Cry out to Jesus.
CCM is one of those things which has, over the years, receded further and further away from my purview. One of the reasons is that I do not any longer think that worship music is something that is marketable. (Perhaps I am being too harsh on the times; one could point to other eras where Christians made music for public use, e.g. Bach, Isaac Watts, etc. At another time and place I would not mind having that discussion, but not now.)
Nevertheless, there was a time when I listened to CCM quite religiously, although I never made it to swearing by Chris Tomlin. I remember the song by Third Day, Cry Out To Jesus, and how it really moved me to the core in those years, and as I reflect upon what progress in the Christian life means, the imperative, “cry out to Jesus,” again speaks to my heart a word, not of comfort at first, but of conviction.
The Spirit speaks to me and says, “Do you cry out to Jesus in your moments of despair? Or in your times of weak commitment? When hardship, friction, trials, uncertainty, and all the un-pleasantries of life confront you–do you cry out to Jesus, or do you respond the same way as before, when Christ was not real in your life?”
Ah, yes, the Holy Spirit is not some buddy we have: He is the Spirit of God, beyond our control, a consuming fire–and also our present help, the Helper who will remind us of all things. It is when the Spirit comes and points to areas of darkness and rebellion in our hearts that we are put in our place and reminded that we are not awesome or invincible; but are very needy, and very vincible. Yes, and it is in this position of weakness and defeat that he lifts us up. Grace is not an accessory; it is real to those who are defeated, and admit that they cannot win on their own.
“You, sinner, cry out to Jesus! What is it that you have done, or continue to do, that keeps you from victory? What indulgence or vice or bitterness calls out to you and causes you to turn your head although you have put your hand to the plow? It is that which you must cry out to Jesus against! Resist! Cry out! Do not let up! You have not resisted to the point of shedding blood; and even if you do, you will not have resisted to the point of death; and even if you do, what is that to you? What is life but Christ? What you lose, you will be returned with interest. So take heart! Fight the good fight; run the race; commit to Christ! Do good works, and may the glory be unto the Father forever.”