We often say we want to be used by God, but what if that seemingly holy desire was actually masquerading as a desire for significance and glory apart from God.

Mike Donehey, lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, says that many of us think we want to be used by God when in reality, there is a deeper motivation that drives our desire.

“I tell people all the time who ask me, how do I get to be a performing artist? How can I go be on stage? I say, alright, let’s first try to ask what you’re really asking. A lot of people say I want used by the Lord, but really what they’re really saying is I want people to see me being used by the Lord. There’s a huge difference.”

God’s goal isn’t to give us a platform so we can find our identity on it. He wants us to find our identity in Him.

“You want to be on stage, is that because you want to be famous? Because here’s the deal, God’s goal is to refine you, redeem you, and make you more like Jesus.”

Sometimes God sees deeper into our desires than we do.

“You say, I want to be famous. God says, I know what you’re really asking. You don’t even know this. but deep down. you’re really saying that you want to be known by me and you want to know that you are loved by me. That’s really what you’re asking and you think, by getting on stage, you’re going to get that.”

Mike says that we won’t ever get that longing fulfilled from the stage.

“The stage messes with your head. It messes with your heart. It’s a dangerous thing to get applauded for showing up to work. I show up and people start cheering, that’s dangerous for my soul, because I’m tempted to think it’s all about me. I’m tempted to think that I’m a really big deal and you can ask anyone who knows me, that’s not true.”

“Ironically, the shows where we showed up, nobody came, nobody wanted to be there, nobody cared, those were actually really good for our hearts because they re-centered us. It’s not about me, it’s not about people making much of me, it’s not about people serving me, God has given me this music to serve them.”

Mike Donehey is the front man for the band Tenth Avenue North.

Key Scripture: Isaiah 43:1-3

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