People are funny about platforms. Some of us would rather have dental surgery than stand on a platform. Others of us would walk through a fire to get to one.
Both extremes represent a subtle (or not) form of pride. The C.S. Lewis quote, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less,” is one that has really convicted me as I’ve thought about the platforms in my life and my desire to stand on them.
When I was younger, I made the horrible mistake of thinking God needed my platform for his Gospel. “I’ll be a professional baseball player for you,” I said to God. “That way, more people can know about who you are.”
I guess I thought Creation and the cross of Jesus weren’t enough to demonstrate the awesome nature of God. Me pitching for the Braves in a World Series, well, that would have put it over the top. He had other plans, thankfully.
Platform jealously is another mistake we make. We see someone else’s opportunity and all kinds of conflict arise in our soul. It’s not that we resent them being on a platform, we just resent that it’s not us.
Tucked away in Mark 9 is an example of platform envy. In verse 38 we find John asking Jesus to stop someone who was casting out demons because he was not part of their group. Jesus’ answer stopped John in his tracks; “Don’t stop him… for whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:39-40 CSB)
So, when I see someone else being used of the Lord on some sort of platform, I have to stop and check myself again. And usually when I do, I am prompted to do two things – pray for the person and give support to what is being done.
As musicians, much of our lives are built around platforms. And, if we are not careful and mindful of the truth found in the Lewis quote, we will waste a whole lot of time fretting over our platforms, or the lack of them.
“If I could only be at that bigger church.”
“If my song could just be heard by the right people.”
“If only I had been given that solo.”
“If only I had won that audition.”
God doesn’t need you or me on a platform. He allows us to join Him in His work in ways He ordains for each of us. He wants us to find contentment – not in what we are doing and how big our influence may be – but in knowing Him and watching Him work in our lives everyday, however and wherever He chooses.
God doesn’t need our platforms. His love for us in not based on where we are standing – it’s based on who He is.
Rest in this assurance — He is the only place we can stand.
He is the only platform we need.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.