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
You’re still here. After every setback and setup, you’ve made it to live one more day. But for what?
We communicate our appreciation for life by the choices we make in plain sight of an ever-present God. No matter how hard we may try to hide our audacious acts, God sees them all. No matter our attempts to escape a consequence, God corrects us all. No matter our unbelief, God forgives us all. And He grants us one more day.
In our current time of uncertainty, living during the Coronavirus Pandemic, I am reminded of the blessing and opportunity of having another day to show my gratitude for God’s grace. I whisper my thanks in prayers; however, I feel the nudging of God to extend my appreciation to action. I am compelled to take advantage of my gift of a new day, one I’ve never seen or experienced before, one He has allowed just for me, and live it as God desires for me to live it, laying aside fruitless behavior.
One more day provides a new beginning. Negative talk, lazy practices, unforgiving thoughts, and complacency are left in yesterday. The moment our eyes discover the dawning of a new day, we must honor it with an unrelenting devotion to God. We should waste no time accomplishing what He has purposed us to do and say. For much is required from those who are given the abundance of one more day.
“… get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” – Ephesians 4:1-3
The evidence of an effective Christian leader or an eager follower of Christ practicing their faith is one who waits on the Lord. Waiting isn’t a nuisance for them. It isn’t a waste of their time. Waiting on God is the best strategy for a Christian to get what he or she desperately wants – an answer from God. Whatever that answer may be, a Christian doesn’t mind waiting on the Lord.
Only God delivers answers to difficult questions man usually fumbles with temporary fixes. Only God closes doors to reveal promise in open windows. And only God orchestrates seasons of tribulation to be the birthing ground for breakthroughs. God sees the bigger picture. That fact has to be a remarkable game-changer for Christians. It has to make a difference when struggling with defining moments to trust God or man.
The lost man or woman relies on seemingly clever tactics, innovations, and networking maneuvers amidst uncertainty. However, the re-born follower of Christ counts on and respects the beauty of waiting on and trusting God. Waiting is a sacred experience of expectation that reveals God’s magnificence, His rebuke, His love, and His instruction. Most of all, our waiting on God activates a renewal in our faith walk, a revival of our calling, and restoration of our zeal to obey Him. This perpetual rebirth is enough to allow us to run on just a little while longer, trusting everything will be alright.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:3
We are living in the days of spiritual warfare where retreat is not an option and action is necessary. We are living in the days where it is necessary for us to hop down from the pedestals of posturing and celebrity-minded living. Not heeding this necessity makes the guilty parties look foolish, like little girls and boys in adult bodies playing dress up and make believe. There’s no time for this kind of mockery in days where the struggle of life and death is the reality pressing against every generation – from the youngest to the oldest. There is no time for fruitless, deceptive, mindless behavior!
Instead, we, the redeemed, the transformed, the ‘yet holding on’, must show up; we must patch up our wounds and brush ourselves off from the disappointments and uncertainties of life; we must untangle ourselves from our fetal positions of despair; we must dry our weeping eyes; and we must join the fight pressing against us with the full armor of God, standing firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet wrapped in peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
We must commit to this fight because God is declaring Now is the Time! Now is the time to use what God has already poured into us. Now is the time to use our position of favor to help turn our communities around, our world around – from utter death and destruction. For such a time as this!
Just when I think the bustle of life is slowing down, an urgent situation, an uncertain circumstance rolls in and disrupts my vibe. My pretty, wrapped-up in a bow thought processes to set-aside “me-time” or a “mental health day”, quickly dissipates to practically nothing until the next weary moment comes crashing in. As a teenager, I dreamt of my adult years as compartmentalized experiences that would yield a carefree life. Boy, did I get a reality check! My adult years have proven to be a mixture of sorts ranging from indescribable joys, hard-to-handle uncertainties and near-death experiences that have actualized a life I could not have planned for. I dare not complain. Even with its highs and lows, my life is better than what I could think or imagine. So, I press on.
My pressing is teaching me to flow with God as He dictates when and where and how. And I’m following His leading, getting what I need when I need it the most. Rather than be pushed away, I feel drawn even closer to God, motivated in a renewed mindset.
I am persuaded to live with fervor. I am persuaded to pray with fire. I am persuaded to serve with faith that moves mountains. I am persuaded. The life God has given me persuades me to be an example that points the lost, the broken, the forgotten, the cast aside – to Him. To Him, who saves me from myself. To Him, who is mighty in ALL things. To Him, who is Alpha and Omega. To Him, who bids us all to draw near to Him and find rest. Are you persuaded to begin a renewed walk with God? I invite you to do so today.