Joshua Swanson: Welcome to The Walk, a devotional podcast for worshipers. In this episode, David Funk songwriter and artist who leads worship with Bethel Music brings a great devotional based on Psalm 139.
Here we go.
David Funk: I’m Dave. I’m, I’m married to, uh, my wife Lily. We have a six-month-old, Miles, at home. Yeah, a little bit about me a little backstory, I guess, that kind of leads into what I want to talk about is I grew up in the church. My dad is a pianist, a really great pianist. Why I wanted to learn keys in the first place and, and he, um, he played on our church worship team and, uh, I just thought, I always thought it was the coolest thing. And um, and so he is the one that kind of inspired me to get into music and. Um, and then like a lot of worship leaders do, we, we start in youth group. And so I started playing keys in youth group and started leading a couple of years in and around the same time, I, uh, I met a really good friend of mine, his name’s Ross, uh, at that youth group.
And, um, and we started, I don’t even remember what, what began it, but we started just meeting at his house every, every Saturday night. At first it was just a couple of us and um, and we did this thing that we called “Secret Place” and we had a bunch of high school students over and, um, and we would just worship in his basement.
And, um, so the Lord was really developing, I feel like something super special in me. And I, and, and looking back, it felt like he was developing this, these practical skills while I was leading in this youth group of leading a band and whatever, but at the same time, he was teaching me the heart of worship just in my friend’s basement.
That’s where I think I fell in love with leading worship and with singing to the Lord and, um, and ministering to him.
And then down the line, I, I started doing, um, and playing music more professionally, I guess you could say. And, um, wasn’t going to church as much and didn’t have like a direct covering and direct pastor. And, um, and I just began to get more consumed with the music than with the one that we were playing to. And, um, but I didn’t realize it. I thought everything was good. I thought everything was okay.
I remember a set that I played with that same friend actually. Um, and a couple other of our close friends. We had gone to lead worship at a church and we were in soundcheck, and I was just getting really flustered and I, I don’t even remember the reason now, but something that I remember, because it is seared into my memory, is one of my friends telling me, David, it’s like, we love you, but it’s so hard playing with you because you’re so demanding and, and you know, you, you care so much about like it being perfect and, and that really, you know, faithful are the wounds of a friend, right? And so I, I remember feeling like wounded, but in a, in a very convicting way. Um, not in a betrayal way. And I think that was one of the first seeds on, on a journey that the Lord was taking me on.
And then the second seed, which was really a big turning point for me, was I had moved to Redding. I was doing ministry school. Um, I was in my first year and I was playing keys for one of our student worship teams, and kind of same, same situation. I was, I was just getting kind of frustrated in soundcheck, you know, maybe someone was late, maybe someone didn’t know their part. I don’t even know what it was.
And after soundcheck, our, our worship pastor, um, uh, pulled me aside and she was like, “Hey, like you looked a little flustered. You seemed a little like what was going on.” I probably was just complaining about, I was like, oh, will this happen? And this happened, and she just kind of patiently listened and nodded.
And then she looked at me dead in the eyes. It feels like a movie moment. She looked at me dead in the eyes and she was like, David, music isn’t king here. And again, it felt like a wound, but from the Holy Spirit. I knew in my mind that what she had said is true, but what hurt was, I knew that in my heart, I didn’t believe that. And I didn’t, I I, I had put something else on the throne of my heart and I had put music or perfection, or, you know, what people thought of me or whatever, fill in the blank for you.
Um, and that, that was a turning point for me of, man, I, I have my priorities misaligned. A scripture that, that brought me peace in that season and not peace, but it gave me, it was like ammunition it, like for me to pray was Psalm 139, “search me and know me,” and then the next verse says, and “lead me in the way everlasting.”
And I felt the Lord tell me, “I can’t lead you in my way until you let me into what, what you’ve been doing.” I learned the act of opening myself up for him to know. So that I could know his way and then follow in his way. Another passage that, um, that kind of later down the line of this journey I’ve, I’ve really taken hold of was when Jesus is with the woman at the well in John 4 and um, he says, “The father is looking for worshipers who worship in spirit and truth.” And, um, the truth, the truth, the excellence, it’s important. But the spirit, the heart, that’s, that’s just as important. It’s just as important to the father. And the other thing that stood out to me was Jesus didn’t say that the father’s looking for worship. He didn’t say he’s looking for music. He didn’t say he’s looking for a great song or, uh, you know, or a perfect, a perfect voice. He loves all those things. But Jesus says the Father is looking for worshipers.
Um, and that was, that was a revelation for me that that took me from. What I, what I bring is the most important thing. What I do is the most important thing. What I sing to who I am and my innermost being. Going back to that, when the Lord searches me, what does he see? Because what he sees in there is the most important thing to him.
Joshua Swanson: When we come back, David Funk reads Psalm 139, which is an intensely personal poetic declaration about who God is, and it’s written by another David.
But quickly I wanted to mention that we used to be a magazine, like the printed kind, for over 30 years in fact. But now we’re a living, breathing online magazine at worshipleader.com. We do a lot of interviews. We write about theology and the things happening within our worship world, and we hope that you’ll check out worshipleader.com and even subscribe to our newsletter. There’s a lot of great material there, and it’s written by some of the best thinkers in our space, so please check it out.
Also, just a reminder to head to songdiscovery.com with your latest music. We want to hear it.
Okay, back to David Funk.
David Funk: I just wanna read that passage over you.
Psalm 139: 23-24. “Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there’s any grievous way in me, and then lead me in the way everlasting.”
And so I just invite you to pray that with me right now. Lord, would you search us? Would you try us, would you purify us with fire? And would you see if there’s any place in us that isn’t aligned with who you are, that isn’t aligned in your way. We want to be known by you, and we want to know you. And Lord, would you lead us in your way? Would you lead us in the way everlasting? Would your kindness lead us to repentance right now to turn from the ways that haven’t been aligned, that haven’t been offered, that haven’t been devoted to you? Because we want to, we wanna live wholeheartedly for you, Lord. We ask that in Jesus name. Amen.
Joshua Swanson: Thank you, David for being a voice on our podcast. David’s new song, which appears on Bethel Music’s latest album called Come Up Here is one of my new favorites. It’s called Beauty, and we’ll play out this episode with it.
As always, special thanks to Matt McCartie for producing and editing today’s episode. Jacob Fairclough produced our theme song. The Walk is brought to you by Worship Leader, which is an Authentic Media brand, and again, you can find out more about us at worshipleader.com. I’m Joshua Swanson. Here’s. Beauty.