MANNA MUSIC "Sweet, Sweet Spirit"
It was 1982, and I was attending First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena, California. There I sat under the ministry of the senior pastor at that time, Dr. Earl Lee. One day he came to me and asked if I felt like the Lord would inspire any music in me which could accompany his teachings on Yes, Lord. I agreed to seek the Lord and find what He would have me do in response to this request. I also remember asking the Lord to enlighten my understanding of that deceptively simple phrase.
As I contemplated its significance over the next several weeks, I began to realize that those little words contained two critically intertwined aspects of faith: Submission and Obedience. By acknowledging Jesus as Lord, I was allowing the God of the universe to also be the Master of my life. And by saying Yes to Him, I was prioritizing His will over my own by trusting that He knows better than I what is best for my life.
Once I began to grasp this deeper level of faith, the words and the melody came rather quickly. It seemed important to repeat the word Yes in the phrase in order to give the obedience aspect more emphasis. The chorus came first and the verses followed. Soon I was ready to teach the chorus to the great choir and then use them to teach it to the entire congregation. I remember thinking how easily people learned to sing the words and the tune, but knew the act of obedience and submission was not as easy as learning a simple melody.
The chorus quickly spread from congregation to congregation throughout Nazarene churches and then crossed denominational and racial lines and then across lines dividing countries and languages until it has literally been carried around the world. It has been sung in many of the Billy Graham crusades in America and internationally as well. It has been included in several hymnals, both as a chorus and with verses too. God has used one little chorus to teach His people a deeper understanding of submission and obedience.