Tuesday, 16 June 2009
"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you." (William Arthur Ward)
My desire today is to give you a huge dose of encouragement!
Do you realise just how important you are? Do you know how crucial you are in the story of your life?
Think about THE MATRIX (one of my favourite films). For most of his life, Neo sees himself only as Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer for a large software corporation. As the drama really begins to heat up and the enemy hunts him down, he says to himself, “This is insane. Why is this happening to me? What did I do? I’m nobody. I didn’t do anything.”
A very dangerous conviction - though one shared by most of us. What he later comes to realize – and not a moment too soon – is that he is “the One” who will break the power of the Matrix.
We see this throughout scripture: a little boy will slay the giant, a loudmouthed fisherman who can’t hold down a job will lead the church, and a prostitute with a heart of gold is the one to perform the deed that Jesus asked us all to tell “wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world”.
Things are not what they seem. We are not what we seem.
Out of all the truths we don’t believe, perhaps this is the one we doubt most of all. Our days are not extraordinary. They are filled with the mundane, with hassles mostly. And we? Nothing special really. Probably a disappointment to God.
Well can I tell you - you are not what you think you are. There is a glory to your life that your enemy fears, and he is hell-bent on destroying that glory before you act on it. We are in the process of being unveiled. We were created to reflect God’s glory, born to bear his image, and he ransomed us to reflect that glory again. St Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Our destiny is to come fully alive.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Nelson Mandela)
You cannot love another person from a false self. You cannot love another while you are still hiding. How can you help them to freedom while you remain captive? You cannot love another unless you offer your heart. It takes courage to live from your heart. To admit we do have a new heart and a glory from God, to begin to let it be unveiled and embrace it as true – that means the next thing God will do is ask us to live from it. Come out of the boat. Take the throne. Be what he meant us to be. And that feels risky - really risky.. But it is also exciting.
Are you encouraged?