I’ve had Keith Green’s song, Create in Me a Clean Heart in my head for days. I’m so thankful for song lyrics that are scripture, they make memorizing scripture and practicing the presence of God rhythmic, it slips into your subconscious and hopefully your outward behaviors and actions. My parents listened to Keith Green when I was little. I remember his music being energetic, fun, passionate and intense. He lived and breathed following Jesus and being a part of bringing people to Christ.
In his pre-Jesus life he was set on stardom. He was talented, but was not able to reach the level of rock star that he desired. Once he came to Christ he felt he should surrender those ambitions for musical stardom. “His quest for stardom had ended. And now his songs reflected the absolute thrill of finding Jesus and seeing his own life radically changed.” Then, after time, he felt God calling him back to musical performance and he soon became a popular Christian Contemporary artist. But this was a battle for him. He didn’t want to share the spotlight with Jesus. He wanted all focus, attention and praise on Christ. In his essay So You Want to be a Rock Star Green goes into great detail of the motive of all of our hearts, including his own. What and who are we worshiping? Do we want to be worshiped ourselves?
As I read this essay I started thinking about how, in the last ten years our society, world wide, has become extremely narcissistic and self-promoting. Social media has caused these behaviors and tendencies to explode and become acceptable and expected. So many are concerned with how many ‘followers‘ they have and how many ‘views‘ their blog has received or how many times their post or image has been ‘liked.’ As Green said in his essay, “My dearest family in Jesus…why are we so star struck?” With others and ourselves. There is a great desire to be known. “Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart. So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him! And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.”
receiving the recognition and credit
Worth losing your soul? Ask yourself – What is my motivation? Is is it pure and honorable? Is it really about Jesus or is it about me?
Luke 9: 23- 26 says, “And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?”
Green ends his essay with this statement, ponder in your heart if you need to repent of this self praise. “Let’s all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for a comfortable, rewarding life.”