Tenth Avenue North – Getting Smaller

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Mike Donehey, lead singer of Tenth Avenue North, is quite possibly one of my favourite speakers alive (aside from Louie Giglio). And the fact that Mike isn’t really a speaker by profession, but rather a lead singer of a band that could quite possibly be one of my favourite bands throughout these last few years is something. With such a great ability and knack to bring listeners into his heartfelt stories behind some of the greatest CCM songs in most recent history, Mike, while famous for his songs and the performance of them, is also famous for the vast amount of video devotionals he has done and placed on youtube at various points throughout the years.

Some are stories behind the songs Tenth Avenue North have written, and others are just simply devotionals about topics close to Mike’s heart. Whatever the case, when you listen to some of Mike’s encouraging words, you’re in for a treat, and if you haven’t seen Mike in these types of videos before, then I’d encourage you to stop what you’re doing and check out the video below.

The idea of us getting smaller, can be a little foreign, if you ask my opinion. Because if any of you know, we humans have the tendency to believe, whether unconsciously or not, that our lives is all about us- rather than who our lives should be reflecting. As Mike points out in the video, ‘…the thing that I’ve been thinking about lately, is that the shows that might be the best for my career, are actually the ones that are the most dangerous for my heart…’ It is in these moments where high adulation and praise are placed upon you that we have it in our heads that it was us that got us here and not God, that we’d start to pray a prayer of ‘God use me’, when what we’re really praying is, ‘God use me so much more than the next guy, that the spotlight is still on me at the end of it all’.

We are people who crave the spotlight, intentionally or not. So to hear the sobering thought of Mike telling us that we need to be smaller and humbled in our approach to serving and sharing Christ’s love with others, is more freeing than anything else. Sure, our parents, friends, family and others can keep laying on the compliments so that we’d feel important, but if it ever gets to the point where we need the positive affirmation to feel good about our faith and God, then all we’re really doing is feeding into our insecurity, that us being needed to do Christ’s work is something that’ll sustain us in our own walk with Him. Christ doesn’t need us to do His work, but He chooses to work through us. And sometimes it may not be us individually, but rather our friend, father, or even the forgotten man on the street that God chooses as a vessel for His love to shine and move through.

As I reflect on the devotional, I am struck by a quote Mike said in the video that really resonated with me- “if we don’t want to hold a toilet brush, we got no business holding a microphone”. We need to understand what it means to be humble in everything we do, to the point where we know it’s not about us, but rather whether Jesus shows up in our lives and the lives of others or not- that way, we won’t worry who God moves through and thus compare ourselves to them, but rather, we rejoice together as children of God, knowing that God did indeed work. It doesn’t matter who God works with, just that we are receptive to His calling if ever He does ask us.

Now that I have said my 2 cents worth (I know it seems a lot more than that) about what I thought of the video, let us know in the comments what you thought. How did ‘Getting Smaller’ by Mike Donehey impact you today?

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