Where You At Devotional by The Ambassador
Published on September 26, 2013
Where You At? Lyrics Song Explanation
“Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man (Ps 12).” The psalmist feels lonely, or at least out numbered as he dwelt among a people in which godly orientation was in the minority. I can remember when I felt the same way within the context of the hip hop generation/culture. As I looked around at my indigenous cultural context, I would say, “help Lord the godly is gone…they’ve vanished!” This reality produced the personal conviction in me that the most appropriate reaction to that deficit was missions aimed at the hip hop people group. If the godly are few, and the servants of Christ are minimal, the gospel must go forth and bear fruit. Almost 20 years later a rich harvest of souls is being enjoyed and the gospel continues to bear fruit. However, where there is spiritual progress there will be an enemy of all that is good seeking to blunt the impact, stump the momentum, and stop the progress. Sadly he is often affective even though ultimately the gates of hell will not prevail! The song Where You At? is written out of a sense that there is a reason to believe that there has been a noticeable decrease and diminishing of missional people and principles among the hip hop context. We’re not absent, but it is sure harder to find what used to be abundant. Where you at? There you go!
Where You At? Devotional Thought
Introspection: Where You At?
“Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man (Ps 12).” To echo the sentiment of the psalmist, where are the godly ones, the recipients of grace, lovers of gospel and the church, who are on mission for Jesus? Where are the forgiving ones, restoring ones, gracious ones, the preaching ones? I ask myself “am I being this in my generation, and can I spur my brethren to turn up in this area?” A group of seasoned, urban, mission-minded leaders were evaluating the current ministry climate, and arrived at the conclusion that some steam has been lost in the collective missional witness to the urban context. This may be debated by some, and may not be readily apparent to most because there is indeed much to celebrate among the movement. However, the temple in Jesus’ day was also marked by a similar “hustle and bustle,” giving it the appearance of success. Business was boomin’ but, in spite of this, the temple was found by Jesus to be missing what He knew his Father was looking for. So it may be safe, even necessary to ask even ourselves“where you at?”
Figments, “Fig trees” and Frustrations
Perhaps you can relate to how disappointing it can be to hunger for substance, but encounter only figment. Surely you know the frustration when someone leaves an empty container of food or drink in the refrigerator but you don’t know it’s empty. At the mere sight of it, you develop a taste for it, create a plan to have it, and even make preparations to enjoy it, only to ultimately find there is nothing there! This reminds me of our Lord cursing the fig tree because from a distance, judging by the leafy display, the tree seemed to “boast” of having fruit but, upon close inspection, it had none (Mk 11). Jesus used this event as an object lesson to condemn the failure of Israel’s religious leaders to be faithful to God’s mission. It was a classic case of reputation without a matching reality. Jesus asks all of His missionaries “when it boils down, where is the substance matching all of the religiosity that is screaming forth in your sermons, songs, t-shirt slogans, and boasts? When Jesus comes looking for a people who are fulfilling his commission, being his witness, He should find us faithfully entrenched in that work.
On another occasion Jesus put Israel on blast because a Gentile displayed a faith in Him as Messiah, in a way that was absent in all of His people Israel (Lk 7:9). Jesus was looking for a faith that he especially should have found in Israel, yet He could not find it. In other words, “where you at?”
Lately I’ve been asking myself as well as my fellow missionaries to the hip hop context, where you at? Where are we who were entrusted with the stewardship of imitating and communicating Christ particularly with the missional needs of the hip hop context in view. There are many who have waved that banner at one time or another, and many equipped by God’s grace to fulfill that trust. So where are we? Of course God always has a remnant but, there are times when we look to our right and left wondering, “where you at?” This brings me to the conclusion of the matter. I believe God contrasts our absence with His presence, and our lapses with His consistency. He
wants our trust in Him alone because He’s the truly reliable, can’t-fail God.
The Faithfulness of Jesus: “There You Go!”
The absence of whoever or whatever you are looking, if it is worthy of pursuit, is most assuredly found in its most perfect and reliable form in Jesus. To seek Him would lead to finding what we are looking for. Is it faithfulness you seek? It’s in Him. Is it forgiveness? It’s in Him. Is it love, patience, or loyalty? It’s in Him. Wisdom, truth, fellowship, intimacy, the list goes on—it’s in Jesus. We all have to go to Him ultimately because these things will invariable fail to be available in the people, places, or things we often put the most trust in. Even if there are momentary glimpses of these things found in others, at some point they will fail us. This does not absolve us of the responsibility to fulfill our trust, be our brother’s keeper, etc., however, the great comfort is that God will be and provide what He is looking for.
Listen to Isaiah 59, which illustrates this point with regards to justice, rightness, and truth. God’s sought them but, these principles were M.I.A. (missing in action)—”…the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.” Yahweh was the only totally reliable One, and He Himself provided what He was looking for.
Let us not boast of great love, faith, passion, commitment, and sacrifice, and when weighed in balance, be found wanting. Let us answer the question “where you at?” with “here I am Lord, ready to do your will.” The Lord Jesus is faithful. He promises He will be with His own until the end of the age. He’s loyal, true, loving, and gracious. He’s never missing in action, and even if He delays showing himself until things look bleak, it’s only to display His glory all the more. Where you at? Look to the Lord and say, “there you go!”
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