Posted on January 24, 2013.
I recently heard a song that went something like this…
“…Shout it. Go on and scream it from the mountains. Go on and tell it to the masses….”
What a wonderful line! This is the reason I am involved with Youth With A Mission. I desire to go to the nations and “shout it.”
I thought about those words… “shout it.”
As I think back on the song, I think about what we mean by, “…scream it from the mountains.”
We all are aware of those “street preachers” who stand on the street corners with a megaphone and shout out the “gospel.” Most of us actually cringe at the sight of them. They often feel that they need to proclaim the “truth,” yet, even though their hearts are in the right place, they push people away with their harshness.
Over my years as a follower of Christ, and as a long-term missionary, I’ve come to realize that it’s not the things that come from our mouths that please God or draw people to Him. Rather, it’s the things we do. It’s the things that flow from our lives. It’s the way that we live that brings honor to Him.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us? He came as the perfect reflection of who the Father is; “…Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9, NLT). That is how Jesus lived. He lived with relationship as his first priority. He made it clear that to spend more time with one or two friends, was much more important than “preaching” to the masses.
Back to the preachers on the street: What happens when the things we show the world (miracles, emotions, “salvation prayers”) don’t make them feel the way they once did? Once the excitement and wonder goes away (it doesn’t take long), what are they left with? They quickly fall back into the funk they were living in before we met them. Then we haven’t given them anything but fluff.
The heart of God is to give them something more real. What we’ve given them, is not even a currency that they understand or need. Sure, it is exciting when we tell them we want to give them something free (like cash) and they happily accept it when we give it to them… until they realize that Yen or Pesos or Rubles really don’t help them now. It’s not something useful to help them out of their current living situation. Then they throw it away, or carry it with them (sometimes angrily and with bitterness because it never did what we told them it would do) until they can actually use it.
We must show them that Jesus is not something that gets us into heaven, and he’s not something that makes us feel good or get a rush, Jesus is the key to life (not the key to heaven). He IS life. And we have got to understand (and teach others) that nothing could possibly hold together or exist without him. He’s already at work in us and in those we encounter through life.
Let us get a new perspective on what it means to “shout it.” We have always heard that actions speak louder than words. Let’s live like we believe it.
All this reminds me of another song:
“Rebels attention, can you hear me?
Man, we’ve got to take this message out in the streets
(And not necessarily with a megaphone)
In this wilderness our voices (hearts) must be heard
With everything we’ve got to be a light in this world
We gotta shout louder than the world.
Shout it straight from your hearts (key word here)
Give it to them all you’ve got. Shout it!
Hey rebels, I’m pleading, you can hear me!
The way we live, the way we love is everything
So what if we’ve memorized every verse (Bible or song verse)
We shout louder than the world by the way we serve.
Shout it, make actions speak,
Shout it, what this world needs
Shout it, stick to our guns
From our hearts from our lungs.
We gotta shout louder…”
Altar Boys. “Shout Louder.” Against the Grain. Frontline Records, 1987