Drum beats have the power to drive the directionality of a song. And so it is that our own decisions drive the direction of our lives. Unfortunately, in our world today, we are more quick to sing I have decided to follow Jesus than to actually—you know—decide to follow Jesus. If we’re not careful, we’ll entangle ourselves in nonchalant thinking. Caught up in our own deceived notions that our futures are better off in our possession, we’ll abandon the abundance that eagerly awaits us.
Christianity today is becoming normalized, yet in ways true followers of Christ want nothing to do with. The more we get a real taste of Kingdom-living, the more allergic we get to any of its counterfeits (any and all forms of religion). When we go deeper in intimacy with God, we can’t help but to “play in the pocket” with His timing in everything because of the trust that’s inevitably formed. Thus, we discover our smooth groove with Him. It’s when we find our stride that we learn to live to the beat of His drum, instead of marching aimlessly to the beat of our own.
ASLEEP TO HIS BEATS
Walking around these walls/I thought by now they’d fall has been our mighty chant ever since Elevation Worship came out with their album “There Is a Cloud.” We walk and we walk and we walk in expectancy of seeing our dreams, our miracles come to life; we’re dying to get to our personalized Promised Lands. We pray and we sing songs of hope in desperation of seeing our agendas come to pass in our timing—the precise way we’ve planned things out in our minds. But by marching to the beat of our own drum, trying to figure things out on our own, we drown out the voice that leads us there. Doing our own thing our own way, our actions keep us in a slumber, leaving us unaware that we’ve made a home in the snare of today’s wilderness.
Let’s think back to the Israelites’ journey for a second. When we read this story of old, we can’t help but cringe at the thought that out of the countless people who embarked on the journey, only but a few of them made it to the other side. After suffering for four, whole decades, in the end, the majority never got their heart’s desire. Shouldn’t this open our eyes?
It’s plain to see that God really had the Israelites’ back even though they assumed the opposite. They were so convinced that they knew better. They became so selfish that they forgot about His faithfulness. Although, as the good, good Father that He is, He wanted to give them so much more than a final destination, so to speak.
He was trying to give them the greatest gift of all—an intimacy with Him that could breed the very trust they needed to pass all the testing.
If God had just let them carry on with no direction and make it through without learning the lessons of rich value, they would’ve died for similar reasons anyway. The moment their hearts hardened toward Him, they hit a dead-end. They unplugged from Him completely. When they lost their ability to tune into His frequency, there was no teaching them anymore.
God took the Israelites through the wilderness in the hopes of getting them to “unlearn” their old ways. Day by day, He gave them the opportunity to learn trust in His perfect timing. Remember, it should’ve been a quick learning experience. It was an educational field trip; His plan was to speedily teach them in a measly 11 days. He was ready to stretch and bless their imaginations, so that they could seamlessly transition straight into their destinies. All they had to do was get close to Him. All they had to do was silence their complaints, listen to what He was saying and follow Him to the best of their abilities.
RECALIBRATING THE GOAL
Too often, I witness the ones I love circling the same mountains, wondering why they feel so jipped in their lives. I, too, have been there. And sometimes I still find myself enslaved to the same lies that tend to keep me from all that God has for me. The difference now is that, because I’ve gotten close enough to hear the way His heart passionately beats for me, I’m better trained to notice when I’m off and out of sync with the perfection of His timing. When I just quiet myself, allow the Spirit to drown out all the noise around and within me, I get to learn the catchy rhythm of His accents and crescendos—the brilliance of the way He plays.
It’s not that our desires aren’t important to God. In fact, being close to Him has taught me how much He actually cares about them, even more than we do. He just wants us to be more in tune with Him than we are with what we want. The whole reason why He created us was for intimacy and relationship with Him. And if we forget to connect, we shut down and lose all ability to progress with Him into the wild, wondrous places beyond our capacity to comprehend. His sound, His words—everything about Him—should be chiming louder than anything else we hear. So when going deeper with Him becomes priority and our sole goal for living, we’ll find ourselves strikingly in perfect position to live to the beat of His drum, because we’re finally close enough to hear it.