I appreciate the music of “MercyMe.” I believe the band can relate to men with both lyrics and style, and their music affects me deeply. They have a new song out entitled, “Say I Won’t.” When I saw the word “rocket” in the lyrics and heard the song, the rest was history. Please listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2IHibLEYdI
The song opens with, “Today / It all begins / I’m seeing my life for the very first time / Through a different lens / Yesterday / I didn’t understand / Driving 35 with the rocket inside / Didn’t know what I had.” My interpretation: this guy is seeing his life with Jesus in a new way. He has a rocket inside.
The song goes on, “While I’ve been waiting to live / My life’s been waiting on me.” But now the guy is learning to fly spiritually. He dares others, “Say, I won’t” … “Not enough / Is what I’ve been told / But it must be a lie / ‘Cause the Spirit inside says I’m so much more / So let them say what they want / Oh, I dare them to try.”
Men, there comes a time in your spiritual life when you need to come to terms with the rocket within you. It’s your deepest longings for God. It’s your passions and desires. Yes, it even involves your sexual energy. Visualize all this as “the tiger in your tank.” Conservative, biblical guys like me sometimes have difficulty pointing the rocket heavenward and taming the tiger. Like the song says, “Not enough / Is what I’ve been told / But it must be a lie.”
I must confess that I’m reluctant even to write about sexual passions and passion for God. Why? Because of some of my own struggles, plus misconceptions Christian men tend to have about their own desires and fantasies. For me, however, only love can tame the tiger. I am coming to peace with this energy as I experience more of God’s deep love for me. “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps 63:1). Like the song, “’Cause the Spirit inside says I’m so much more / So let them say what the want / Oh, I dare them to try…”
You and I have sexual energy in our souls that is mingled with our spiritual desire for God. Yes, passions have eros (erotic) energy. But can you believe that God’s agape is able to come into your heart and redeem eros, purify it with resurrection power, and untwist all the distorted images? “This is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (I John 4:9 cf. Luke 4:4 MSG).
Christopher West in his book “Fill These Hearts” has helped. We have three choices: 1) Starvation diet: Pleasure is an evil to reject. I have lived under this cloud for years, 2) Fast food diet: Pleasure is an idol to indulge. Simply let the tiger roar. 3) Banquet: Pleasure is a beacon that points to heaven. For me this has meant allowing Jesus to transform my soul, using agape love to direct eros.
As I get older, I find more and more that my deepest desires are for God. The more I die with Jesus to distorted eros, the more his agape purifies the eros: “While I’ve been waiting to live/ My life’s been waiting on me.”
Watching and reading the media’s narrative on the state of our nation, I often visualize bandages being applied to deep cultural wounds. These wounds fester beneath the surface, producing enormous amounts of pent-up anger and frustration that will one day boil over in lawlessness. I feel I’m being force-fed a false sense of peace when spiritually I can see the dark clouds on the horizon. I want to shout, “Wake up America!! You’re being fed a lie!”
Twice Jeremiah warned the prophets and priests of his day about covering up their sins with bandages. “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14; 8:11). They were giving people false assurances that everything was well. It was like putting bandages on cancer and declaring people healed. As a nation we can ignore the reality of having strayed from God for only so long. Bandages only create an illusion of wellness.
Later Jeremiah complains to God about the prophets, “O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well – no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace’” (Jer. 14:13 NLT). God responded, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts” (Jer. 14:14 NLT).
Even more indicting are the words of Jer. 23:17, “They keep saying to those who despise my word, ‘Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!’ And those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say, ‘No harm will come your way!'” (Jer. 23:17 NLT).
“It is a terrible thing to mislead God’s people into falsehood, complacency and immorality, to be chaplains to the unrepentant and to collude in the culture of lies” (Bible Speaks Today). Through the mainstream media we are witnessing a massive spiritual coverup. We are told all will be well, while we are becoming more decadent each year. Men: don’t fall for this propaganda.
I must warn you that things are only going to get worse in society. Here are a few convictions we must diligently live out if we are going to weather the storm that is already upon us. We don’t want to be caught believing the lie.
First: ultimate reality is found in a loving Creator God, who has given us his Word of truth in scripture. Here we find God’s view of reality; a worldview to live by. Every other view of reality needs to be (and can be) measured against scripture.
Second: total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus (Joshua 24:23 NIV, James 4:7-8). No secrets, no compromises, no half-hearted commitment. Ask continually, “Lord, what is the next right thing?” Seek his counsels diligently and do what he prompts you to do. He will see us through the coming storm. The propaganda will only get louder and more convincing. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is. 5:20).
Third: commitment to kingdom living. I am part of Jesus’ reign on the earth. No earthly rule will last. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve and they will reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). And later in Revelation: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he will reign for ever and ever” (11:15).