Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Misunderstood Prophecies

Allow me to be vulnerable----which means this could get really ugly.

When I walked across the stage receiving my bachelors degree from Auburn University and packed up all my stuff and moved away from Auburn, I was picturing the movies.  You know the movies.  The one where the young man is all packed away to go to college, but he gets this mysterious note to take his box of toys down the street to a little girl who is as cute as any puppy you'll ever see, and he introduces each of his favorite toys to her, but then she finds his cowboy doll that he wanted to take to college with him, and he hesitates, dramatic pause and quivering of the lips from both characters, but then he gives in to the darling little girl and they play together and after a few minutes he gets into his car and he drives away down the long street with the toys watching him drive off.

For some reason, we expect this.

If you missed that, that scene was from Toy Story 3.  But we expect this dramatic scene as we are transitioning into new seasons of our lives.  We picture the glamorous movie scene where we are driving off to face new adventures, new voyages, new beginnings, with trumpets playing and slow classic tunes are creating this emotionally driven moment where you just know something great is about to happen.  But then, the credits start and the movie scene deflates and you see the real thing.


Hey, I won't be a negative Nancy.  Maybe for other people this actually happens, but see, that's been my problem.  The other people. And I've had to force myself to stay off of social media sites because Satan is using it as a playground to throw doubt in my face.

"Look at all the people that everything they want is happening for them.  And look, another Save The Date invitation.  Oh look, you just got back from a wedding and here's three more this year that you're going to.  They look so happy don't they?  Oh Claude. Where are those great things everyone has told you that you are going to do for God?"

That last one stings.  It stings hard my friends.  I've had SOO many people tell me that I'm going to do these great things for God.  And my idea of GREAT THINGS FOR GOD did not look like this.  I pictured me going to this great NEW city and joining a new church and getting plugged into some revival somewhere and letting fire fly out of my mouth as I proclaim the Gospel.  I was so ready for a new season.  The chapter of my life entitled Auburn was closed and I was headed towards a new season.  But my NEW season was not supposed to be an old return.  It was not supposed to include my old bedroom, which has been updated with nicer furniture and a nicer smell.  Did I not steal away in the night from Auburn only to return to this mediocre existence?

This is where my 6.14 ounces of faith kick in.  I can't help but think about Abraham when God first tells him the promises of making him a great nation through a son.  And Abraham laughs and says he and his wife is old and God reassures him that it can be done because He's God.  But can you imagine the next day?  Waking up, making breakfast, expecting something cool to happen all day.  You put on some Marvin Gaye or Trey Songz and you have sex with your lovely wife------but she doesn't end up pregnant.

God? What the heck?  Didn't you say I would have a son?

But they shake it off and go try again.  And...still...no pregnant wife.  Can you imagine the gut feeling?  God? Um?  What's up?

So that's where I am.  Before all the prophecies coming from other people of the great things God was going to do in me and through me, God had whispered some dreams deep into my heart as he did Abraham and today I am nowhere near achieving them!

Or yet?  Am I?

What is "great things for God"?  Is everything done for the glory of a great God not considered to be of great worth?  Is my Father's will not great?  Because I feel that my church has conditioned me to think that "great things for God" looks like big ministries and big movements and big gatherings and big salvations.  But what are great things?  I'll say great things are things that my Father wills to be done through me.  That's it.  And here I am, sitting on my butt complaining about what God isn't doing for ME and I'm hearing story after story of my hurting family and I have yet to go visit them to share the love of Jesus.  Want to know why great things are not happening in your life? Because you're misunderstanding the prophecy.  No one ever got to the great you're imagining over night.  They started with the one.  My pastor, Chris Hodges, did not reach 9 campuses as soon as he received the call from God to do full-time ministry.  It started with the voice, with a relationship, with a God who intimately speaks and shepherds and loves His sons that He breathes these big dreams into their hearts and positions them to have to depend on Him fully with no room for doubt.  Son, do you not TRUST ME?!  Abraham, I'm going to tell you about this son and it'll be years before you see it happen, but I want you to trust me, and I'll make you great.  And people, he was made great.  Why?  Not because of what he did, but because what his father willed for his life.  Abraham was just a man who had a son, but God willed for this man to have a son who would father nations--therefore he was made great.

So here I am...with just a faith in a God in a place I really don't want to be.  But my Father has willed it, therefore it is a part of a great work He is doing.  Great things does not always look like churches being filled, but instead a God who is willing for things to happen.  The ultimate gain is Jesus.  And at the end of the day, I could end up being stuck in Oxford for the rest of my life (GOD FORBID!) but joy will rise from deep within the Holy Spirit within me and breathe new life and give me new desires because I have all that I need in Jesus.  I have all that I need in my Savior.  I can be stuck in a mud pit being forced to watch Miley Cyrus twerk videos with no way out, (couldn't help that), as long as I have my Jesus I am really alright.

Don't misunderstand your prophecies.  Don't misunderstand what God is trying to do in your life.  The ultimate gain is Him.  And He will not stop until His glory is made known...and that's from my life and yours.    

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