“So many relationships are shallow. Most everyone is scared to unveil their real selves, scared of being criticized. We often end up trying to live in a way that will bring approval by everyone, rather than being real.” ~Ann Kiemel (I Love the Word Impossible)
How many can relate to this? I know I sure can. In so many instances, I have hid feelings or kept things inside for fear of being criticized or picked apart or labeled crazy by the people I was around at the time.
I know of some folks who will cringe or scowl at the phrase “In love with Jesus.” They think that means radical, overboard, crazy. Their idea of being a follower of Jesus is attending church regularly and trying not to cuss.
I want a relationship with Jesus. I want to be overboard, radically, crazy in love with the ONE who took my place on the cross. I want to live a life of reckless abandon for Him, and some folks call that crazy. Some say that kind of life is radical.
I posted a cover picture on my Facebook wall that said: “Call me a Jesus freak, a holy roller, strange or insane, but when Jesus comes, call me GONE!” And, I LOVE IT!!! That is the kind of life I want to live. I want to be a lighthouse pointing the way to Jesus. I want to be His hands and feet. I want to live my life for HIM, not caring what people think or say about me.
We were NOT made by God to fit in to this world…..we were made to stand out!!
As Christians, sometimes we wear masks. We’re afraid to show too much emotion for fear of being labeled radical. We will try not to say anything that will sound too “churchy” for fear of being looked at funny.
There have been times in my life when (during a discussion among “friends”) when I felt the Lord telling me to speak up and I remained quiet for fear of being laughed at or criticized or misunderstood. I am ashamed of those times because when I kept quiet, usually someone else said the very thing that He was telling me to say. That is how the Lord works, if we won’t allow Him to use us, He’ll use someone else, or the person next to us. And, we lose that blessing. Anytime He tells us to do something and we don’t do it, He will just move on to someone else who is more willing than we are. I don’t ever want Him to find me unwilling to speak up for Him.
I felt that if I were to try and say whatever it was that He was telling me to say, it wouldn’t come out right and someone might get offended, or just think I was ignorant. Well, the ONLY person we should worry about offending is God. His opinion is the only one that matters. I need to learn this and apply it to my life. I need to have the faith that if God is calling me to do something for Him, that He is going to also equip me to do it right. That is where my faith is lacking. I need to remember Deuteronomy 31:8 and hide it in my heart for those times… “The LORD is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” And also 2 Timothy 1:7…. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I need to claim these verses and stand up and speak out!!
Hebrews 11 is a faith chapter, it tells of countless people who stood up for God. Who weren’t afraid of being laughed at, or criticized, or misunderstood. They weren’t any different than you or I. They weren’t perfect, but they had faith in God. They knew that He would go before them and so they stepped out and stepped up for Him.
Our God is that same God who went before all those in Hebrews 11. He is the same God!! He keeps His promises to us just like He did with them. He is the same God!!
So, I promise (starting this very minute) to do better. I promise that when He tells me to say or do something, I will do it. Not hide from it.
Dear Lord, forgive me for not moving when you tell me to move. Forgive me for disappointing You. You know how weak I can be when faced with fear and insecurity. Help me to remember your never failing power, kindness and love. Teach me to release all doubt and fear from my mind. Help me to live encouraged and free from all insecurity in the knowledge that You hold my life together. Help me to live each day in a way that will please You. When I am faced with a situation that makes me feel insecure, no matter how difficult, may I proceed with joy and grace and a glad heart. Teach me to live a God-centered life that brings honor to Your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.