clear the way - Oxford Dictionary
remove an obstacle or hindrance to allow progress.
Have you ever felt completely stuck? Maybe you know exactly where you are supposed to go, but no matter what you’ve tried you can’t seem to get there?
Last summer I was invited to be a part of a very unique songwriting trip to Scotland. For me, it was an unusual opportunity at an inopportune time. But, in my bones I knew I needed to do it. Every time it came up there was such a strong longing in my heart to go but there were also many logical reasons why it didn’t make any sense: Finances, work schedules, finances, church responsibilities, finances, mom guilt, finances. You get the idea.
I was confident that if I was supposed to go, God would provide in every situation. But, there were certainly a lot of situations to consider. It was truly a lengthy and painstaking process for my husband and I. It wasn’t an easy or comfortable decision. I couldn’t shake it. I tried everything from fasting to begging and still couldn’t get a thumbs up. I felt stuck.
I sat in church listening to my pastor teach from The Lord’s Prayer. He summarized part of Matthew 6:9-13 as asking God to provide everything we need to do His will and to protect us from evil opposition. He said, “We’re praying (for) God to clear the way”. The phrase “Clear The Way” rang loudly throughout my soul. I began clinging to those words in prayer. “God, clear the way for me to go on this trip. Give me everything I need to accomplish Your kingdom purposes.” Then I started singing the words over and over. I grabbed my phone and sang it into a voice memo. “Clear the way, clear the way, clear the way, open up the gates! Open up the gates!” In the next two weeks, things began falling into place for me to go on the trip. It didn't happen all at once. It happened one brave step at a time. One miracle at a time!
Just before we were supposed to leave for Scotland, each person on our team began experiencing personal difficulties that might have prevented them from going on the trip. From illness, to critical injuries, children behaving uncharacteristically and financial chaos it became clear that we were encountering evil opposition. As we gathered with our Brave Worship Community for prayer and send off, I felt strongly that I needed to sing the words over our team. With a racing heart and a flushed face, I began to sing, “Clear the way, clear the way, clear the way, Open up the gates! Open up the gates!”
To be honest, I felt a little cuckoo. But that’s how you feel when you’re being brave, isn’t it? During that evening, another pastor shared that his vision for our trip was to “Unblock the wells”. This was similar to something Jill and Andrew Mitchell had shared when they visited us from Scotland months before. They were on a personal mission to unblock the wells of their land. Interesting coincidence, huh?
The following week, I joined all 14 of the women for the Songs of Scotland tour with Ray and Denise Hughes. We each had a story to tell of the incredible things we had overcome to get there and we were full of anticipation about the significance of the trip. We spent the first several days in Edinburgh, Scotland. As we walked through the city, Ray began pointing out statues of people of interest, monuments of revival leaders, and ornate abandoned wells with bronze faceplates.
Ray also taught us about a group of courageous believers called the Covenanters. We went and stood in the places where they preached and stood for truth. Ultimately the Church of Scotland and the government had them imprisoned and killed for their “religious fanaticism”. What was their fanatical belief? That all people should have access to read the Bible for themselves. Not just the clergy. We stood at the open air jail cell where they were kept and the mass grave where they were buried in a sobering, holy moment knowing they had willingly paid the ultimate price.
We sang “Be Thou My Vision” inside the beautiful church that housed their signed covenant. We were surprised to learn that some of the signatures were also found on our Declaration of Independence. We began to see a much larger picture of how their story affected ours. How these people literally cleared the way for a country's religious freedom.
We spent the last two days of our trip writing songs. The very last afternoon, I sat in a chapel with two friends and as we discussed what to write, I suggested the idea of “Clear The Way”. As we developed the idea, we saw an opportunity to connect that prayer with the story of the Covenanters who had cleared the way before us advancing God’s kingdom through their bravery.
We pray that the song will continue to reach across generations of faith and call them to remember that we stand on the shoulders of a great cloud of witnesses. But, we don’t just want to observe the past, we want it to inspire us towards our future. We can choose to be more than spectators and become active participants in a move of God in our lifetime here on the earth, in our country, in our area. It starts now in our hearts.
What about you? Is your soul is longing for a breakthrough? Is there a well that has been blocked?
This is a promise. May God clear the way for you too!
Listen to the live recording of Clear the Way:
Worship Leader at Grace Park Church, Manager and Co-Founder of SEVEN 8 Creative Management, Brave Worship Prayer and Prep Team Leader