can be free from any bitterness towards them. Jesus covered their sin by His death on the cross, the same way He forgave you.
One of my favorite songs from the night was a folksy, bluegrass kind of jig called, “Ain’t No Grave.” It’s a song all about being set free.
There was a lot more to unpack from last night’s concert that I will continue to work through and share. I hope you join me!