Irenaeus said the glory of God is man fully alive. I’ve always agreed with that statement. At the risk of going all Prayer of Jabez’ book on you I want to also say that the Bible is plentiful with the semantic about abundance.
Yet Jesus had no place to lay his head. Jesus Himself also said it is harder for a rich man to go into Heaven then it is for a camel to go through the eye of the needle. But what’s the conclusion? With God all things are possible.
Something recently awakened me to the glory of God. It’s not money. It’s not because I have a super populated fan club. There are people who like me believe it or not. There are people who hate me too, but if God is for me who can be against me? No one. I live my life not to please people. I live my life for my Maker. I think that’s what Irenaeus was getting at all those centuries ago. Funny how there’s nothing new under the sun is it not?
I firmly believe that most people are doing what Henry David Thoreau wrote about. We live lives of “quiet desperation.” We don’t fully live into our hopes because our fear overshadows the confidence God has put into us. 2 Timothy talks our spirit of fear that God did not give us. He gave us a Spirit of love, power and self-control, but how many people do you know that actually live this out? Maybe there’s more than I see or experience on a weekly basis, but when I look deep within my own mind and heart I am paralyzed by fear. Now I do fight depression, but that doesn’t block my path of hope. I am after all an entrepreneur who has “succeeded” in the midst of depression, but that doesn’t mean I can’t exercise the calling of the Spirit in my endeavors to improve my families’ lifestyle or share Jesus with Dave in Kroger.
Sadie Robertson’s message of living original and being fearless really resonates with me, and I love both books with the same titles (Live Original and Fearless). You can buy them both on Amazon, or better yet get my friend Amy at Black Dog Book Co. to order them for you. There is not a one of us who hasn’t compared ourselves with someone else or been anchored by fear. My church family marquee currently has the saying the comparison is the thief of joy. 1 John 4.18 says there is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
There’s a lot of water under the bridge in your life if you’re anything like me. I get it. It’s just easier to retreat inside your residence where nothing can get you isn’t it? Well, that’s a lie? If you have read Joe Beam’s, Seeing The Unseen then you know that that’s just not the case. It’s our own evil desires that drag us away and entice us, and even in the four walls of our homes we aren’t safe. We are safe in the presence of Jesus Christ, and He is omnipresent my dear friends. He is everywhere all the time. Satan is not. Is my world view too simplistic? Do I only believe these things because my dad is a Church of Christ preacher, and my mom stayed at home with my brothers and me? Those two things certainly have a lasting impact on who I am as I type this sentence, but I’ve lived enough life to have had a fair amount of reasons to jettison that faith, and I haven’t.
It’s that faith that has brought me back again and again to the very thing that should have shut it down, the church. But it’s not the church I look to. I look to Jesus and the Holy Spirit Who ultimately show me what it looks like to be fully alive.
I’m sure you’re thinking you don’t need church to be fully alive, and billions do every Sunday and Wednesday. There’s nothing new about that. You might be grieving the hypocrisy, dishonesty, male dominated thinking and bullying found in the church, but I’m here to tell you that none of that is going to stop Jesus from showing His love through the church.
Love is possible because of Jesus. You can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, as I recently wrote, and love others. You have to have a supernatural source of power that is greater than yourself to confront the narcissism we all face. Depression hits me like a ton of bricks every morning. I don’t want to get out of bed and go out into the world because the world is dark and evil place, but it’s darkness and evil is not greater than the One Who created light.
Put your faith in that even if it’s as small as a mustard seed. You might just move a mountain.