JesusFreak20 is a look back at the songs off the historic Jesus Freak record. In honor of the 20th anniversary, we have decided to choose some of the songs that mean the most to us and write about why they are still relevant.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” – Brennan Manning
The beginning of What If I Stumble is still haunting all these years later. Manning’s eloquent and distinguished voice leads in to a song filled with Socratic methodology. Examining one’s self and others by asking challenging questions won’t always have the easiest answers. You have to strip back the layers and go deep. You have to be vulnerable. And that can be scary, especially if you’re in a place of influence. What if I mess up and other’s views of Christ become jaded?
As a new father, this has become especially challenging to me. The influence I have on my son may be paramount to how he inevitably views God. For some, it’s hard to grasp the love and grace of our Heavenly Father when our own earthly fathers have failed to give us that love and acceptance.
Is this one for the people?
Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade
For things I must afford?
You can jumble them together
My conflict still remains
Holiness is calling
In the midst of courting fame
‘Cause I see the trust in their eyes
Though the sky is falling
They need Your love in their lives
Compromise is calling
Finding that place of tranquility can be hard in anyone’s life. Leading and discipling others can be hard when life is throwing you one curveball after the other. Sometimes, the natural thing to do is to hide the problems you are going through. It’s easiest to put on a smile and pretend like nothing is going on. But the conflict still remains. Part of building trust with people you are discipling is being open and honest. That means being transparent and sharing life through your perspective.
Father please forgive me
For I cannot compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose
On the narrow road you’ve carved
Why do I dread my trespasses
Will leave a deadly scar
Do they see the fear in my eyes?
Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise
All the doubt I’m feeling
It’s hard to be transparent and share life with others when you are constantly living in the shadow of fear. Fear. It can overtake many aspects of our lives. And it can lead down a scary road of doubt. That road of doubt can feel suffocating, and can leave someone with thoughts of hopelessness. You start comparing yourself to others and always end up falling short. You become aware of the scars of your past and feel shame. The biggest issue with hiding those scars and doubt is that the only human that will know about them is you. And life isn’t meant to be walked alone. No matter how scary it is, you have to peel back the layers and reveal them to others. And guess what you’ll find? You’re not alone. There are people all around you dealing with the same junk you are. Struggle does indeed have a purpose. But often times, it’s hard to see that through our eyes.
What if I stumble
What if I fall?
What if I lose my step
And I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue
When my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble
And what if I fall?
It’s human to stumble. It’s human to fall. The great news is God’s love never fails. Even if our walk becomes a crawl. Even if we have shortcomings. The beauty of Christ’s church (or at least how it’s supposed to function) is community. Community helps pick us up when we fall. The hands and feet of Christ through the church can give us that lift that we need in seasons of despair. It’s also important to be a part of that functioning body of Christ to help others when they fall.
Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica (in modern day Greece) to encourage the fainthearted and to be patient with them all (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Encouraging each other and building one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) is an important function of the body of Christ. A group of believers unified under the banner of Jehovah Nissi is stronger together than a believer by himself.
So, it’s not a question of if you will stumble. It’s just a matter of time before you do. It’s important to accept God’s grace and to remember God’s love does not change even if we mess up. It’s important to be in a Gospel-centered church that will pick you up when you fall. It’s important to surround yourself with transparent and honest Believers who will build you up. And it’s important to be there for those that fall around us.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 1 Corinthians 1:3,4
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