HIGHER POWERED: CCM singer Beckah Shae follows where God leads | Entertainment

Beckah Shae and her husband, Jack Shocklee, know keenly that when God speaks, they should listen.

Sometimes, Shae told The Daily Times recently, His directions seem random and inexplicable, but if there’s one thing she’s come to realize throughout her career as a contemporary Christian musician, it’s this: When it comes to God’s will, she’s on a need-to -know basis.

“We just ask the Lord what He wants us to do, and it always looks so different,” she said. “There have been times we’ve denied events that could have been a huge financial blessing because we could not sleep. We did not have peace about participating, so we had to just listen to our hearts and listen to that peace, wherever that was going.

“And then there are times we’ve been invited to something like a children’s camp that can barely pay us anything, but our hearts felt like, ‘We’re supposed to be there and supposed to do this, because God is calling us there ,’ and some of our greatest relationships have come out of those kinds of events. It could be a mission trip or an international conference or a women’s event or some small church out in the country.

“It’s always all over the place, but wherever He’s moving, I’ve just been willing to go,” she added.

Friday, she’ll go to Alcoa Maryville Church of God for an intimate performance that showcases just what a mighty voice she has for her faith. A two-time Dove Award nominee, she’s also been recognized as the We Love Christian Music Awards’ independent artist of the year honor in 2014, and with the JFH Awards’ Christmas Album of the Year in 2017. She’s charted numerous Billboard Christian singles, As well as received placement in numerous TV shows, and she’s traveled internationally to the minister as both a singer and a passionate advocate for social justice across cultures.

“Going on these international trips comes from the passion I have to just be used by the Lord — and not because I think I’m so worthy, because many times I question my abilities,” she said. “But the fact that when He calls me, and you say yes, that’s when you find out what God can do with a yes. So often, I’ve seen Him do miracles and signs and wonders through me, a person who was completely unaware and unsure of what I could even do.”

Stepping out on faith doesn’t mean Shae, or any follower for that matter, is without fear. Fear is a natural human emotion — but faith is the ability to persevere in spite of it because of reliance on a higher power. Case in point: In 2014, she traveled to Israel, but Shocklee had to remain behind. On the plane, she realized that the international conference to which she was traveling would have made a great opportunity to shoot the video for her song “Heartbeat,” one of the stand-out tracks of her record, “Champion.” That she had been so overwhelmed with preparation for her trip that she didn’t think about the possibility until her plane was over the Atlantic led to a prayer of apology, she said.

“The song is about unity, about different tribes and tongues coming together, and realizing I had just been so overwhelmed before I left that I didn’t think about it, I felt some sort of guilt,” she said. “It was like, this was my responsibility, and I felt like I needed to repent.”

However: On that same plane was a couple traveling to Israel for the first time, and the couple felt led to finance a Beckah Shae music video. On top of that, the wife was a dancer who, once all of the moving parts were assembled on the ground, taught participants the dance that was used in it.

Such blessings, she said, are proof that the things so many people attribute to coincidence are instead the work of a vibrant and loving God. Even though her career has slowed in recent years — her last studio album was 2016’s “Mighty,” but some of that downtime is due to her status as a full-time mom to three young daughters — she’s back in the studio. There’s no timetable for completion of her latest project, although she would like to have it out by September. Whenever it’s released, she added, what it does and the lives it touches will be in God’s hands.

All she can do is listen for directions, and go where she’s pointed. Friday’s concert will be a performance that exceeds expectations because when it comes to God’s will, the only thing she expects is a spiritual reward.

“We want to go there, and we want to meet Jesus, and when we do, what happens is always above and beyond our expectations and what we were thinking,” she said. “A lot of times, I don’t even prepare my full setlist until I get to a place, because sometimes when I do, I can see that something else is needed. I feel that my purpose right now, with everything that’s been going on in the world, is to just breathe hope and spark that hope back into people who are living in the light of eternity.”

Steve Wildsmith has worked as a writer, editor and freelance journalist for The Daily Times for more than two decades. In addition to coverage of entertainment and occasional news topics, he also serves as the social media specialist for Maryville College. Contact him at stevedailytimes@gmail.com.

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