A Sinner’s Song

Back in 2008, I was introduced to a song called, “Healer” by our worship team. When I first heard the song, there was something about it that gripped me. Not only was the words of the song powerful, but I realized that there was an anointing on it. Therefore, I told the worship team to sing it for one of our major events in our church.

But shortly afterwards, it was brought to my attention that it would not be wise for us to sing the song. Michael Guglielmucci, who wrote the song was discovered to have lied for two years about having terminal cancer to his family and his supporters. The song, “Healer” was written based upon his struggle with cancer and Guglielmucci was propelled into the spotlight by participating in a live performance with Hillsong, who made a worship CD called, “This is Our God” in July 2008. Can you imagine the shock and hurt that people felt after finding out that everything was a lie?

Guglielmucci ended up explaining and confessing his sins on national T.V. with this only interview on Australian’s Today Tonight. Brian Houston, the pastor of Hillsong even had to address it during his vacation time as the news spread throughout Australia.

I was saddened to hear what happened.

But I knew that if we sang the song, word would spread and people would have a lot of objections and even get distracted. Therefore, we ended up axing the song from our list.

I thought that was the end of the story.

But not too long ago, I went through some sort of epiphany. As I was praying and worshiping, the song “Healer” came to my mind. Then I quickly went online to watch the video again; and the words were still powerful.

I started to find out that, Kari Jobe was singing this song and God has been using it powerfully. This is when I realized that God was challenging my theology and my understanding of His power and grace.

As I reflected, these were some of the thoughts that came to my mind:

1) God used sinful people (murders, adulterers, cowards, etc) to write His Word
2) All throughout history, God always use flawed people for His glory
3) People’s mistakes are never greater than God’s purposes and glory
4) Therefore, God can take people’s “junk” and turn it for good

Believe it or not, I ended up watching the video on YouTube again. The thought that was running though my mind was: How in the world can God use a song so powerfully when it was written in deception?

Then I was reminded of the story of how the hymn, “All Hail to Thee, Immanuel” was written back in 1910 by D. R. Van Sickle. He was not a believer and he wanted to prove that one does not have to be a Christian to write a Christian hymn. Even though he did not believe in the message, Van Sickle wanted to prove that he could mimic it. Jill Carattini, who wrote about the history of this hymn, said,

“It is interesting to imagine what might have gone through Van Sickle’s mind when he first heard the words of his own hymn on the lips of a Christian. Did he consider his word-game a success, having fooled the believing masses with his impersonation? Did he find believers all the more foolish for embracing as meaningful words that were void of meaning? It is a curious scene to envision: multitudes proclaiming in song the wisdom of an unbeliever, praising God with words the author himself found foolish. Years after D. R. Van Sickle’s words were in print, he was sitting in a service where a choir sang his hymn. Stirred with conviction, hearing the call of God in his own words, he surrendered his heart to Christ.”

We have to remember that sometimes the messenger is insignificant, but it is the wisdom and the power of God that always prevails.

Then the Holy Spirit gave me a flash of revelation.

How many times have I prepared and preached a message on love, when there was no love in me? How many times have I prepared and preached a message on forgiveness, when I could not forgive? How many times have I prepared and preached a message on giving, when all I wanted to do was be selfish?

This revelation broke me.

It was another reminder that everything was for God’s glory.

All our weaknesses, all our sinfulness, all our failures, all our shortcoming are all for His glory. We will never fully comprehend the ways of the Lord. But when we experience His power, we are left humbled and in awe. Then I came to the conclusion that even though the song was written by a flawed man, God still anointed it so that His glory will shine.

We sang the song, “Healer” tonight at our leadership summit and it was powerful. I couldn’t help but to think that all of us (the leaders) have experienced to some degree an abundance of grace and mercy in the midst of our weaknesses and flaws; and here is God in His infinite wisdom who decides to use a song written by a sinful man to bring glory unto Himself.
You can watch the Hillsong version below:

This is Kari Jobe singing the song in a live performance:

Spiritual ENTREPRENEUR, Church EQUIPPER, Leadership EDUCATOR, Ideas EXPERIMENTER & Global EXPLORER who is trying to transform lives and transform the world.
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