Day: May 5, 2014

Donkey Days

It’s okay to be an ass. Yes, you did read that correctly.donkey

There are some non-human characters in the Bible that are very intriguing, and one animal I find to be used for big assignments is the donkey. There are two Old Testament stories that stick out when I think of donkeys, and the first is Balaam’s donkey, the only animal in the Bible that spoke and was used by God to turn back the heart of Balaam and keep him from doing something reckless. Then there was Saul’s donkey that got lost, nothing unusual, but it was on his path of searching for his donkey that he met Samuel who told him he would be king of Israel. Donkeys, though there is nothing extraordinary about them, they did what they were meant to do, and God did the extraordinary through them. Let me give you the greatest example.

I will never forget the message of the colt. The gospels tell the story of a young donkey that had never been ridden and was tied up. Jesus told two of his disciples to go get it, and if asked, tell the owner that the Lord needed it. – Sidebar: no matter how little you have or how worthless you think it is, even if it’s immature or small, just give it to the Lord, and trust Him to use it and multiply it.

Now to pick back up. Again, there was nothing special about the colt, the owner, or the colt’s mother, he was just available. It wasn’t really strong, it hadn’t had much experience, if any at all, and it was immature, it had a lot to learn still. All the donkey was doing was being a donkey. No more, no less. It was being exactly what it was meant to be, doing exactly what it was meant to do, and that is what Jesus chose to ride on for his triumphal entry in Jerusalem.

The donkey normally gets a bad connotation with its stubbornness and it’s not a very glamorous animal. That’s just like us. With sin, we have a terrible reputation and our own righteousness is like filthy rags, not glamorous. We disappoint God and we disappoint others. We have those things about us that is our Achilles heel, like the donkey’s stubbornness, but the Lord chooses to look past all that. All He wants is us. He wants us just as we are, whatever stage in life we are in, whatever phase we are going through, whoever or whatever we may be slaved and chained to, like the colt, the Lord wants to set us free and use us. All we have to do is say yes.

Being you for a purpose is being like that donkey, in that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to do, acting and being as what God created you to be. Even if you have some unpleasant things about you or you feel small, weak, immature, useless, insignificant, or inexperienced, God still desires to use you for great things. For it’s usually those times we are doing the day-to-day activities, walking in the center of His will, that God decides to shake things up and intervene on our behalf.

It’s okay to be an ass, for it was an ass that was chosen to usher in the Messiah. Just be you, and do what you are supposed to do, and watch what God will do in, by, through, and for you. I guarantee, He will blow your mind.

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World’s Greatest

I think I was watching Space Jam when I remembered this song. Though, I am not a huge R. Kelly fan, this is one song that I feel is so positive and reminds us that greatness lies already in us, we just have to be confident in who we are and whose we are.

Be you for a purpose, just wait, and watch what God will do.

The Gap: Is It You?

Are you the one?

gapBehind Jeremiah, Ezekiel has to be one of the most intriguing characters in Scripture, because I can just imagine him being just a weird guy. His words were so vivid and abstract, and his life was so abnormal, but what I can appreciate about Him is that no matter how crazy or weird a task, or harsh the words God gave him, he obeyed. Nonetheless, though a lot of what he said was of judgment, almost right in the middle of the book, chapter 22, the Lord says to Ezekiel something very similar to what Mordecai told Esther.

“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”

Whoa.

The awesome thing about this verse is that God is looking for someone. He is looking for you, the you that He created and designed to save and lead a generation. Just as Mordecai told Esther, all that you are is for such a time as this, and not only your life and your family’s life, but the lives of the people of this generation depend on you being all that God has made you to be, fulfilling His purpose in your life.

God is looking; He wants to save, deliver, and restore all, but He needs you, He needs me to stand in the gap, because though He has the ability, He won’t force anyone to come to Him. His heart burdens for the souls of the people of every nation; He doesn’t want to bring down His wrath, instead He is giving you and me the chance to intercede for others and be open, willing, and ready vessels to be used for noble purposes.

The Lord is pleading with His people to rise up and stand in the gap for the world. So much is happening and it will only get worse before it gets better. Are you the one He has been waiting for that will help turn this generation back to Him? Are you the one that will intercede on behalf of people that want nothing to do with Him? Are you the one that will build up the broken walls, rebuilding the brokenness in the society? Are you the one that will not be afraid to be different, to stand out, to be unconventional? Are you the on that will rise up and stand in the gap? Are you the one that will answer the call? Are you the one that is willing to speak, think, do, and live for a purpose? Are you the one that is willing to be you for a purpose? Are you the one that will change the world? Are you the one?

We are Not Gods

There is a common belief that assumes that we, humans, are gods or can become a god in some way or another. Even though, it sounds pretty, that is a dangerous philosophy to carry, if for no other reason, we can barely keep track and hold together our own lives, let alone be responsible for some distinct facet of every other person’s life. In my opinion, people just want to feel good about themselves and put themselves on a pedestal and be acknowledged. We want that sense of control and power. On the flip side, people tend to deem others as gods just because of what they have accomplished or what they have, lifting them up as some supreme being. Truth be told, these supreme beings, can do absolutely nothing for us, let alone our souls.

May I just say, we are not gods nor can we become a god. We are virtually powerless and whatever sense of ability and power we do claim, it all comes from God anyway, ask Jesus, Paul, or James. So often, when pride or race gets in the way, we want to feel worthy and valuable after we have been treated wrong, misused, or abused, and we lose sight of the beauty in us and take it to the extreme. Many times, we get haughty, self-righteous, and hurt people in the process. We tend to believe the world owes us something to recompense for our godhood.

That is a lie from the pit of Hell.

We are humans, no more, no less. We are God’s precious and prized possession. We all in some way or another have been hurt, broken, disappointed, discriminated, abused, or misused, but our value does not come from other people. Our value comes from the Creator Himself, and as I recently heard it, our worth does not come from what we do or don’t do, it comes from birth. As sons and daughters of God, that is what makes us special. You must never lose sight of that.

It’s interesting, because this is not the avenue I originally wanted to go in when speaking of this, but I will take you to the story of Joseph, where I was inspired. At the end of the story, when he was reunited with his brothers, and they were feeling guilty, remorseful, and obligated to him due to all that they had done to him, Joseph showed compassion. It is there he asks the question, “am I in place of God?” That stood out to me because even in the midst of his new positioning, he had every ability to avenge himself for what his brothers did, but he realized this one thing, he was not God, nor did he have the right or any form of divine power to condemn those that wronged them. The very next verse you understand why. Joseph acknowledged that because of all that had happened since he was sold into slavery, and he chose to stay faithful and committed to God, he was able to lead a nation. He knew his place and God blessed him for it.

Let that be a reminder to us. Your value and identity comes from God Himself who created us perfectly, fearfully, and wonderfully. Though you have been mistreated, that does not give you the right to step on the backs of others; the world owes you nothing. All that we have and all that we are comes from God anyway, and at any moment, He can choose to take it away. So don’t put others or yourself on a pedestal so much that it blinds your view of God. For money, prestige, power, influence, talent, education, success, or anything of the liking does not make you worthy, but rather being birthed into a relationship with the only God. This means, as Joseph came to know, that we do not have godlike powers to do whatever we want when we want, no matter what the situation is. Science and emotions can cloud that truth, so be mindful and remember to do what God has called you to do, and let Him do what He will do. Don’t take His job or even a portion of it, by acting as a god or claiming to be one. When you take His job, not only will you miss out, but you will fail miserably, not only yourself but others, because no one can do it like He can.

Know your place, and be blessed for it. Be you for a purpose, and you are a human, a wonderful creation by God.