About This Video
When Lecrae was a small child, his father abandoned him and his mother.
“I wrestled with a sense of self-worth, because my dad decided drugs would be better than hanging out with his own son,” he tells The 700 Club.
He found a sense of belonging in the hip-hop culture of the streets.
“My uncles were young and wrapped up in the streets, gangs and drugs and just promiscuous,” he recalls. “I idolized it. I wanted to be the gang member. I wanted every tattoo that [my uncle] had. I saw my first gun and all these different things. I was like, ‘This must be what it means to be a man.’ I’m just sitting on their laps soaking all this stuff in. I was like a child of rap and hip-hop, seeing this world come up around me.”
In his teens, Lecrae realized something was still missing. He says, “I knew my ways were unfulfilling. I chased power, pleasure, possessions, something satisfying. I knew I kept getting let down. I knew it was insanity, and I was never going to find fulfillment but I didn’t know what else to look for.”
He kept a Bible in his car as a good luck charm. One night police caught him trespassing and in possession of drugs. He was cuffed and sat in the police car waiting to go to jail.
“The police officer goes to the back of my car, and he saw the Bible. He came back to the police car and said, ‘Son, you’ve got a Bible in your car. Do you know what that Bible is about?’ I was like, ‘I need to.’ He said, ‘Today, I’m going to let you go, ‘cause I want you to get into that Bible and I want you to start living it.’ That really did something to me. I didn’t want to get into any kind of trouble like that again.”
He joined some friends at a Christian conference, where he heard what Jesus did for him on the cross.
“He talked about Jesus carrying His cross on Golgotha and the turmoil and the pain that Jesus went through. That Jesus would take all that on His own back floored me, and I said, ‘I don’t want to live like this anymore. Jesus, I’m sorry and started crying.’”
For a year Lecrae walked a line between college partier and committed Christian. His life was spinning out of control, and he knew it.
“I just cried out to the Lord one day, ‘God, I feel like I’m going to kill myself or kill somebody. Please just stop me before it gets to that point. Stop me. Do whatever You need to do but don’t kill me.’”
He was finally stopped in a massive car accident that left him evaluating his double life.
“I came out of it without a scratch. My car had flipped over. It was dented in, damaged up, and here I am without a scratch on me. I said, ‘OK God, I need to change.’”
Later that night he gave his life completely over to God.
“I was radically changed. To realize that I had been living a lie, to realize that I was unsatisfied, and I would never be satisfied until I came to Jesus was so revolutionary to me that I wanted everyone to taste it. I wanted everyone to see how awesome God was.”
Lecrae typed out his testimony and handed it out on his college campus. He talked about God to anyone who would listen. He recalls, “I was proud to have my story on that piece of paper. I got laughed at, and I got called ‘Jesus Freak’, ‘Jesus Boy’ and all kind of stuff but I was changed.”
Before long he learned he could blend his passion for God and his ability as a rapper.
“I thought that God and rap would never work. I thought that God wasn’t okay with rap. People knew I used to rap, and I went to the Bible studies. Someone said, ‘Hey, you should rap about Jesus.’ On the spot I came up with a rap about Jesus, and they were like, ‘Man, that was good,’ and I was like, ‘Wow Lord, maybe You can really do something with this.’”
He began ministering to kids in juvenile detention.
“I ended up there every weekend, just sharing my heart, sharing Scripture and rapping as their praise and worship on Sundays. My heart is to reach the city, to see the city come to Jesus. If you don’t know Him, you’re missing out on purpose, meaning in life in general. I’m passionate about seeing people spend eternity with Him. He’s awesome.”
The love of a father that he missed as a child he has now finds in his relationship with God.
“He’s just loved on me when I felt like I didn’t deserve love, when I felt like I was unlovable. I feel fortunate to have a huge family that is beyond race, creed, culture, and have a Father who shepherds us all. When I think about that, my mind is blown. There’s nothing like it.”
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.