|Jason Upton - Trusting The Angels
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Reviewed by Tony Cummings
With Integrity Provident encouragingly picking up the Forerunner Records catalogue emanating from Kansas City's International House Of Prayer, A whole bundle of albums by this well known prophetic worship leader are now available in the UK. This set was first released in 2004 and is powerful and provocative. Known for his humility in worship leading and willingness to teach as well as sing, Upton is one of the modern church's most anointed musicians. Breaking away from his previous album trends, this CD seems to have no track that is spontaneous. Instead, the songs are all well structured and many have an effective rock vibe, often propelled by bluesy piano chords. Upton's voice is tenderly gritty and displays the emotion of devotional lyrics that don't often name God but are transparently directed to the Lover of our souls.
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|Psalm 91:11 “For he will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” From before the time Israel chose a human king (the days of Cloud by Day and fire by night) to the rise and fall of Nebuchadnezzar …….from the rejection of Jesus and the inconvenience ‘The God-child’ created for so many in his day to the inconvenience children seem to now create in American society, God has always been sending angels to help “keep us in all his ways.”
How extreme should we be about trusting our lives to “messengers” (these angels) that might inconvenience us, or even hurt us? In one of the Gospel accounts of the betrayal of Jesus, Peter cuts off the soldier’s ear. Jesus then heals the man and says, “Peter, this cup my Father has for me, do you think I should not drink it?” Jesus was saying: ‘Don’t be afraid, Peter! We are not alone! This is no random act of betrayal. This is my Father’s will concerning my purpose for living.’ You see Jesus was so submitted to his Father that his gut reaction to betrayal was not to fight it but to receive it. Amazing! That is not my gut reaction to betrayal. And I believe that is why God has been giving me these songs and revelations……because He wants it to be my gut reaction. He wants me to see God as so sovereign that He “works the angels” to fulfill his purposes for me, whether that be changing me or moving me or even betraying me. Jesus did not see life as a competition (something to be fought for) but as a cup (something to be received). He had “made” the Father his refuge.
When we do not make the Lord our refuge but place our protection in the hands of false-comforts (i.e. Self, home, friends, economy, national leaders, or even religion) humanity has a biblically recorded history of acting out of fear, thus killing its enemies. ‘Self-rule’ led the Catholic church to attempt to kill Luther, Luther then tried to kill Zwinglie, Zwinglie tried to kill Calvin, and Calvin tried to kill Huss. And it continues with us: fighting for our land and our rights and our control, killing our enemies, aborting our children and divorcing the spouses who inconvenience our lives. And why? Simply because we innately know that we are not in control of our destiny and yet are not willing to submit to God. So we attempt to control anything we can.
As one of my friends said recently concerning the American church: ‘if we had all the money in the world we would buy anything but a miracle, but only because we cannot buy a miracle.’ Knowing this, we would rather buy everything we can and control it, than give up all our rights and submit ourselves to God’s rule thereby gaining the miracle of the Kingdom in this life and the life to come. I speak here of the church not because we are worse than the world but because we should know better. We must begin to be an example on earth of the Kingdom. When Jesus walked the streets and hillsides and wanted to show us an example of a ‘creation’ living in trust and submitted to the Kingdom of his Father, He did not point to a middle aged man fulfilling his dream, He did not point to religious leaders gaining crowd approval, and He did not point to kings and rulers. Rather, He pointed to children, lilies, trees, and birds. 'Trusting the Angels' is all about learning to trust God’s sovereign rule over our lives to the extent that every child, spouse, friend, and yes, even enemy can be seen as a cup to drink in from our Father. He has truly given ‘his “Angels” charge over us, to keep us in all his ways.’