I will never be asked to play music for the mayor of Roseville. It just wouldn’t happen. I’m sure he wouldn’t like spontaneous prophetic music even if he did want a concert of local musicians playing for him.
But let’s create a hypothetical scenario: I’ve been asked to play awesome blues on my cello for the mayor of Roseville (Lord willing I will be able to play awesome blues someday. For now I will be content with my hypothetical scenario.). You bet your hiney that I would practice night and day for that concert.
Without drawing out my imaginary blues concert for the mayor of Roseville, I’ll get to my point: when do we musicians who play 4-5 times a week for God practice to become excellent? How do we challenge ourselves so we can become the best? I mean, isn’t that what we should be, since we play for the most important person/audience/God?
And yet, in our carnal man-pleasing spirit, we see more value in being excellent for man rather than God. The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus is our great High Priest. I want to be one who plays with excellence, always improving, so that I can be worthy of that great High Priest. It’s not about a performance mentality, it’s about getting a new theology of grace. Do I come before God’s throne because of grace? Absolutely. Does an understanding of grace mean that God doesn’t want me to grow? No. He accepts me as I am — immature and selfish — but I don’t want to stay there.
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification…For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
I saw these verses through a different light tonight. I was reading Romans 15 with the intention of praying for the church of Roseville (using Paul’s prayer in verses 5-6 and 13), but I quickly saw that I had no idea why Paul was praying to, “the God of patience and comfort”. When I asked the Lord about this, I felt like the answer was elsewhere in the chapter. What I discovered pleasantly surprised me: I began to see that in the first 4 verses of the chapter, Paul was speaking to the mature Romans and encouraging them to be patient with their immature companions.
I have to laugh when the Lord reminds me of how closely He is watching me. I have been reflecting recently on how I have matured in the past year and been a little embarrassed when I see where I was then. I even told one of my leaders that I am amazed at the grace he had for me when I was so immature! Now, I am around some people who are in the exact place I was 1 year ago…Do I have grace for them? Well, I will admit that most of the time I just get annoyed by their immaturities.
With that insight, I’m sure you can get a little humor out of the Lord showing me this verse tonight. It’s nothing new that I get annoyed at people who are less mature than me. Paul advised the Romans to have grace for them, to edify them, and to remember patience and comfort (encouragement). This was the Lord’s answer to me also, and revealed to me why Paul prayed to the God of patience and comfort for unity within His Church.