I’m starting a YouTube adventure in 2024, so if you’d like to watch/listen to this post instead, you’ll find it embedded below.
The truth is you’re a mess. And we need to fix that.
I’m kidding, but I’m not kidding. I was a mess, too. And then Jesus showed up.
Hey, welcome to the blog! If you don’t know me yet, I’m Jeremy. I’ve been a worship leader for the better part of the last 25 years or so. I’ve been walking with the Lord for almost 30 now.
I Quit My Job For This
I quit my job for this. Not to start a blog, but to talk to you.
I left my job as a worship leader last year to come home, hang with my kids (an important thing, the family), but also to write a book. To move into a place of ministering to people with a message that I feel like the Lord has given me.
It’s just It’s been a journey. It’s been a lifelong journey and there’s so, so much there – but the first place I’m going to start is with this book that I’m writing. The book is about rebuilding the ruins of your life. You know, there’s some of you who have encountered such devastation in your generations through the sin issues and through abuse and trauma. I’ve been through some stuff and I’m telling you that God wants you to rebuild something. He wants you to build something for him.
Back in the beginning of 2023 I heard the Lord say to me “build the house.”
And I didn’t know completely what that meant, but I felt like I heard it clearly in prayer. One of the things he showed me was Isaiah 66:1 where he says “where is the house that you will build me and where is the place of my rest?”
If you look in scripture you see that the place of God’s rest is a place where he comes to be present, to dwell. He wants us to be a dwelling place for him. He wants us to build a spiritual house that becomes a place where he can dwell because he wants to be with us us again.
This particularly becomes clear in Matthew 7 when Jesus says that the man who builds his house on the rock is a wise man. And that wise man is the one who not only hears the words of Jesus, but does them. There was a time in my life when I realized that I had not successfully built a spiritual house, that my house was really a house of cards. And when a storm came, it just blew it right down.
Jesus showed that to me. And I began to rebuild my life after that. So here we are, about 13 years later at this point, and I’m writing a book. The book is really predicated upon that experience, and there’s so much more in it. But it really started there where I realized that my spiritual house was not built properly. It wasn’t built on the rock. I was a Christian. I was going to church. I was doing the things, checking the boxes, playing the game. I was even hearing God, but I was not doing all of what he said.
So, what do you do after 15 years of being a Christian and then recognizing that you haven’t built a house that Jesus called you to build?
I didn’t consider myself a prodigal, but in a lot of ways I was away from God. I wasn’t living under His rule. I wasn’t living under the Father’s roof, so to speak, and that’s really where we need to be.
(Here’s the video if you’d prefer to watch/listen to this post!)
Your Life Is A Mess
I know that some of you you are absolutely in shambles because your life is a mess. You’re going to church. I know you’re going to church because I used to lead you in worship every Sunday. I did it for a couple decades or so and I know you’re a mess because I was there too.
So what’s going to happen is this – when a storm comes that you’re not expecting, you’re not going to be ready for it because you aren’t building a life that Jesus said you needed to build. You aren’t actually building upon his teachings and being a doer of his word.
You’re building your life on what I would call “churchianity.” You’re building your life on a system that has taught you to check a box. You go to Sunday morning worship and maybe stay for Sunday school, and then perhaps to a Wednesday fellowship dinner or some other event throughout the week – if you’re really highly committed church member. And we consider these people spiritually mature, committed people. (I’m going to make some sweeping generalizations here. But in my generalizations, I don’t, of course, mean to assume that every single person sitting in a church on a Sunday morning is in this state. But I know that some of you are – you’re the people who I want to talk to.)
In fact, there’s some of you who are sitting in the church on a Sunday morning and your life is a mess Monday through Saturday. You’re wondering “is there more than this?” You’ve been taught to play the church game. And playing the church game isn’t getting you anything but being a member of a social club. And that’s not building you spiritually.
Jesus says if you want to be a wise man, if you want to build your house on the rock, then you need to be a hearer and a doer of his word. So that’s what we’re going to talk about.
Here’s what happens when you become a hearer and a doer of the word of God.
Encounter, Identity, & Purpose
The first thing is, you encounter Jesus. When you behold Jesus, there’s a transformation that begins to take place, but that transformation has to come, not only through his encounter with you. But through your obedience to him.
There’s always an relational exchange with God.
He says without faith it’s impossible to please him. So you’ve got to come to him and then you have to have faith. Part of faith is repentance – coming out of agreement with the lies of sin in your life and coming into agreement with what God says instead.
So then things begin to happen. As you actually encounter Jesus and behold him and respond to him, he begins to reveal to you who you are. He reveals your biblical identity. And you are going to begin to discover your purpose.
You know, all throughout scripture we have Bible character after Bible character, real historical people who encounter God, figure out who they are (because he tells them who they are) and then discover that they’re actually here for a bigger purpose.
That they are set in the world at a place and a time that is very specific. They have a specific mandate over their life. They have a specific thing that they are here to do. So God gifts them.
I think of David.
God gifts David as a musician, as a worshiper. He gifts him as a warrior. This man has taken out lions and bears with his bare hands. And God anoints him. He sends him on this journey to become a king.
So, he’s gifted and that gifting leads to an anointing. And that anointing leads to a position of purpose.
Now I’m not saying everybody needs to be a king.
Everybody doesn’t need to be King David. Everybody’s not anointed to do the same thing. You aren’t meant to do everything. You aren’t meant to be Jesus. You’re just meant to be you.
But he put you here for a reason.
He knew who you were before you were born. He called you to be something. And he gave you a purpose to walk in.
But there are so many of you who don’t know that.
First of all, you haven’t really encountered God. For some, maybe many of you, what you’ve encountered is church. You’ve encountered religion. You may have even encountered the Lord’s presence a time or two.
You might even be saved.
But you aren’t regularly encountering God. In fact, what the church has taught you largely, is that to encounter God is to have this “mountaintop” experience. You’ve heard that before? Mountaintop experience?
This happens when you actually get quiet enough from the distractions and the mess around you to listen to Jesus for a minute and respond to him. Then you encounter him and you think, “Oh my gosh!” And then everybody tells you “you can’t experience that all the time.” But, yes, you can.
Yes, you can.
I’m going to tell you, you can. They say “well, you can’t live on the mountain.”
Well, maybe not, but we could talk about that for second….
If living on the mountain means living in the presence of God, the answer is yes. Psalm 24 says that. Who will ascend God’s holy mountain? Who will abide in his presence? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, and does not lift up his soul to an idol.
Look, that’s the hearer and the doer of the word.
So God’s intention is actually for you to abide in his presence. So this idea that you can’t do that, you can’t live in that place, is religious teaching. That’s the religious spirit. It says you need to buy into the church routine instead and not bother with daily abiding in Christ.
But Jesus didn’t say that.
Jesus said you need to abide in me because apart from me you can do nothing.
Come on, somebody! We’ve got to move to a different place of maturity in our walk with the Lord. We have to. There’s so much that is ahead that we need to be ready for.
To recap then, you need to encounter God. You need to embrace your identity. And you need to begin to walk in your purpose.
And if you don’t encounter God, you won’t figure out who you are. And if you don’t figure out who you are, you aren’t going to figure out what you’re here to do.
It’s in scripture everywhere. Ephesians 2:8-10 says it.
We are saved by grace through faith. That’s the encounter with God. And then it says in Ephesians 2:10 that we’re His workmanship. That’s identity. That’s who you are. You belong to Him. You’re His. He made you. He made you who you are. And then, we’re His workmanship, created in Christ. Created in Him to do good things, good works.
I actually believe that’s really specific – good works. Not to do good deeds and check your good behavior off the list for the day or the month or the week or the whatever, but to do specific things that he actually ordained in advance for you to do.
But it all starts with encounter.
And what I want to help you do is I want to help you encounter God. on a regular basis, not just on a Sunday morning.
I led worship for 25 years and realized after all that time that very few people are actually encountering God in a transformative way through a Sunday morning worship service.
The primary reason is not because the Sunday morning worship service is broken, although I would say there’s a whole lot we need to change about it, but because the system of the institutional church has taught you to play the church game, which is just to show up that your good Christian behavior equates to proper Christian living.
But proper Christian living is relationship with God and you can’t do that once a week. You can’t do that with a once a week gathering. Or even twice a week being in the church. It’s not going to transform your life. It’s not going to help you get out of your bondage. It’s not going to help you heal from your trauma.
There’s so much more that you need to encounter.
So how do we build our spiritual house and build a relationship of obedience to God? Repentance, faith, obedience. This is simple Bible stuff, but it has to happen every day. It’s not something that you can just do willy nilly when you get around to it. It’s not a part of your day or a part of your life. It has to be your whole life. It is essential and foundational to everything else that you do.
If it’s not central and foundational then you aren’t building on the rock. You’re building on the sand. And when the storm comes and the winds blow, it’s coming down. It’s gonna be messier than it is now.
I want you to come out of your mess. I want you to build something that’s lasting, that’s eternal. I want you to figure out how to know God in a way that you’ve never known before.
I know you’re looking for it. I know you know there’s more because you’ve asked yourself that:
“Is there more? God, there has to be more.”
I’m here to tell you that yes, there’s more. There’s a whole lot more, more than you’ve ever thought was possible.
He will do it.
So I need you to show up. Show up here. Show up and listen to me. Just show up to this thing one way or another. I want you free and walking confidently in your purpose. I know you can do it if you will let God do it.
Have You Subscribed?
After years of thinking about it, I’m finally giving YouTube a go. Would love for you to head over there and subscribe to the channel!
Also, I’ll be publishing my book, “Rebuild the Ruins,” this Spring. Be on the lookout for more details!