This is part five of a seven part series of devotionals based on “Oceans” by Hillsong United. If you missed the beginning of the “Oceans” devotional series, click here.
What we focus on grabs a hold of our attention and shapes us. As Christians, we are called to focus our attention on God, not circumstances. We are called to focus on God who never changes, instead of situations or feelings which endlessly change and shift. When our perspective is clear and our focus is sharply on God, we can overcome enormous feats.
“Spirit led me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, And my faith will be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior” -“Oceans” by Hillsong United-
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO FOCUS ON TRUTH, BUT WE JUST CAN’T GET THERE?
John Wesley once told his friend Peter Bhler that he didn’t have the faith to preach, Bhler responded, “Preach faith till you have it, and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”
Wow, what an amazing and unconventional thought. I mean, here is a preacher, a pillar of the Protestant Christian movement, struggling to find the strength to preach. The advice he receives in return can be summed up as, “Just do it until you get there”.
The bridge of “Oceans” by Hillsong United reminds me of this quote from Bhler. Like a spiritual exercise, the repetition in this song section helps us focus on what we are saying to God. It helps us to declare to God what we believe, or at least are trying to believe.
That’s the wonderfulness of God – all we have to do is bring before Him our request and He takes it and is in charge of it.
Even if we feel weak in our faith, God takes that and can transform it into a deep faith.
I really believe this section of “Oceans” is very powerful. As the music and vocals slowly builds in strength and emotion, the slow crescendo symbolizes the way that we often begin our praise by imploring God timidly and insecurely, saying that we will follow God wherever He leads, but perhaps unsure of how that will transpire.
However by the end of the bridge, the music and the vocals boldly and loudly declare we will have trust in God!
That’s the goal, that we move from timidity to boldness in our faith.
IN BOLDNESS, OUR FOCUS BECOMES SHARP.
That’s what I love about this song. It’s an anthem – an anthem of strength. “Oceans” gives me the words I need when I’m afraid – afraid of the wind and waves that are around me, just like Peter. For me personally, when I focus in on the repetitive chant of the bridge, something in me comes alive. I know it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to me, calling me out of my hiding spot to the presence of my Savior.
“And my faith will be made strong in the presence of my Savior.” -“Oceans”-
My faith is made stronger only through the presence of God.
NONE OF THIS IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT JESUS.
God calls us to move from our comfort zones to become closer to Him. This often produces fear in us, and overcoming the fear is what “Oceans” is about. He doesn’t call us to follow Him in our strength, but in His. This is what the song has been building up to – it’s all done in the presence of our Savior.
Wrap your mind around that for a moment. Whatever God is calling you to do right now in this moment, He is not calling you to it without Him. That means being aware that the King of Kings is walking with you, wherever you are. He didn’t call you to the present challenges and ask you to figure it out by yourself and come back to Him when you’ve accomplished it.
No, he is calling us to walk with Him in His guidance and time through this. This is great news.
When you feel overwhelmed by thinking, “How will I ever conquer this or get through this,” instead, think , “God has me, He is with me right now and He will never leave me or stop loving me.” This is how we keep our eyes fixed on Him and not the distractions – the waves.
Take the bridge of “Oceans” by Hillsong United and use it as a focus prayer. Repeat it as much as necessary. Say it on the way to work, when you are taking care of your children, writing your school paper, entering into an unpleasant situation. Let it be your spiritual battle cry and allow the mighty Holy Spirit to overwhelm you with strength, power and most importantly love.
“Spirit led me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
God – Thank you for never ever leaving us to figure things out on our own. We are the ones who leave you – help us to see you and trust you are guiding us through all of this. Help us to see and feel your presence in our lives. We forget so easily and Lord we don’t want to, we want to walk with you aware that you are here at all times. Lord, let our eyes focus on you and nothing else. You are worthy of our trust.
We love you,