Tag: thomas wilson

Trust God With Your Story

For a generation full of impatient dreamers, the thought of doing anything “normal” for any period of time is heresy. We’re told to let loose and live our dreams from the time we are kids. We’re shown inspiring examples of people making huge change at a young age. We hear about the great adventures of God, and our hearts start racing, ready to write our own stories.

Yet many of us find ourselves in less-than-adventurous circumstances. Whether it’s an office job instead of an artistic venture, joining someone else’s Lifegroup instead of leading your own ministry or spending a couple of years in the suburbs when you’d rather be serving in the nations, we all go through seasons where we don’t’ feel like we’re realizing our full potential.

But in that middle-ground of “doing normal,” I believe God wants to do more than we could imagine. I believe, among many things, He wants to use these years to define us and dine with us.

Luke 3:23 says, “Jesus Himself was about 30 years old when He began His ministry.” Most of what we know about Jesus happened in a three year span of His life. But we hardly even think about the years that came before that point.

Can you picture Jesus in his twenties? Knowing His destiny, His identity and His mission, yet working a blue-collar job day-in, day-out… for years. He wasn’t going on mission trips… wasn’t leading a company… wasn’t realizing His full potential. He was doing normal.

But why did He have to wait? Hebrews 5:8 tells us “Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered.

I believe it was in these years of doing normal that Jesus learned what was necessary for fulfilling His mission. Those years of normal defined His character; they prepared Him.

“Normal” has an amazing way of refining you to become the person who is able to handle the huge destiny on your life. If we embrace the normal and let God define us, we’ll reach our destiny ready to realize our full potential in Him.

King David, similar to Jesus, worked a blue-collar job for a long time before he reached his destiny. For years, he spent day after day, week after week alone with sheep… even after having been anointed as king.

But it was there in the lonely, boring pastures where David wrote many of the psalms we read today. David’s years of “doing normal” were the years where he grew in intimacy with God – where he learned to “dine” with God.

In the mundane, God wants to speak to us. He wants us to know Him and depend on Him like never before. He wants to eat and drink with us, to have friendship with us. In the midst of normal, God wants to dine with us.

Both Jesus and David teach us that just because you know your destiny, you’re never too good to do normal. But does that mean we need to just stifle our dreams and forsake our passions? I don’t think so.

God’s word is clear that His dream for your life is larger than anything you could come up with. The question is not whether or not you’ll reach your destiny someday… it’s how you’ll get there.

Some of the best advice I’ve gotten in the last few years is to allow my 20’s to be a time of character shaping… not to expect that they’ll be the climax of my life. I have lots of huge dreams, so knowing that Jesus and David did nothing but work a blue-collar job til they were 30 gives me a lot of peace.

IN RESPONSE: 

Trust God with your story. Don’t forget who God says you are or what your destiny is. But until you get there, savor this season. Allow it to define you, and allow God to dine with you.

By Thomas Wilson

thomas headshot

Leading Yourself in Worship

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11

Sometimes I lead myself in worship. A lot of times, actually.

My soul seems to have chronic amnesia. It doesn’t take much for it to forget how incredible God is. Sure, my mind knows how great God is. But caught up in the circumstances of life, I find my perception of God shrinking down to the size of my own fleeting existence. Pretty soon, I don’t even want to worship.

But God is much greater than what I see or feel. He is eternal, incomprehensible, majestic and omnipotent. He is gracious, forgiving, faithful and true. He is worthy of much greater worship than I know how to give.

So why can’t my soul seem to remember who God really is?

I should be able to easily worship Him any time, any day – much less during a worship service! Why is it difficult sometimes?

Apparently, David has the same problem I do. In the Psalms, he repeatedly cries out, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” David talks to himself, reminding his soul of God’s goodness. David leads himself in worship.

If David, whom the Bible labels “a man after God’s own heart,” had to lead himself in worship, we probably do too.

We have to consistently, intentionally remind ourselves of God’s character.

Sometimes, I simply worship – even when I don’t want to. Declaring Biblical truths out loud and singing them is a great way to wake my soul out of its forgetful sleep.

Sometimes I preach the Gospel to myself. Remembering the cross, remembering the empty grave, and remembering who I was before Jesus changed my life motivates my soul to worship God.

Sometimes I just think about God’s goodness. God has never failed anyone. Ever. In all of human history, He has been perfectly good. The bible is full of stories of His goodness trumping the odds. And He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He’s never failed anyone, and He won’t start now.

This is just the beginning. Regardless of how we do it, we must consistently motivate ourselves to worship God in spirit and truth whether we feel like it or not. He is always worthy; we simply forget.

In Response

What is one way you have had a hard time worshiping God recently? Ask God to reveal a truth about His character you need to remember, and then respond by leading yourself in worship.

By Thomas J. Wilson

Our God Comes Chord Charts

We want everyone to have the opportunity to worship with these 14 original songs!

We hope you’re enjoying the new songs from AntiochLIVE’s “Our God Comes.” This album is a celebration of a God who comes near to His people out of His great love and desire for us. It was a blast filling the Ferrell Center with these truths at World Mandate this past weekend!

Please follow the links below to get the chord charts for each song.

1. Come

2. God And King

3. Wonderful Counselor

4. God Who Saves

5. How Much More

6. I Will Raise

7. Response

8. Light Me Up

9. Awaken Us

10. One Hundred Three

11. Return

12. Savior Forever

13. Selah

14. Our God Comes

Whether you’re singing these songs with your church family or it’s just you and your guitar, we pray these songs take you into a greater place of intimacy and a lifestyle of worship to the Almighty God, Our God who comes.

 

Our God Comes

It was only seven days into my senior year at Baylor, and everything was going wrong. Coming out of a difficult summer, I expected everything in my life was about to turn around – that every dream would come true and every prayer would be answered.

It wasn’t just wishful thinking either. I heard clearly from God that things in my life were about to bloom.

But they didn’t. My classes, my ministry, my Lifegroup, my work, my relationships, my music – nothing was blossoming how I expected it would. I sat down on the floor of my room, feeling like God had cheated me. In my disappointment, I opened my Bible to Psalm 50.

It’s an amazing chapter. The beginning describes how powerful, fearsome and huge our God is. Suddenly, God Himself enters the scene and He gathers together everyone who has remained faithful to Him in the midst of suffering.

And then, God tells them this:

“I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills…[Instead], offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:9-10, 14-15)

In that moment, I realized thankfulness is sometimes a sacrifice. I realized true worship is not just a natural response to good circumstances, but also a prophetic and sacrificial declaration in the midst of bad circumstances.

God didn’t want me to react to my disappointment with unbelief, as if God’s very nature had somehow changed and I was His first victim. He wanted me to worship Him despite the disappointment, trusting in His goodness whether I saw it or not.

I resolved then to declare God’s goodness no matter my circumstance. That night, alone on the floor of my room, I wrote a song straight out of Psalm 50. It’s a song declaring belief in God’s character. It’s a song proclaiming the truth that God is over all, and He will come through for His people. It’s a song asserting God will have the final word in His people’s lives.

Later that night, I sat on my porch swing and played the beginnings of what would eventually become “Our God Comes” for my friend Brandon Seibert. When I told him the song didn’t have a bridge yet, he got an excited look in his eye. “I think I have something. Just keep playing those chords.”

What Brandon sang in that moment was a scripture both of us relied on heavily that year: Psalm 27:13. It declares, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Brandon’s bridge expressed exactly what I had been feeling, and in a moment the song was more or less complete.

We were both amazed at how quickly the song came together. But we believed God had given it to us as an anthem we could sing in our pain, while believing God is faithful and will come through for us in the end.

It’s crazy to me how a song that began so personally – with me alone on the floor of my room – is now being sung by hundreds of people who each have their own experiences of testing and trial. I didn’t set out to write a song for our movement. But God chose to take the work He did in me on the floor of my room and multiply it out to become an anthem our church can rally around.

 By Thomas Wilson

Follow Thomas on Twitter at @ThomasJWilson

Thomas Wilson headshot

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can hear Thomas play “Our God Comes” this Friday, April 5th at Antioch LIVE. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins promptly at 7 p.m. For more details, go here.