Every Fall, I attend the Vineyard Worship Leaders Retreat near Asheville, NC. It’s an amazing time of worship, prayer, reflection, camaraderie, and catharsis. October 2014 was no exception. On the second night of the retreat, God used two patriarchs of Vineyard worship to speak to me in a special way. Raymond McDonald spoke on the theology of intimacy and drew a contrast between acceptance and rejection from the Father. Sleepy Ray’s story as a worship leader, senior pastor, and adoptive dad gave his message a firm-yet-kind authority. Then during ministry time after the sermon, Bob Van Meter quietly prayed for me and shared a prophetic message that was like the whisper of God in my ear. His message was about generational blessings instead of curses, not only from his generation to me, but also from me to other musicians and my kids. This was particularly poignant since I was struggling to come to terms with my son Mac’s developmental challenges due to events before his adoption. Afterwards, a group worship leaders were discussing the service, and we discovered that God had used Bob to speak to all of us in really specific ways. It was so good that we coined it the night we all got “Van Metered.” 🙂
Back to present-day
A few weeks ago, Kelsi Walker showed me the song “Good Good Father” by Housefires in Atlanta. The chorus instantly transported me back to that night at the retreat:
You’re a good, good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are.
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.
I just kept listening to it over and over. And as I did, I got the sense that this is bigger than my individual experience. This song is part of the soundtrack of what the Father is doing in our church. His acceptance as sons and daughters changes the way we receive his correction. When we know we’re accepted, we see that his discipline affirms our acceptance and proves in our hearts that our sanctification is in response to our salvation and NOT a means for us to strive for it or keep it. Check out Hebrews 12:5-11:
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
And once we get that, we learn that his acceptance is the basis for healthy relationships with everyone else. Keep reading verses 12-15:
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…
So as we teach this song to our church family, let’s meditate on these truths. I dare you to listen to the song on repeat and soak it in. Spend time playing it and singing it, and receive our Father’s acceptance so that we can minister to people from a place of security in him.
We’ll do this song in several keys, depending on the worship leader. Probably G or A for male vocals, and C or D for female vocals. Login to Planning Center to get the charts.
Similar songs to check out: