Slow Fade – the deadly progression of ungodly counsel – Psalms 1

Casting Crowns - The Altar and the Door TourI was so blessed to be given tickets to the Casting Crowns concert last Sunday at the Saint Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL. I was also blessed by my 18 year old daughter changing her plans at the last minute to go with me. We had a really great time.

We enjoyed both opening acts, John Waller and Leeland. If you are not familiar with both of these groups, check them out – you must! Great worship songs and great concert experience.

I’ve been a big Casting Crowns fan since I heard the song “Voice of Truth”. I’ll never forget the feeling as the powerful lyrics to that song penetrated my heart and God really used it to speak to me. Since then, they have written several songs that have had a similar impact on me. I went to this concert with great worship expectations – and I was not disappointed. The whole place around us was singing (especially on “Who Am I”) so I was in good company.

At one point, the entire band came to the front, sat down on stools, and began praying for everyone in the audience – one by one they lifted up specific prayers as God led them. I was so grateful for that.

At one point, Mark Hall introduced the song “Slow Fade” with a powerful message that has stuck with me. God really spoke to me through what Mark said. First, look at the lyrics to this song:

Lyrics to “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns:

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

The Scripture reference Mark used to introduce this song is one I’ve read many times. But, as I’ve commented on so many times before in this blog, the Word of God is living and sometimes you read something you’ve read before and get an entirely new thought or message from what you’ve read before. Check out this familiar verse in Psalms 1:

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

Mark pointed out a progression of sin in this verse I’ve never noticed before, and it has to do with receiving counsel from others. Do you see it? First, one walks in the counsel of the wicked, then he stands in the way of sinners, then he sits in the seat of mockers. It’s a pattern of death and dying. Walking – then standing – then sitting.

And it all has to do with the counsel we receive.

I’ve seen it so many times, espeically in church leadership. For whatever reason, someone starts listening to unwise or ungodly counsel, and problems begin. A gradual but sure downward spiral follows with all kinds of decisions that don’t make sense. The decay of discernment, the demise of dignity, until finally there is no one left that can help. Those wanting to follow God begin to leave. Even the most loyal, though they may take longer, eventually seek opportunities to serve elsewhere.

King Theoden and Wormtongue - Lord of the RingsIt reminds me of a scene in the popular “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, where the aging king Theoden had been increasingly misled by his chief advisor Wormtongue, who was secretly employed by the evil wizard Saruman. The image here shows the eyes of the once great King now clouded by years of deceit. Everyone in Theoden’s once great kingdom seemed to know exactly what Wormtongue was doing, but because of the subtle, strategic persistance of the enemy, they were powerless to say or do anything that would put this obvious plot to an end. The King who once walked proudly among his people, as in this Scripture, is now sitting on his throne, being mocked by everyone.

Fortunately for King Theoden and for Middle Earth, Gandalf exposed Wormtongue for what he really is, and Theoden returned to his senses. But, that makes for good fiction. Unfortunately, as my experience has shown me, it’s not so easy in real life.

So – be careful little ears what you hear. Heed the warnings of this important passage of Scripture and avoid this “slow fade” – the deadly progression of ungodly counsel.

grace & peace,

  1. #1 by Jan on March 3, 2008 - 5:33 pm

    Great song! Thanks for posting this.

  2. #2 by momof5 on March 4, 2008 - 4:12 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts and heart. I pray that God’s voice of truth will be clear in our lives. That we can follow in faith believing in His Sovereignty. It’s so true how “slow fade” happens in all our lives which is why we have to guard our salvation with “fear and trembling”. I praise God for this Word and for your influence in my life. You are a true worshipper and inspiration; now you know to bring your guitar anytime you come over!

  3. #3 by Lumi on November 29, 2009 - 8:16 pm

    It’s really a slow fade and guess what? By the time black and white turns to grey, it’s too late. I saw the song on tv and it was so real to me. Be careful if you think you’re standing and pray continually to remain standing ‘cos the most difficult thing to do is stand after a fall.

  4. #4 by emillie on March 15, 2010 - 10:19 am

    i do love casting crowns at a point in my life i nearly backslid i was in a misconception that nothing was working until i heard their song ‘stained glass masquerade’ and i saw how God loves me and nobody is perfect their songs just connects me to the bedroom of God. MAY GOD INCREASE CASTING CROWN’S UNCTION TO FUNCTION IN THE PERFECT WILL OF GOD shalom

  5. #5 by andy on March 20, 2010 - 1:10 pm

    i just love this youthful gospel group- the casting crowns. they ROCK! indeed they hit me hard in my head and heart the very first moment i heard their song, specially LIFESONG and THE ALTAR AND THE DOOR. May God bless this group fruitfully always…. tell the world the hard truth. GO GO GO, CASTING CROWNS, in Jesus Name, Amen!

  6. #6 by Nince on May 20, 2010 - 9:17 am

    u know, its funny that its happening to me. I preached about this song sometimes last year, and i thought the pple i was preaching to where more prone to slip than I was. I guess this is what is called the “holier than thou” attitude…
    am listening to their song East and West right now for the 20th time i guess, and it brings tears to my eyes when I imagine that I can’t even pray right now…
    I could feel it happening, but I always told myself that I can’t get t his far…
    how it got to this, i can’t even tell.
    how i can get back…am not even sure i know how..

    is the grace still sufficient?

    • #7 by ky bux on June 4, 2011 - 8:54 am

      God’s grace is still sufficient and always will be; you did nothing to earn His grace, therefore you can do nothing to lose it. I’ve been there Nince, and I know the hopeless feeling of empty prayer. I ‘m just coming back to the point where I feel like my prayers are being heard. You may being going through some trials but don’t let it trip you up.
      Matthew 11:6 “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on my account”
      Also check out 2 Corinthians 12:9 on grace.

  7. #8 by Danielle De Anne Frankel on August 5, 2012 - 4:43 am

    This is amazing!
    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

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