I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want you and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that’s left is more of You
- Colton Dixon’s “More of You”
This has been resonating with me lately. I was raised with an awareness of the power of prayer. Many people have their parents tell them to be careful of what they wish for – for my parents, it was be careful of what you pray for. I view many songs as a prayer. Words are powerful to me. So, they are not simply lyrics, but they often become intimate communication between me and my Creator. With this in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about this song lately and coupling it with one of the most impactful biblical sections for me:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”’ – Matthew 16:24-25
What are my walls? What is my kingdom of safety that I have created that needs to come tumbling down for me to truly be completely focused and devoted to God? What, in my life, am I clinging to that I need to release in order to truly take up my cross and follow Him?
I think this is a very brave prayer that is proposed in this song. I know the walls I’ve built are ones that are often good intentioned; they keep me safe; they keep me comfortable. I can take “safe” risks knowing that I have a safety net. BUT God doesn’t call us to comfort, safe risks, and, especially not to safety nets. He calls us to give it all – to risk it all. Whatever is the most valuable to us, we must be willing to give up. This is what I have found most difficult. I think I am willing, but willing and actually doing can be very different.
My prayer for the last few years has been in response to this. It varies slightly depending on the day, but goes something like this:
God, use me.
Help me to serve You here on earth in whatever ways You wish..
Show me the opportunities.
Help me to respond quickly and without fear.
Prepare me, give me wisdom to identify chances, and courage to respond.
God has responded in many ways to this prayer. I can feel Him working in me to help me prepare for these things. Jesus said that we must be faithful in small things before we are presented with big things (Luke 16:10). These prepare us to be faithful with large things. So, I am excited to see what big things God has planned for me and how He will continue to answer this incessant prayer of mine. I don’t know what His plan is, but I can risk with the knowledge that there is one.