Do you know who the people are on the Narrow Way whom you would seriously love to Velcro yourself to? Even if now- you’ve grown up and that sort of thing is like, totally immatchoor Sharon…!
People along the way whom you meet who are spiritually so attractive that you’d drop everything and move into their house? Or find yourself talking their ears off about nothing in particular? Just because somehow you lose all your wits and can’t keep your mouth shut...
Or are there people you’ve never met but you seriously wish you could, or had, or might one day…
Now, I’m not talking about bands. Although I wouldn’t mind eyeballing a few of those, just to size them up. I’m talking about people who have managed to get God all over them in a way that what’s inside them pulls on you like a magnet. You just need what they’ve got and you’ll do anything humanly possible to get it.
I have a couple. I suppose we’re used to people calling them ‘heroes of the faith’ but I don’t like the connotation that particular statement brings with it. Even though I can’t think of anything better to use.
The people I watch closely and love like this, are and have been people- some of whom you might recognise- who have given everything to do and be what God made them to be. To be in relationship with Him in a way that stands them apart from the crowd. But it might be in unexpected ways.
Some of the people on my list are Keith & Melody Green, Jim & Elisabeth Elliot, David Wilkerson, Heidi & Roland Baker. Then there are others, whom you won’t know at all. For example, a lady, J-, whom I watch very carefully to see how the world is going.
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:19-21 (NIV)
Have you ever considered what this means? I have thought in the past, that it meant that nothing of who I am was allowed to be evident anymore. That I was no longer allowed to exist. This runs completely contrary to the nature of God though. The natural world, the trees, grass, flowers etc, all show how amazing God is by being exactly what God made them to be. So why would God make me unique and amazing just to tell me that I am not allowed to be the Anita He made me to be? If it’s impossible to turn a duck into a carrot, then it’s kinda pointless trying to turn me into Billy Graham… He has and is doing an amazing job being exactly who God made him to be. I need to be who God made me to be!
What it does mean however, is that I need to work with all of who God is, to allow Him management and access to all of who He made me to be. To give Him veto power. To choose to choose Him, every time there is a choice to be made.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)
This might sound nuts. I went through a period of time, where God wanted to pick the colour socks I put on in the mornings. It went on for years. The colours meant something, and were a testament to the theme of the day. Relationship, River, Restoration, Royalty, Purity, and a bunch of other things. It was a small thing, but it was part of Him training me to listen to His Voice. It also appeals to my sense of everything being in sync with the Creator of the Universe being concerned with the little things. He cares enough to notice my socks!
It’s also about complete integration. Learning to make choices that include Jesus in every decision, no matter how inconsequential they may seem at the time.
He doesn’t always want me to reference Him when I’m picking clothes anymore. Although, sometimes He does, and it turns out to be important. There have been times I’ll turn up to a prayer meeting and every single person will have the exact same colour jumper or shirt on... That’s fun!
We grow up, and learn to recognise His Heart and His Voice.
This death, this dying with Christ, is as much about learning to include Him as an essential part of everything we are and everything we do as it is about anything else. To make Jesus so much part of us and us so much part of Him, that if we forget to include Him for some tiny reason, we miss His input so keenly that it is like losing a leg.
There are other things that come along with the process. All of the ‘self’ stuff, it does die. Self-ish dies. Self-interest dies. Self-aggrandisement dies. Self-promotion dies. They all die, because there is no room for that kind of focus when you’re focussing on the One whose death meant our life, and all of life in all its brilliance.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4 (NIV)
It’s their relationship with Jesus that I appreciate so much about those people I mentioned earlier. It comes out in the way they live their lives, and in the way they are so completely still themselves in the process. God has not made little robots out of them, they do not look like each other in any way, their passion for Jesus is or was expressed in very different ways, and found its voice in different endeavours.
God has used their passionate relationship with Him to different ends in different nations, in different fields.
International missionaries, extreme youth work, passionate musician, hidden intercessor. Just within those few examples there are completely different roles. What you are passionate for, I don’t know, but you know, God knows.
For me, I want to be like those people. They are so full of Jesus that He leaks out all over the world around them and it can’t help but be changed by Him. Their lives are overtaken by Him. Their ‘selfs’ are overtaken by Him.
I want to have all that I am made to be and all that He has placed in my heart to do, be exactly like that. The gifts and talents He has given me, be completely filled with Him and His Love, His Presence, His Purpose, His Power.
To be dead, to be dying. To be that kind of alive…
God Bless You Very Much