Lord is it possible to get this far
And just now understand who You are?
In 2014, after two years of repeatedly hearing preaching and teaching on the true nature of God’s love and how I did nothing to earn it, I could do nothing to deserve it, and I would never do anything to lose it, the message of grace was starting to crack through my thick skull and I found myself asking the question listed above. It was around this time contemporary Christian artist MercyMe released their 8th studio album, Welcome to the New. Not really an avid fan of the band, the release of their new album would not have normally been on my radar, but I had been hearing and reading interviews and promotional material from lead singer Bart Millard about something new in his life. Here’s a statement Bart shared on social media at that time . . . “Did you know the enemy most likely has a better grasp of who you are in Christ than you do? Roughly 2 years ago, a couple of dear friends helped me realize this. Daily they would remind me who I am in Christ. Constantly telling me I’m holy, righteous and redeemed. And you know what? Over time I started to believe it. Maybe that’s what it means to set your mind on things above.” Needless to say, having just been awakened to those same ideas myself, I awaited the album release day with great anticipation . . . and I wasn’t disappointed. It was if they had created my own personal soundtrack asking every question, expressing every doubt, and capturing every emotion I was experiencing as the churchboy chains and shackles were falling from me.
You broke your back kept all the rules
Jumped through the hoops
To make God approve of you
Oh tell me was it worth it
The whole time you were spinning plates
Did you stop to think that
Maybe He is okay with just you
There’s no need to join the circus
Just like that, with the lyrics of the second verse from the title track and opening tune, the band had captured my entire life of working, striving, and trying. From there, each subsequent track was one more reminder of the freedom, love, and joy available and I was just starting to experience.
Flawless not only described the churchboy life:
There’s got to be more
Than going back and forth
From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody
Thinking there’s worth in what you do
It then went on to remind us:
No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made you flawless
Take a breath smile and say
Right here right now I’m ok
Because the cross was enough
My favorite track from the album, Wishful Thinking, comes at number eight. The lyrics not only serve to open this post but are also featured as the permanent tagline on the banner of this blog:
Lord is it possible to get this far
And just now understand who You are?
Feeling foolish yet relieved as well
‘Cause what I bought before, I just can’t sell
But now my eyes are open wide
If this is wrong
I don’t wanna be right
Could it be that on my worst day
How you love me still will not change
What if it’s really not about
What I do but what you did, oh what if
This ain’t wishful thinking it’s just how it is
Although this album was not the motivating factor for beginning a soundtrack series, I can think of no better starting point due to its constant presence and importance during the early days of my recovery. For a period of six to eight weeks after the album’s release, it was rarely removed from the CD player unless it was being carried from vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to house or vehicle to office. Bart Millard continued in the social media post referenced above, “I believe if you stand around truth long enough, it just might change you. So by all means, stay a while. The truth has certainly changed me!” Hearing these ten tracks repeatedly for weeks allowed me to stand around truth and, just like Bart, it “certainly changed me!”
As this post is published, it is now four days before the celebration of Christmas. I had considered taking a break for the holidays, but as I decided what the first post in the soundtrack series would be I realized how timely it was as Christ’s birth is God announcing to the world, “Welcome to the new.”
Below is the list of scriptures Bart shared of which his friends would remind him and brought him to the knowledge of his identity in Christ. Learning who we truly are is the first step of recovering from being a churchboy.
John 1:12 – I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).
John 15:1,5 – I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.
John 15:15 – I am Christ’s friend.
John 15:16 – I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.
Acts 1:8 – I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.
Romans 3:24 – I have been justified and redeemed.
Romans 5:1 – I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.
Romans 6:1-6 – I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule in my life.
Romans 6:7 – I have been freed from sin’s power over me.
Romans 6:18 – I am a slave of righteousness.
Romans 6:22 – I am enslaved to God.
Romans 8:1 – I am forever free from condemnation.
Romans 8:14,15 – I am a son of God (God is literally my “Papa”) (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).
Romans 8:17 – I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.
Romans 11:16 – I am holy.
Romans 15:7 – Christ has accepted me.
1 Corinthians 1:2 – I have been sanctified.
1 Corinthians 1:30 – I have been placed in Christ by God’s doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.
1 Corinthians 2:12 – I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.
1 Corinthians 2:16 – I have been given the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 – I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.
1 Corinthians 6:17 – I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19,20 – I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 – I am a member of Christ’s body (Ephesians 5:30).
2 Corinthians 1:21 – I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.
2 Corinthians 2:14 – He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 – Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – I am a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:18,19 – I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
Galatians 2:4 – I have liberty in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life.
Galatians 3:26,28 – I am a child of God and one in Christ.
Galatians 4:6,7 – I am a child of God and an heir through God.
Ephesians 1:1 – I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).
Ephesians 1:3 – I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Ephesians 1:4 – I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.
Ephesians 1:5 – I have been adopted as God’s Child.
Ephesians 1:7,8 – I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.
Ephesians 2:5 – I have been made alive together with Christ.
Ephesians 2:6 – I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.
Ephesians 2:10 – I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.
Ephesians 2:13 – I have been brought near to God.
Ephesians 2:18 – I have direct access to God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19 – I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God’s household.
Ephesians 3:6 – I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:12 – I may approach God with boldness and confidence.
Ephesians 4:24 – I am righteous and holy.
Philippians 3:20 – I am a citizen of heaven.
Philippians 4:7 – His peace guards my heart and my mind.
Philippians 4:19 – God will supply all my needs.
Colossians 1:13 – I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.
Colossians 1:14 – I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).
Colossians 1:27 – Christ Himself is in me.
Colossians 2:7 – I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.
Colossians 2:10 – I have been made complete in Christ.
Colossians 2:12,13 – I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.
Colossians 3:1 – I have been raised with Christ.
Colossians 3:3 – I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:4 – Christ is now my life.
Colossians 3:12 – I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
1 Thessalonians 5:5 – I am a child of light and not of darkness.
2 Timothy 1:7 – I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.
2 Timothy 1:9 – I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God’s purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).
Hebrews 2:11 – Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.
Hebrews 3:1 – I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.
Hebrews 3:14 – I am a partaker of Christ.
Hebrews 4:16 – I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Peter 2:5 – I am one of God’s living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house.
1 Peter 2:9,10 – I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.
1 Peter 2:11 – I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.
1 Peter 5:8 – I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.
2 Peter 1:4 – I have been given God’s precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.
1 John 3:1 – God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.
1 John 4:15 – God is in me and I am in God
More posts in the Soundtrack of a Churchboy’s Recovery series: