I am a sucker for “The Voice.” Let’s just get that on the record. Of all the music competition shows, this one has been my favorite since it began 3 or 4 years ago.
There is a lot that I love about it. I love how the celebrity coaches seem to be genuinely having a blast working together. I love how they only have talented singers on the show (instead of parading bad singers to be played for comedy…yeah that’s old). I love that the people on the show seem genuinely grateful for the opportunity.
But the thing I love the most about the show is the blind auditions. And the reason why I love them is not what you might think.
A while back I noticed that when I watched “The Voice” blind auditions, I would get emotional a lot more than I typically do. I’d find myself with a huge lump in my throat. At first I thought that just proved that the producers of the show do a good job manipulating the way they present everything. But one night watching the show, it hit me.
I don’t remember who the contestant was, but I remember they had a story. It was a story of pain, heartbreak, and a long road of difficulty. Their story included rejection after rejection in pursuit of their dream.
Then they sang. And the coaches pushed their buttons. And their chairs turned around. And at the base of their chairs I saw the words, “I WANT YOU.”
And there’s the lump.
“I want you.” Three simple words. A total of 8 letters that communicate so much.
Why does this concept resonate with my heart so much? Because there’s something in me that has always struggled to believe that God really wants me. I have existed in a world filled with conditional love and acceptance (both from me and toward me), and I have come to expect that the only way I’ll be wanted is if I can bring tangible value to the table.
What value do I bring? I think about the hymn “Rock of Ages,” that says…
I don’t bring anything. No value on my own. So why in the world would God look at me and say, “I want you?”
Because he made me. Because he loves me. Because he wants to want me.
John tells us what God’s love looks like. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10, NIV). Paul tells us how far God was willing to go in order to demonstrate that he wanted us. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possible dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8, NIV)
The people on “The Voice” show up hoping that they can be good enough, sing just right, and have enough of what it takes to make a coach want to turn around. With God we know that there’s absolutely no way we can do or be good enough to make him want us. This makes the fact that he wants us anyway so overwhelming.
Child of God, rest today. Let the truth that God wants you – no matter who you are or what you’ve done – wash over you. Accept his love. He wants you.
If you have questions about how to have a relationship with God like I’ve mentioned, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk with you about how to experience new life as a beloved child of God.
Greg Oliver was a worship pastor for 15 years before his secret addiction to pornography and sex was exposed in January of 2009. Since then he has been on a journey of recovery, coming to know God better and experiencing His grace like never before. He and his wife Stacey have experienced deep healing & restoration within their marriage, and through the ministry of Awaken they walk with individuals, couples, and ministry leaders to help them experience connection and healing in the midst of sexual brokenness.
(This is a repost of a piece I originally wrote in March 2015)