Last night at the VMA’s, Miley Cyrus wanted her audience to know one thing: she’s a “big girl” now. The innocent little “Hannah Montana” that we all once knew is now nothing more than a memory. The risqué “grabbing”-twerkin-jerkin-random-teddy bears-tongue and “sweaty bodies everywhere” seemed to shock even the most seasoned of celebrities (check out the faces on Drake and Taylor Swift).
However, the thing that shocked me the most wasn’t so much the promiscuous escapade this young 20-year old girl put on in front of millions of people; what surprised me the most was the fact that Miley Cyrus was speaking the truth – well, kind of.
Here are some of her lyrics:
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want
We can see who we want (2x)
Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
Hands in the air like we don’t care
Cause we came to have so much fun now
Bet somebody here might get some now
If you’re not ready to go home
Can I get a hell no
Cause we gonna go all night
Till we see the sunlight alright
So la da di da di, we like to party
Dancing with Miley
Doing whatever we want
This is our house
This is our rules
And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night
Can’t you see it we who bout’ that life
And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
Believe it or not, Miley is exactly right. “She can’t stop and she won’t stop.” Like each of us, left to ourselves outside of Christ, the Bible teaches that we are “dead in our sin” and that we are “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). In other words, when it comes to living out the lustful desires of this world and our flesh, “We can’t stop,” and “We won’t stop.” Have you ever seen a corpse get up out of a coffin? No, they are dead. In the same way, as spiritually dead sinners outside of Christ, we cannot and will not stop living the life of an “all night” party consumed with the things that are displeasing to God.
Miley is not the first to have her “Disney star gone bad” moment.
Britney Spears (although retro now) had “Hit me baby one more time.” Christina was a “Genie in a Bottle.” Selena has an open invitation for, “When you are ready, come and get it.”
They each choose different wording, but the fundamental message is the same: “We are all grown up now and free to behave however we choose.” This so called “freedom” is a lie. For example, Britney Spears was right when she sang, “I’m a slave.” In John 8:34, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” The Bible teaches that this so-called freedom to live as we please is actually indicative of the fact that we are in shackles to our own pleasure – a pleasure that is fleeting and that ultimately leads to brokenness and destruction.
At the end of the day, being a slave to mere self-gratification leads to “self hangovers.” Yes, the party is fun; that’s why we do it. The problem is, too much is never enough. Once we begin to seek to satisfy the desires of our flesh, the appetite only increases and is never ultimately appeased. We can have all the sex, drugs, money, and fun right that this world has to offer. And sure, for a while, it will satisfy. However, over the course of a person’s life (typically sooner than later), we begin to realize there is still something missing.
Have you noticed we are never satisfied? We lose 10 pounds, but we want to lose ten more. We get a promotion, but within a few months we can’t get our eyes off the next step up the ladder. Whatever we’re receiving now, we often live under the false assumption that just a bit more would finally satisfy.
Scripture is clear that each of us have sinned (Rom. 3:23). In essence, sin our declaration, “Yeah God, I know you made me, but ‘it’s my party and I can say what I want, do what I want, and kiss who I want.” The problem is, it’s not really our party. It’s Gods party and He can and will do what He wants. He is the King, and He created us not for our own glory and recognition, but for His own. The greatest commandment He has given us is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Anytime we say we are simply going to do what we want, we are grabbing the apple off of the tree and loving ourselves more than the Creator.
Miley is exactly right, “only God can Judge ya.” The fact is, for those of us outside of Christ, He is judging us right now, and in some sense, has judged us already (John 3:18). The call of the Gospel is to turn from self and turn to Christ. We can’t do what we want and please God at the same time. We can only go to His party if we are in with his Son, Jesus.
All of the things we are enjoying in this life – people, places, food, etc., are made to point us to the Creator. All of our cravings, desires, dreams, and pursuits are to lead you to the One who made you. Instead of worshipping the Creator, we so easily “throw our hands in the air like we don’t care” and worship the creation. All of the sex, money, fame, and success, are utterly incapable of finally satisfying us. We can live with the “It’s my party” attitude, but it will only lead to depression and frustration. It is a futile effort to ask and expect broken people, places and things to satisfy a longing in our hearts that only our Maker can fulfill.
My heart literally hurt for Miley last night. What I saw was a young lady that is filled with an inner restlessness – a young lady that is looking for attention and affirmation in all of the wrong places.
Several years ago Miley gave an interview for Good Morning America where she told the reporter she spent time reading her bible every day. I remember praying for her faith that day. Still today, my prayer for Miley is that she would come to see that there is a heavenly Father who longs to love and affirm her, not because of how she dances on stage, but because He made her in His image, for His glory – a heavenly Father who has numbered the hairs on her head, and desires to call her His daughter.
St. Augustine said, “My heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” May Miley find her rest not in the spotlight and via the applauds of men, but may Miley find her rest in the One who seeks to rescue her with his own blood.
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