When worship pastor, Rich Dicas, visited Asbury University last year, what he experienced of God changed him – and his church – profoundly. Now, they’ve written a song to help all of us do the same
When I went to Asbury University, I was desperate to experience what God was doing. I was overwhelmed by the sight of so many young people, desperate to get right with God, going forward in confession, repenting from sin and being delivered from things they had been struggling with.
I was overwhelmed by the joy on their faces, seeing the Spirit himself setting them free. At the same time, there wasn’t anything particularly spectacular about the outpouring. It was in a very ordinary place; we were singing the same songs we sing at home. And there was a beautiful order to it as well.
There was something so special about walking into this old, wooden chapel, and there, above the organ, were the words: “Holiness unto the Lord”. That’s a throwback to the Wesleyan movement that Asbury is very much a part of, but it is also a hallmark of any outpouring or revival; this call to repentance, to living set apart, holy lives for God.
A spark of life
Before Asbury, the news could paint a bleak picture; Gen Z are not interested in God. But we saw young people hungry for God – and taking the lead in pursuing the Spirit. For us as a church, it lit a flame of hope for Gen Z.
We’ve seen a much deeper level of hunger and passion in our worship in the twelve months since the outpouring. We’re starting to hear more testimonies of salvation and miracle stories. It feels like the temperature is slowly increasing.
At our church, we have a Monday night worship and prayer night, and we get together with three other churches to pray and contend for what we saw at Asbury in the UK. The sense of unity and of God’s presence poured out is extraordinary. It feels like a furnace, this small space.
We saw young people hungry for God. For us as a church, it lit a flame
As a church worship team, we’ve been putting out music for the last ten years. A few days after we came back from Asbury, we had one of our regular songwriting days. The brief was simple: we had seen this call to repentance and consecration, so we wanted to write songs that drew people into the holiness of God. We wanted to communicate that it’s beautiful and attractive, rather than something that’s scary.
We broke into small groups, and my friend, Ellie McClune, bought this phrase: “I want to be wholly and completely yours”. Ultimately, that’s what we mean by holiness. It’s undivided devotion to Jesus. We don’t have separate things that we’re pursuing, our whole life is turned towards God. That’s the heart behind the song.
More on the Asbury Outpouring
Called to more
So much of our cultural norm is to pursue what we want and desire. Living a consecrated life means sacrificing some of those things to pursue the greater calling, which is the pursuit of God.
At Asbury, there was a consecration room. Before anybody set foot on the stage, they would be invited to confess their sins, be prayed for and receive prophetic words. As a worship team, we’ve now moved from just praying that God would do X Y and Z in our times of worship, towards setting our hearts right before God.
The holiness of God is beautiful and attractive, rather than something that’s scary
We’re approaching God with reverence and awe, as “a consuming fire”, as Hebrews 12:29 says. We’re praying that we would be set apart for him, that our hearts would be in the right place; that we would have the right motives, the right attitude and the right posture of humility.
This song is that same call to consecration and holiness. We recorded it at our weekly worship and prayer night, and it is our gift to the Church. We’d love this to be an invitation, as you listen and pray, to give your heart wholly and completely in undivided devotion to Jesus.