Photo Credit: Flickr.com
Beware of the innate tendency to prejudge and have preconceived notions. Otherwise, you just might miss the proverbial “diamond in the rough” that could have huge ramifications for your life.
Recently, our family made the decision to visit another church whenever there’s a fifth Sunday in the month. This past April, we visited a local church that several of our friends attend. Intended for its members, the pastor was addressing some “housekeeping” matters this particular Sunday. He began his sermon with, “My message today focuses on the state of our church.” Settling into my chair, I mumbled quietly to myself, “State of the church? We sure picked the wrong Sunday to visit this church!” Or, so I thought….
After all, why would any visitor take interest in the business of another church? So after that “uneventful” pastoral announcement in, I could have totally zoned out. Only a couple of years earlier, that’s exactly what I would have done. Sad to say, I know, but it’s the truth. However, God is constantly at work in our hearts. Like parents who delight in watching their children grow and mature, God our Father finds great pleasure in seeing us progressively conformed to the character of Christ. Although I wasn’t aware at the time, I now look back and realize that my response to the pastor’s message had put a smile on my PaPa’s face. Why? Because that day, I really “got it!”
You see over the years, I’ve learned to never put the all-powerful God of the universe into a box. I mean, God has taught me that He can use the most insignificant circumstance, the most ordinary event and the most “common” person to radically impact a life…forever. The Holy Spirit had brought this to my remembrance as the sermon began. But while I was yet reflecting on this truth — as if God were trying to “drive the lesson home” more deeply — the pastor remarked, “You are someone else’s miracle!” I thought, “Wow, that’s powerful!” Awed by the profoundness of this statement, I sat upright in my seat. Mr. Boredom and Mrs. Distraction did not stand a chance of arresting my focus. Now one hundred percent engaged, I leaned forward. With those five words, the pastor had completely captured my attention. And to those five words we now turn, as they are the subject of this blog.
Let me start off by saying that each of us has special, even immeasurable, value to God. Furthermore — as we see from a plethora of examples in Scriptures — God can use any one of us to accomplish His eternal purposes. In other words and to put it bluntly, “Don’t dismiss or discredit anyone!” Whether it was, for example, missing out on a great job opportunity or forfeiting a potentially meaningful relationship…I think many of us can look back on our own lives and recall situations when we failed to recognize the blessing that was right before our eyes. To our great disadvantage, we did so because we simply weren’t open to the possibilities that someone or something could have afforded us. But at least we’re in good company. After all, even Jesus, the Son of God, was overlooked by the people around Him!
Each of us has special, even immeasurable, value to God. Furthermore, as many examples in Scriptures teach, God can use any one of us to accomplish His eternal purposes. In other words and to put it bluntly, “Don’t dismiss or discredit anyone!” Whether it was missing out on a great job opportunity or forfeiting a potentially meaningful relationship…I think many of us can look back on our own lives and recall situations when we failed to recognize the blessing that was right before our eyes. To our disadvantage, we did so because we simply weren’t open to the possibilities that someone or something could have afforded us. But at least we’re in good company. After all, the people around Jesus overlooked Him too!
Photo Credit: Stockimages.com
Yet, regardless of our opinion, God can use absolutely any one, at any given time, to accomplish His will in our lives. In fact, He can even use the person that we consider the least qualified or suitable as an instrument through which to bless us. (Of course, this is not to say that we are justified in having such thoughts in the first place. In fact, God desires us to always think the best of all people).
Sadly, we unwittingly forfeit many of the gifts God desires to give us simply because His chosen instruments (to bless us) don’t come in the “package” or “wrapping” that we expect. Whether we think someone is not experienced enough, not talented enough, not good-looking enough, not educated enough, not popular enough, the list goes on and on…we often casually dismiss the very people that wants to use to bless us. Yet, in the grand scheme of things — regardless of whether or not we recognize it — each of us is a Gift, an answer to someone else’s prayer.
In God’s economy and by His sovereign design, each of our lives is intended to accomplish what no other person could. So that pastor was right. “You are someone else’s miracle!” I’d modify the phrase slightly and say, ‘You ─ your life experiences…your testimony ─ is the key that unlocks the door to someone else’s miracle.’ Do you see yourself in that way?
As important as this truth is, the pastor made another salient remark: most people never make a difference because they fail to contextualize their lives. This second statement “hit” me with even more force than the previous one. Although I understood this truth, I had never heard anyone express it quite like that.
Yet, you’ll recall that initially, I had thought the sermon would be boring. Now, here I was, thoroughly enjoying it.
Actually, I was astonished that what initially sounded like such a dull message could command my rapt attention. And the fact that the wisdom in the pastor’s two insightful statements was entirely unexpected is a fitting illustration of the point I’m making–that we should never have preconceived notions about anyone or anything. Indeed, Abba Father was giving me a deeper appreciation for this lesson that He had already taught me. Like a sponge, I continued to soak in all that the pastor shared.
The fact that the pastor’s insightful statements were entirely unexpected is a fitting illustration that we should never have preconceived notions about anyone or anything. Indeed, God was giving me a deeper appreciation for this lesson that He had already taught me. Like a sponge, I continued to soak in the pastor’s message.
But then again how could I not? After all, his topic related to the key idea of the book that I was writing. His message reignited my passion and I desire to excite or re-excite you about your God-given passion, purpose and potential.
So, let me ask a question. Have you ever given serious thought to why you were born in this unique period of time? In other words, why were you not born 900 years ago? Or three thousand years ago? Or sometime in the future? For that matter, why were you born where you were born? After all, God could have picked any of the ten thousand cities or towns in the world to have been your birth place. The short answer is that you are treasured by God. And because God loves you with an everlasting love, He’s planned out each and every detail of your life (See Acts 17:26).
Yet, amid the clamor of life, you may have lost sight of the fact that God has uniquely created and designed you for a specific, God-ordained purpose. You may have overlooked the reality that God desires you to mine the treasures He’s deposited within you so that you might be a blessing to others. Nonetheless, there’s a vacuum deep inside of you that can only be filled as you fulfill GOD’s specific purpose for your life. And the time for you to fulfill that purpose in God’s redemptive history is now!
In a play, characters have differing roles, and the script dictates when those characters appear on stage. From eternity past, God has developed the master script; He is the Divine Director of our lives. And there’s no need for auditions─He has already cast each of us for our unique roles. God calls us to embrace our unique roles, recognizing that He’s given us all the props and talents that we need to succeed. In a manner of speaking, He desires us to perform, for His glory. Like an actor performs his part on stage, God desires you to see yourself like the “Gift” (to the world) that you are, one that He desires to unveil on the “Grand Stage of Life” in this unique period of history. Simply put, this is what it means to contextualize your life.
Indeed, God has big plans for each of our lives. Of course, big does not necessarily mean that we each will have a huge platform or the same scope of influence. It simply means that God has very important things for each of us to do and to accomplish for the advancement of His kingdom.
I started this blog stating, “You are someone’s miracle.” I’ll also end with it. Have you ever heard the quote, “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world?” It’s true! We all want to make a difference with our lives. The reality is that someone, somewhere desperately needs you. To that someone, you are nothing less than a “Gift” from God. You are God’s answer for somebody and by extension, His answer or hope for some cause, some need, some non-profit, some people group, and so on. Being or becoming that answer or hope is how you make a true difference with your life.
As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, God has given you a passion. Discover it. Contextualize it. Walk in it. All for His glory and His fame! And then not only will you live a life of significance, you’ll also experience the truth of Jesus’ words, “I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).