I have these snappy little voices in my head that are my worst critics. Do you have those too? They whisper and they shout, “You are not enough”, “You don’t have what it takes.” And all too often I simply believe them. Truthfully, sometimes it’s just easier to. Because if I don’t measure up than I have every excuse to hang back, to play it safe.
But voices of insecurity can lure us into leaning back, turning away from risk, and snuggling up on our couches to watch life go by from our comfortable places. I know this from painful personal experience.
But we were created for so much more than hanging back or hanging out.
We were created for the miraculous.
But there is a caveat:
Usually the miraculous begins in the messy.
Sadly it can be that very mess that stops us from stepping out. Why are we so desperately afraid of messing up? The truth is: We ARE going to mess up. That does NOT scare God; so it should NOT scare us.
God calls us anyway. God calls us to test weak muscles, to embark on new adventures, to do things we never thought we could do. He calls us to step out on shaky legs. This is called faith. And it can be very messy.
And glorious. Very glorious.
Heavenly economics promise us that:
He takes our fumbled, feeble offerings and multiplies them into the inconceivable.
God is inviting us to participate in something epic!
The great big Story of God is being lived right now, in our time. Maybe we remember the sparkling participants of the past, like David or Esther, and we idolize the parts they played in the Sacred Story. But don’t lets forget their behind-the-scenes realities were messy too. We must remind ourselves that God uses imperfect people. And now it’s our turn. Don’t let the paralysis of perfection give you pause.
Our excuses and hesitancies don’t really hold up.
This God of the universe who does the miraculous has chosen you.
He’s chosen YOU!
To tell His Story, to live His Story, to be His Story here on earth, in your home, at the market, around the city, into the world. he has not made you to sit back and watch it all go by.
No, lay it all on the line.
Life Journaling through the Bible we have come to the Acts of The Apostles. In Acts 6-7 we witness the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian Martyr. It kind of takes your breath away. His passion for the Kingdom was so palpable you could reach out and hold onto it as you read his last words: “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” His desperate plea hung in the air; for God to forgive the ones who were (at that very moment) enflamed with rage, flinging stones to crush his body and silence his voice. But even in death, His voice lives on.
Because before Stephen died that day he carried all of those accusing and angry hearts, and us with them, right into the Great Story of God Himself. He challenged them, God Is On The Move; Don’t Miss Out! He recounted the radical faith of Abraham who walked upon ground he would never own, claiming every footstep for the future. He reminded them of Joseph, who was rejected and betrayed but saved them all. He remembered Moses who was given the words of life but was ignored. He told the entire Story, and made sure they knew it could continue through them.
A self-righteous man named Saul stood in the crowd that day, listening. Saul didn’t enter into the throwing of stones, but he did hold the coats.
He hung back.
He was a spectator.
God doesn’t want us to just be spectators.
What holds you back? What keeps you from jumping in, from doing something you are afraid of, from stepping out, from getting messy?
God is calling out to His people today, “Show up and get started”. Moses was hesitant to get started too. He gave God every excuse. But God simply asked, “What’s that in your hand?” Moses held up a humble shepherds staff. And with that staff God buried an entire army under the sea.
God is just asking us today, right now as you read this, “What’s that in your hand?”.
Dig down deep inside you and hold up to God those tiny little seeds of dreams. Maybe they’ve been hidden, tucked far away, waiting for the day when you’d feel more brave. Those seeds of hope and purpose, dreams and destinies are waiting there to be offered up.
Maybe you wonder, “What can these messy little tidbits of nothing really do?” But maybe what you are actually thinking is, “What can I really do?”
God does miraculous things with the humble stuff of our lives.
The One who made heaven and earth with nothing but His Voice, takes what little we hold and remakes it into more than we ever imagined. He took Moses’ staff and freed a nation from slavery. He took David’s sling and defeated the entire Philistine army. He took Mary’s virgin womb and knit together the Savior of the world. What makes you think that what little you have isn’t enough? God is enough.
What is within your reach?
Seeds grow according to the principle of compound interest; a small deposit now will be multiplied a hundred fold. That is how our lives grow too. That’s how God works. He multiplies.
So never despise small, messy beginnings. That’s how all the best stories start!
May God stir up many seeds of destiny in your life this year. Amen.