What A Guy!

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

God will not likely give you all that he gave Solomon in the same amounts, but he desires to give you more wisdom, knowledge and impact than you have and more than you expect. So boldly ask for it, then ruthlessly align your life to nurture what the Lord provides.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 4:29-34

God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else… His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

In the previous chapter, God told Solomon that he would grant him any wish, and Solomon wisely asked for wisdom to rule well. And we are told, “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.” (1 Samuel 3:10)

As a result, the Lord not only granted Solomon’s wish, he promised to give him all the things lesser than human beings usually ask for instead: “I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.” (1 Samuel 3:12-13)

Now we see God’s promise for Solomon’s noble request played out in 1 Kings 4. The Lord opens his treasury of kingdom favors and begins to rain them down upon the king. He gets a mind like no other—an overflowing reservoir of brilliance; he gets fame—important people from around the world begin to seek him out; he gets the ability to shape the thoughts of mankind through song writing, scientific observation, and leadership philosophy. What a guy!

So where did all that come from? Solomon was just a primitive man in an ancient, albeit developing country. He didn’t go to college, He grew up under a flawed father whose kingly reign was consumed with warfare externally and conflict management internally. When did Solomon find the time and place to become so brilliant?

Or course, we know it came from the Lord. That is the best way to grow brilliant, powerful, famous and rich. And there is certainly nothing wrong with any of those, if they come through the blessings of God’s rich grace. But Solomon had to give effort to what God granted. We know from Ecclesiastes 1:13 that Solomon of himself, “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.” Perhaps it all came easy for him—we don’t really know. For sure, the good life that his father turned over to him didn’t hurt; it was conducive to intellectual growth. But for certain, Solomon leveraged what he had and who he was to produce what God had provided.

Maybe we will never be as comparatively wise and wealthy as Solomon—that’s not likely. But I do believe that God desires to loan us healthy measures of those same things—wisdom, knowledge and influence—if we humbly ask him and be passionately committed to nurturing them. Doubt what I am saying? Well, take wisdom for example. James 1:4 says that if you allow both the good and especially the bad in life to shape you by persevering through them, then “perseverance will finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So then, if you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Of course down the road, Solomon stumbled because he didn’t nurture the internal character that made him so blessable, but for a time, he had it all. Again, God will not likely give you all that he gave Solomon in the same amounts, but he desires to give you more wisdom, knowledge and impact than you have and more than you expect.

So ask for it, then ruthlessly align your life to nurture what the Lord provides. Who knows, maybe people will begin to seek you out for your Solomon-like mind. It is possible, you know!

Going Deeper With God: Do you lack wisdom (or knowledge or influence)? Then ask…and get ready to apply yourself to nurture what God will give you.

What Would You Ask God For?

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Greater than all the good things we might want from this world, the best thing is something not of this world: a life that pleases God. And when we dedicate ourselves to offering up a life that makes the Lord happy, his promise is to bless us with a happy life. Really! Scripture promises, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 3: 5-9

That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne. Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

If you could ask God for anything, what would that be? Riches? Fame? Power? Those would certainly be tempting. At least they would for me. But there is something far better than wealth, celebrity and position, and in fact, without it, those are at best, short-lived, perhaps even squandered, and at worst, misused to our detriment.

I am talking about wisdom, of course. Wisdom is the ability to discern good from bad, the discipline to choose right from wrong, and the practice of putting truth into practice in every day life, in matters great and small. And wisdom at its most noble, most impacting and most enduring comes from God.

Solomon could have asked for anything else—wealth, power and fame—but he asked that God would grant him the wisdom to lead the people over whom God had placed him. Now presumably, since God asked, he would have given Solomon those things. But Solomon asked for wisdom instead, and the Lord was impressed with his request.

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. (1 Samuel 3:10)

Greater than all the good things we might want from this world, the best is something not of this world: To please God. For when we sincerely desire that which pleases him, God happily blesses us with his abundance as well:

So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Samuel 3:11-14)

Solomon could have asked for anything, he chose wisdom. Good choice! That is a pretty good pattern for us to follow. Ask for the things that please God, he may just give you the things that please you.

Going Deeper With God: What are you asking for in prayer? Make sure you are sincerely asking for the things that please him. He has said that when we “delight in him, he will give us our heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37:4)

Man Up!

ThanksLivingThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Gender is under assault in our culture: manhood is emasculated, femininity ridiculed or clownishly sexualized, and childhood obliterated. Christians need to stand against that demonic doctrine by offering living proof of the Creator’s brilliance in designing us male and female, and by giving our children the path to grow into biblical manhood or womanhood in loving, protecting, nurturing, stable homes where God’s Word is honored.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 2:1-4

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all the earth. So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’”

Most of the commentaries you read on 1 Kings 2:2 skip over the line, “act like a man.” There are likely many reasons for ignoring it, but in the modern era where great energy is expended and demands are made to neutralize gender difference, my guess is one of those reasons is that pastors and theologians want to avoid any hint of political incorrectness.

But if God is unchanging—which I believe, and the Word of God is true—which I believe, and if scripture speaks with relevance, sensitivity, grace and fairness to every age and culture, including ours—which I believe, then what about this line? Did God through King David just tell the king-elect, Solomon, to “man up”? Yes he did! The Apostle Paul said similarly in 1 Corinthians 16:13,

Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.

Now if you use a modern thought-for-thought translation of the Bible, like the NIV or the NLT, which I think are wonderful options for reading God’s Word, they leave out the phrase, “act like a man.” As an aside, that is why it is not a bad idea when you study a passage to compare translations, like the ESV or the HCSB, which are excellent word-for-word translations (see https://www.biblegateway.com as an excellent online option for side-by-side Bible translations). But the point I want to make is that in the Greek text, the word for man is there—it is andridzomahee, which most definitely refers to masculinity.

So does the Bible recognize gender differences? Yes—God made us male and female, and we are to celebrate God’s design. No matter what a our crazy culture insists on today (believe me, it will be different tomorrow, and worse!), God’s Word is unchanging, perfect in all its way, and will lead us to “prosper in all you do and wherever you go,” as David said to Solomon. God has built in to humanity differences that are existential. If you don’t believe me, just hang out with me while my little grandsons are at my home. Boys are very different, intrinsically, from the little girls my wife and I brought into this world.

But does the Bible promote male superiority? Not a chance. You will never find that in scripture, including here, and if you do, you are fundamentally misreading God’s Word—and that misreading is a grievous error. It just so happens that in the two instances I’ve quoted where men are told to “act like a man,” the conversations happen to be with men. If the speakers were talking to women, they would say, “now act like a woman.” Similarly in scripture, sometimes people that are being childish are called out for “acting like a child” or “acting like an infant.” Nothing more is meant to be read into the author’s words. Simply put, men are called to biblical manliness in the sense that they are to courageously and confidently pursue the mission that God has assigned them. That is what it means to “man up.”

So what were David and Paul saying to the male listeners standing before them at that moment? Simply this: the walk of faith to which you are called is not for the feint of heart, so be courageous; put on your big boy pants and do the right thing. If you do, God will bless you. If you don’t, you are going to get run over. If you won’t, then get out of the way.

We are at a time in our culture where maleness is being emasculated, femininity is either put down or clownishly sexualized and childhood is being obliterated. As Christians, we need to stand against that demonic doctrine by offering living proof of the Creator’s brilliance in designing us male and female and then giving us the path to grow into biblical manhood or womanhood through the process of childhood in loving, protecting, nurturing homes that honor God’s Word. We will be going against the grain if we live out this orthodoxy, but it will be the only way to save our kids and our culture. And it will take from us, male and female, what both David and Paul called forth:

Now man up!

Yes, man up, and put mature courage on display before a watching world!

Going Deeper With God: The best witness to God’s design in a culture that has “exchanged the glory of God” for caricatures of the divine design (Romans 1:23) is to display through your daily life God’s ideal for human beings. Today, with God’s help, being living proof of an all-wise Creator.

The Beauty of Being Unfriended

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

True friends are willing to get “unfriended.” You see, friends don’t let friends violate God’s law without saying something. An old Jewish proverbs says, “A friend is someone who warns you.” We desperately need a revival of those kinds of accountable relationships today, because many of our friends are being lured into dangerous living by the deceitfulness of sin—and while there are plenty of people to cheer them on,  few are willing to warn them. For the love of God, and for the right reasons, quit being afraid of being unfriend!

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 1:5,-

About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him… Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah. Adonijah went to the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers—the other sons of King David—and all the royal officials of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the king’s bodyguard or his brother Solomon.

Nathan, Benaiah and Solomon got unfriended! They were blackballed, excluded from the group, not invited to the party. And that was okay. In fact, they wore their unpopularity like a badge of honor. And it was just that—a badge of honor—because to go along with Adonijah’s plan would have been to bless what God was about to curse.

Adonijah was King David’s son. He was popular, had movie star looks, and the popular support of both high-ranking officials and run of the mill citizens.

Now Adonijah’s father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. (1 Kings 1:6)

He was the obvious choice to replace the aging David. Worst of all, Adonijah believed his own press, and came up with a shameless scheme to promote himself. And he had plenty of cheerleaders to encourage him along the way.

Epic fail! In one of the biggest upsets in the history of elections, the newly self-minted “king” was immediately dethroned when David learned of his son’s rebellion and instead coronated the rightful replacement to the throne, Solomon. And the “unfirended” ones, Nathan, Benaiah and Solomon, were now looking pretty good, while those who had supported Adonijah—some pretty powerful people—were now looking pretty foolish. As a matter of fact, those who cheered him on in his sin now shared in his sin—an enduring lesson we ought to take to heart.

We worry too much about getting friends—and keeping them. Not that friends are unimportant, but in this day of social media where being “friended” is everything, we have begun to worship unthinkingly at the altar of popularity. We stress over what people might think of us, of being labeled as a hater, and Lord forbid, of being “unfriended.”

And all the while, many of our so-called friends are steering their lives right into a ditch, but we don’t say anything to warn them off. A person with whom we are connected posts photos of themselves engaged in questionable behavior, or uses vile language or proudly announces they are now in a lifestyle that has been declared sin in the immutable Word of God, and we say nothing. In fact, some who know better will actually fawn all over them with “I am so proud of you” or “you gotta be true to who you are,” which is, in reality, tacit approval of our friend’s sin.

Friends don’t let friends violate God’s law without saying something. An old Jewish proverb says, “A friend is someone who warns you.” We desperately need a revival of that kind of true friendship today, because many of our friends, cheered on by the crowd, are being lured into dangerous living by the deceitfulness of sin.

Now I am not promoting that you go out of your way to be a buzz-kill, but there is a point when you need to say something. You need to risk being unpopular, of being labeled, or being “unfriended.” I am not suggesting you do that publically. Watch your motives. Go in love—and in private. But for the love of God, be a friend.

True friends are willing to be “unfriended.”

Going Deeper With God: Ask the Lord to help you love enough to confront your friends lovingly when they are drifting into behavior that God cannot bless. Remember, a friend is someone who warns you.

Give “Til It Hurts

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Perhaps you’ve dismissed the old saying, “Give ‘til it hurts” as simply a motivational technique used by money-grubbing preachers to get bigger offerings. But don’t miss the point: a sacrifice to the Lord your God that costs you nothing is no sacrifice. Now understand that it’s not the amount that counts, it’s the heart from which the gift comes that makes it acceptable before God. When the Lord calls you to sacrifice, be ready to give until it hurts—which will actually feel pretty good!

Going Deep // Focus: 2 Samuel 24:21-24

David said to Araunah, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.” Araunah replied, “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.” But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen.

There is nothing wrong with looking for the best deal. Sniffing out good discounts is not only an American pastime, it just may very well be a matter of good stewardship. I would argue that being diligent with the financial blessings God has entrusted to us by going after the finest quality goods at the most affordable price is proper. But when it comes to that which we are called to sacrifice unto the Lord, it is to be just that—a sacrifice!

I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.

If what we give to God cost us nothing; if we have cut corners or gone on the cheap or have manipulated a discount; if we give second hand or second best when we could have done better, then it is not a sacrifice. God deserves our best.

Now understand that our best is not to be compared to someone else’s best—it is simply that which for us is of the highest quality and the deepest devotion and the greatest love.

King David illustrates this kind of costly sacrifice here as we close the book on 2 Samuel. This story was important enough that the Holy Spirit inspired the human author to include it in this inspired account of David, thus leading us to conclude that it represents a principle of giving God expects us to observe.

The context of this story is David’s refusal to accept a plot of land for free—land that the prophet Gad had instructed the king to secure upon which he was to build an altar. The altar was for a sacrifice to absolve David of his guilt in wrongly ordering a census of Israel’s fighting men. That sacrifice would stop the plague that God has visited upon the nation as a result of the king’s prideful and disobedient act. The sacrifice David wanted to make was of the most serious nature—there were 70,000 fresh Israelite graves to prove it. God himself had ordered the altar be built to accommodate that sacrifice—so this was a matter of utmost importance. In a real sense, this was a time for David to give until it hurt.

After Gad’s instruction, David went to Araunah, who owned the land where the angel of the Lord had stayed his execution of the Israelites, and this was the very spot where the sacrifice was to take place. Araunah responded to David’s request to buy the land by offering it for free—along with the sacrificial elements—all in the name of the Lord. But David refused this generous offer, insisting on paying full price for both the land and the animals to be sacrificed.

In refusing to accept the land for free or at a discount, David established an enduring and God-honoring principle for sacrifice: “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God offerings that cost me nothing.” God always asks for our best—and he deserves nothing less!

So how are you doing in the sacrifice department? Does that which you offer God cost you your best—that which represents your highest quality and the deepest devotion and the greatest love? If not, now is the time to start a new pattern of giving. If it does, keep it up!

Going Deeper With God: You have heard and likely dismissed the old saying, “Give ‘til it hurts.” But there is truth in it: we must never attempt to pass off a sacrifice to the Lord our God that cost us nothing. Now understand that it is not the amount that counts, it is the heart from which the gift comes that makes it acceptable before God. Is the Lord your God calling you to sacrifice something to him? Give ‘til it hurts—it will feel pretty good.

The Stand

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

In the Christian life, the greatest joys come from the greatest victories, and the greatest victories come from the greatest battles. And the greatest battles are won as we take our stand, and then stand firm against our Enemy. It is in “the stand” that faith gets enlarged and testimonies are born and history gets written.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Samuel 23:11-12

These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite. The second was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Third in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

In the Christian life, the greatest joys come from the greatest victories, and the greatest victories come from the greatest battles. And the greatest battles are won as we take our stand, and then stand firm against our Enemy. It is in “the stand” that faith gets enlarged and testimonies are born and history gets written.

Case in point is here in 2 Samuel 23. Shammah took a stand, and it was one for the history books. Shammah was one of King David’s three mightiest men. He stood his ground when no one else thought that was a wise thing to do. He fought when everybody fled. He risked his life when the odds weren’t in his favor. He stood courageously when there was no encouragement. And through this one man taking a stand in the middle of a bean field against the Philistines—then standing firm—God gave a great victory to Israel.

And the nation’s faith was enlarged…and the nation’s enemy was defeated…and the trajectory of the nation’s history was changed…and a warrior’s testimony was born!

Now in some part of your life—in the middle of your bean field—you need to stand your ground against an Enemy who’s intimidating and defeating you. You say, “I don’t have the courage of Shammah,” but remember, courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the willingness to take action in the teeth of fear. Today, if you will take your stand, this might just be the day your faith grows some muscles and your victory gets secured and your testimony is birthed!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you’ve done everything, to stand. Stand firm, then…” (Ephesians 6:13-14) Take your stand!

When Martin Luther stood before the Diet of Worms, he was accused of heresy. As he was condemned for stating that we are saved by faith alone and not by works, he declared to his critics, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God… Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.”

Every believer who trusts God’s Word, who grasps their identity in Christ, who gets that their destiny is Abba’s child, knows when they can do nothing other than to take their stand—then stand firm. And the devil, with all the powers of darkness at his disposal, cannot withstand a standing believer.

In his book, The Good Life, Max Anders tells the story of a huckster who went to a wild-west town with a huge rattlesnake in a glass cage. The man covered the glass with a blanket and took it into a saloon. He told the people what was under the blanket and bet that the meanest, bravest man in town wouldn’t be able to hold his hand against the glass when the rattler struck. The townsfolk went wild. They found their toughest guy and told him about the bet.

Of course, that stoked his ego, so he couldn’t resist the opportunity to be the hero. He went into the saloon and they all bet on him! So the huckster tore off the blanket, and there was the biggest, meanest snake they’d ever seen. Suddenly annoyed by light and noise, the snake coiled, hissing, ready to strike. The tough guy broke into a cold sweat…but he had a reputation to protect, so finally, his hand touched the glass. And the snake struck with a fury.

Of course, the meanest, bravest man in town reflexively jerked his hand away. The rambunctious crowed was stunned into silence as the huckster collected their loot and high-tailed it out of town before they figured out they’d been duped.

What a powerful metaphor for the Christian life. Satan, the serpent, is real, he is fearsome, he is deadly, but there is a shatterproof glass between him and us—Jesus—and as long as we’re on the right side of that glass—in Christ—we can stand firm.

So take your stand, my friend: you win!

Going Deeper With God: Where do you need to take a stand today? Do it. Stand firm.

Go Ahead And Sing!

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Go vertical with your gaze once in a while, and you’ll see that God is still in control. Do that as the regular practice of your life, and you will find that you have much to sing about. Now this is not a proverbial whistling past the graveyard, it is an act that not only expresses faith, that not only builds faith, but it is an act that actually releases even more faith into your life. So you should sing—a lot!

Going Deep // Focus: 2 Samuel 22:1-23

Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior…”

David sang a lot! We don’t know how good of a singer he was, but who cares. He didn’t. Besides, he was king, so who was going to tell him he didn’t have a good voice. And while we don’t know if he could carry a tune, we do know that he could really write those tunes. Many of them are still topping the charts thousands of years after the fact; they are sang by millions of people around the world every Sunday when congregations sing the psalms.

David sang a lot! And why not? God had bailed him out of bad times early and often, and he was grateful. Whether it was deliverance from a lion or bear, or from a king named Saul or a giant named Goliath, or from his own personal sin, his gratitude for God’s lovingkindness often spilled over the containment walls of his being. And he sang.

I think you should too. It is good for you. It releases more faith when you lift up your voice in praise. It elevates your mood, minimizes your problems, and sends shockwaves into the unseen realm where your Enemy resides, causing him to quake in his boots. And I would argue that like David, you should make up your own songs. They may never be sung by others, or even known, but they are powerful because they come from your heart, and from your fresh experience with the lovingkindness of God. They remind you of who God is and who you are; of what he has done and what he will do. That is precisely why you should sing—a lot!

Furthermore, singing songs of praise is not meant just as a response to God for his goodness in the good times. Singing is an act of faith in the challenging times that recognizes a higher reality than the one you see in your horizontal view-finder: That God is King—he always was, and always shall be. Given that, you should sing—a lot!

Go vertical with your gaze once in a while, and you will see that God is still in control. Do that as the regular practice of your life, and you will find that you have much to sing about. Now this kid of singing is not a proverbial whistling past the graveyard, it is an act that not only expresses faith, it is an act that actually releases even more faith into your life. Singing is calling into your present reality the greater, more real, infinitely powerful reality of eternity. Singing praises invites the presence of God and invokes the power of God in your life. So you should sing—a lot!

So if you want to squeeze every ounce of joy out of the good times and have more faith for the troubling times in life, sing! Go ahead, I am not joking, and belt out a tune.

Going Deeper With God: What has God done in your life lately? What do you have to praise him for? What about him causes you to be grateful? Write it down in the form of a song. You may never publish it, but you should certainly sing it, at least in the privacy of your prayer closet. Make up your own tune, and don’t worry if you are on key or not. God is your audience of one, and he will love it!