Jonah couldn’t do it. Nor could Moses nor David nor Paul. They couldn’t escape God’s call. Jonah literally jumped ship and still wound up in the will of God in Nineveh. Moses protested when God called him to deliver His people from slavery yet became one of the greatest leaders in Israel’s history. David was initially overlooked by everyone to be the next king, everyone but the Lord. And Paul killed and convicted the ones he eventually became like after an encounter with God on a road.

I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence

I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

These biblical stories point to one truth: when God pursues us, there is nothing we can do to escape Him. The gospel of Matthew explains why this is in the parable of the lost sheep. “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?... So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matt. 18:12-14). God does not want us to perish, not a one of us.

Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me

Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me

And because of Jesus, we won’t perish. His sacrifice made the way for us.

We aren’t made to run forever. The farther we go, the deeper into the dark we get and the harder it is to decipher the voices in the forest. Are they God’s? Are they our own? We can feel hopeless, like we have lost the way.

I stepped out of the dark

And into the light

When He called my name

But belonging to God means we are a chosen people. I Peter says, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). God’s voice illuminates the darkness; Jesus’ sacrifice lights the path back home. You can never be in too deep. The world can never be too dark. For it is in the dark that He meets us.

My heart was a stone

I was covered in shame

When He came for me

Paul promises in Romans that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus came to heal the sick, not the healthy. He wants you in your mess, not after you’re out of it. That’s the twist. We think we have to clean up for Christ when actually, he came to cleanse us because we can’t do it ourselves. When we come to see him this way, for the truth of who he is, we realize that Jesus really is our only hope. He really is our everything.

To hear the song, download the lead sheet, and watch the New Song Cafe click here.

This post first appeared on Chris Vacher's blog, Chris from Canada. It is used here by permission. Please be sure and stop by his blog to say, "Hi!"

Worship leaders, in general, are artists. Artists, in general, tend to be emotionally invested in their own situation. Emotional investment, in general, results in assumptions which have varying degrees of truthiness.

And we all know what happens when we assume.

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With any live performance, there's always the possibility of something unexpected happening. I was reminded of this once again last week during worship. The tracks/click we were using went wacky during the first song. I had no option but to kill the tracks and click. After the tracks went down, the whole band was on edge having to adjust. And of course that led to a mistake. Me, the keyboard player, started a song while still transposed a half step down. I didn't realize it until the singer came in. That's the worst feeling in the world - trying to decide between two equally awkward options.

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Q: Bellarive isn’t just a band but a community of like-minded believers. How does this personal camaraderie help shape the songs you write? 

We live and experience life together. Like most families, the people closest to you know you at your best and at your worst. We are directly linked to and aware of each other’s greatest triumphs and darkest failures. It leaves us all very exposed. Sometimes that can feel very scary, but it is actually extremely freeing. God has the uncanny ability of reveling Himself the most in those moments of vulnerability. In those moments, it’s not about hiding from reality or keeping up the façade, it’s about recognizing your position towards God and surrendering to Him. In those moments, you really mean what you say. We pray these songs are always a response to those moments. Be it an anthem or a confession, may it always be vulnerable, may it always be sung with conviction, may it always be in spirit and truth.

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There are big differences in starting a band and building a worship team:

  • A band picks members that all fit together. A worship team picks members to represent the body.
  • Image is really important in a band. Image is not important on a worship team.
  • A band is typically the same people all the time. A worship team should be different people a lot of the time.
  • Bands pick songs that make them sound good. Worship teams pick songs that the church needs to sing.
  • A band always works toward the better gig. A worship team serves faithfully every week regardless of attendance.
  • Bands pick songs that they know will get a response. Worship teams pick songs that sometimes say things we don't want to hear.
  • Success to a band is the applause of the crowd. Success to a worship team is the applause of one.

What are you building?

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