Who Are You?

Growing up, I was taught your reputation is everything. Most importantly, I was taught the truth of your reputation is exposed when unexpected events disrupt your routines, and adversarial darts turn your world upside down. Who you really are lights up like a neon sign in moments of life that matter. Do you recognize who that person is? Are you satisfied with who you currently are and what you represent? Break from the shackles that restrain you from your purpose to please God. Be courageous and take the necessary time and effort to uncover who you are beyond the baiting of fleshly desires. Your deep dive will reveal you are who God says you are. God says you are unusual.

Who, in today’s attention-seeking world, would want to be different for God? God’s people don’t mind being different. As unpopular as being unusual can be, it is the reputation God calls for us to live out. God’s people are trendsetters, not copy-cats. God’s people are moved to action when the least is ignored. We decrease our egos so that His greatness is increased in our witness. We hold His Word close to our heart and profess it in the most uncertain times for peace and direction.

You are rare. You are remarkable. You are peculiar. You are unusual. That’s who you are. Now live it, with the praises of God continuously on your lips.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Put It All in His Hands

We don’t get far in life without having a made-up mind to follow God. We get the best results in our pressing when we are adaptable to the ways and means of God. This means we’ve got to dig deep to access the faith that goes against the norm and defies man’s abilities. This faith will activate God to do what no other can do. God deserves, not just words of compliance, but our actual obedience to trust Him, even in the scariest of times. We’ve got to put it all in God’s hands.

Putting it ALL in God’s hands takes us to places where we can’t see our way out. It takes us into our prayer closets, where we try to make sense of what doesn’t make sense.

But putting everything in God’s hands also settles our anxious heart. Resting our burdens at the feet of our God gives us blessed assurance of whose we are and who has His eyes on us, even when we don’t think He’s near.

Charles G. Hayes wrote the popular gospel song, sung passionately by many church choirs, “I Put It All in His Hands.” As a teenager, I joined others in our teenage choir in singing the song. I find the words very encouraging today.

“Whatever the problem, I put it all in His hands.
I know that He can solve it; I put it all in His hands.
This and that; This and that, I put it all in His hands.
No matter how great or small
He’s the Master of them all
I put it all in His hands.”

Go in peace. God will handle it all. Put it in His hands.

Wow!

There’s a beautiful overlook in the Oakland Hills where we take visiting family and friends for a breathtaking view of Oakland, the Bay and in the far-off distance, San Francisco. On every trip to the overlook we would guide our guests along a short trail lined with flowered weeds to a designated spot furnished with a dilapidated wooden bench. Everyone would gaze at the amazement of such a beautiful view. Wow!

On one specific occasion, our trip to the overlook rendered a different experience. My aunt and cousin were in town and my youngest had a friend visiting from the east coast. All of us, including my oldest daughter, went to the overlook. We took them along the trail and relived the usual “amazing” moment. But that day my cousin presented an option to travel a faint path just along the edge of our amazing view. Before we could talk ourselves out of the unusual suggestion, my cousin was already leading the way. She simply hollered for us to “come on”. A little fearful, we all took each other’s hand and led each other through the sticky brush. Some of us squealed. Some of us hollered. Some of us were silent. But we stayed the course, anxious to get to the end. Along the way we happened upon a serene clearing that fancied a huge tree with hanging strong branches. We stayed a while there, the younger ones playing from the branches, enjoying the hovered area and the cool breeze. In no time my cousin was back on her feet leading us further along the trail, determined there was an even greater experience ahead. We followed suit, hand in hand, one behind the other. Then it happened.

There was another clearing. However, this one was much bigger than the last. There were no hovering trees or branches. Just an open clearing where the sun had its stage to shine freely. And then we saw it. The view left us speechless. The “amazing” view we thought we experienced along our usual path was magnified ten times over with what we were experiencing in that moment. Wow!

The impact of leadership is realized in these two experiences. The leader who takes his/her followers down clear paths of opportunity will yield expected outcomes, leaving usual impressions, right along the edge of promise. The leader who takes his/her followers down hidden paths will inspire faith and courage, yielding joy and peace, leaving an impact of purpose and an assurance of being in the right place at the right time. The glory of God shines the brightest on the unusual leading of God, on the uncomfortable journeys that lead to an anticipated destination of indescribable beauty – indescribable grace. Wow!

Fill Me In

I want to know the plans God has for my life. Fill me in God! As much as my want screams loud in slow, frantic and unexplainable moments, God whispers to my spirit commands of stillness that resonate much louder. God's whisper gives perspective and direction.
Just as ocean waves flow and leap at God's commands, so must we. God's commands offer us an exhilarating journey that release us on the beautiful shores of peace. Peace that nourishes, that supplies and surpasses our understanding, gifting to us a future and a hope. Selah.