Jesus Wants Your Surrender, Not Your Acknowledgment
Many Christians treat Jesus like a subject - something to study and apply to their lives. Often the motivation is that by applying “Jesus principals”, they will have a better life. I had this view growing up. I was always wondering what “Jesus facts” I needed to learn to make my life better and to avoid hell.
I basically tried to live as close to the world as I could without losing my “Jesus hell insurance.” I was the one in control of my life, and Jesus was there to serve me and my goals and to fulfill my dreams. My faith was about acknowledging something; it was just a list of rules to follow. But deep down I knew there had to be more. I was missing the real freedom and excitement that I knew God had for me.
When I was studying Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, I became more and more aware of the powerlessness of my spiritual condition. I was desperate to know what the real purpose of my life was. The last thing I needed was just more empty religious slogans. It wasn’t enough anymore to just know about God. I needed to know Him - to truly get to know the person of Jesus.
I would walk for hours across the university campus and cry out to God. It was in the middle of winter and bitterly cold, but I didn't care because I was desperate to have an encounter with Jesus Himself. I told Him all my struggles and fears, everything I was thinking.
It was during this time that God started to break into my life, and I had an encounter with Jesus, the person. I discovered God’s unbelievable love and the incredible relationship that He wanted to have with me. I also realized that I needed to surrender my life to Him. I couldn’t dictate the terms or negotiate - it was all or nothing. The love of Jesus demands everything, and that was where I would find my real purpose. It was soon afterward that I felt God called me to use music and art to communicate the love of Jesus to an alienated counter-culture in Amsterdam.
My art did not come out of a need to express myself but out of a desire to glorify God. It was birthed out of surrender and a willingness to serve Him any way He called me to. I am not suggesting that I always had good motives, or that my actions were always without selfish ambition, but I do think at the core of my art was a desire to glorify God.
Now some thirty years later, I have had the privilege to tour the world more times than I can remember. I have performed in front of thousands and seen countless changed and transformed by God’s power. My life as an artist has been richer than anything I could have ever imagined, and my heart burns with gratitude for the life God has allowed me to live.
Don't let Jesus just be a subject or person you simply acknowledge. Cry out to Him and get to know Him. If you do, it will revolutionize your art, your life, and the world.