The shows that are the best for Tenth Avenue North are often the most dangerous to their hearts. The temptation to want to be used by God can often become an idol and savior to their hearts.
Mike Donehey talks about what it means to really be used by God and the humility that it brings.
Get Smaller — Video Journal by Mike Donehey
When we started doing this band thing fourteen years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that we were still sleeping on the floor of a van driving through the night, playing for five kids at a youth group, you know? And now, we’re playing to arenas of people.
The thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is remembering that the shows that might be the best for my career are actually the ones that are most likely the most dangerous for my heart.
I don’t know if you know this but it’s not a healthy thing to stand up on a stage and get applauded by an arena of people. It’s dangerous because so quickly we believe it’s about “me.” We used to gather right before we ever played a show and we would pray: “God use me, use us, use our band.”
And then we started playing these big shows with all these other artists, you know, I started to realize that my prayer, though verbally was the same, it had taken a new form in my heart.
Really what I was praying is “God use me more than everyone else.”
One day a couple of years ago we were praying before one of these festivals and all of a sudden I felt God tap my shoulder saying “hey bro, what if I want to use the other bands?”
“You can use them…..just use me more.”
Suddenly I realized that I actually had turned being used by God into my real savior. I was using being used. God said: “man quit praying that I use you, just pray that I move…and if I use you fine, but then that way if I use someone else you won’t be jealous, you’ll actually be able to participate in the joy of my kingdom come.”
Like Mother Theresa said, you know, she said: “We can do no great things, just small things with great love.”
And that’s what I’m realizing lately, this ministry stuff gets bigger and bigger — but as ministry gets bigger – it also needs to get smaller.
I mean, look at Jesus, right? Yeah, He fed 5,000, but only pastored 12. By today’s standards, His ministry was an epic failure. And we think that way, when you’re just saying “God Your kingdom come, use anybody you want” – what’s ironic is you actually get more opportunity to serve because you’re not looking past those little thankless, applauds opportunities that God gives you every day to be a gift.
If you don’t want to hold a toilet brush, you got no business holding a microphone. And maybe you need to stop praying for God to use you, and just pray that he moves. And that way we don’t miss out on the joy of the kingdom coming cause – it comes. I hope you got eyes to see it and be a part of it. Even it means you’re not the star.