Lord

Footprints

My writing process footis very interesting. Sometimes I think of a topic or subject matter and write about it on the spot and immediately post, and other times I do it with in a few days if I am not able to actually write for one reason or another. Then there are the times I have a topic or thought, and for some reason it takes weeks or months before I actually put it out, which may be because I lose interest, I forget my thought process, I haven’t been convicted enough, or I just don’t have as much as I thought in order to make it longer than a Facebook post, so they sit in my drafts, and to be honest, I have about four like that now.

Most of my ideas come from my personal devotion, books, a point in a sermon, or topics within the society, and of course I am inspired elsewhere like movies and music. I am not sure if you care about this or not, but if you are still reading this, I guess you do, so I will keep it moving.

Nonetheless, this piece was inspired from a devotional based on Paul telling the church to follow his and the other apostles’ example, and the purpose, of the devotional that is, is that the footprints, the influence, of those that have gone before us are washing away. This was almost a week ago, and it touched me so much, but I wasn’t fully convinced to write about it, at least in blog form, but I couldn’t get it out of my head and I even reverberated the message to someone, who received more so than I expected, so it was like confirmation that I needed to translate it here. Truth be told, I really don’t know why I felt the need to give you all that introductory information, but God has a funny way of doing things, so I’m convinced that someone will be inspired by it some way…Moving on…

When you think of the great people of the past, including Biblical characters, what you won’t find is someone acting like someone else, but rather ordinary people who decided to step outside of the box and step out on faith to be who God had called them to be. Now were they always “great”? No, but at some point in their life, they chose to go against what their culture or the society said they were. It was these individual’s who changed the world, whether they knew it or not, and we still talk about today. However, as time progresses, manfootprinty of these people and their names, let alone their impact are being forgotten. As do the waves of an ocean, the footprints they made in the sand are being washed away. Is that to say their life meant nothing and their work counted for nothing? Of course not, but even the Bible talks many times about how fleeting life is and how quickly we are forgotten.

Nevertheless, it raises the question, what now? Whose footprints will be the ones that guide and lead and influence the generations to come? The answer, you.

We can not depend on the people of the past, using them as a crutch. God wants your feet. God wants you who He created for such a time as this, to leave fresh prints that people can follow toward Christ. Your mark will be made by the life you live. You cannot leave footprints with someone else’s feet. And you can’t lead if you are not willing to move your feet. The disclaimer, you can’t keep looking behind to see who is following, but rather just to keep walking and following the Leader, which keeps you from pride and ego-tripping. The crazy part is that even when you look back to see who is following, that’s when the Enemy messes with your mind most, making you feel no one sees you, or you are not making any impact, and as a result, we tend to give up and or start living a meaningless life, because we think it’s not worth it. Yet, the reality is that most of the people who are behind you watching, are you can’t see because you don’t know them, and may never meet them. I can’t iterate enough how many people are looking at you and the life you live, whose name you don’t even know, let alone talk to.

Trailblazing does not mean becoming a superhero overnight or doing something substantial, big, or extraordinary. Instead, it’s about being deliberate and intentional in just being the person God has called you to be, and being obedient to even the smallest tasks. Every word spoken, every thing done, and every reflection of Christ that the Lord tailored to fit your true identity in Him, leaves deeper footprints that will last through generations.

The footprints of those that have gone before us are disappearing, and it demands a new generation of greatness to take their place and make their footprints in the sand, leaving impressions on the hearts and minds of people. Be you for a purpose and leave footprints worth following.

Irreplaceable or Not So Much?

One thing is that is popular in Christian culture is the belief that God is so loving, He is a friend, a big-brother, sometimes almost like a fuzzy teddy-bear you can talk to about anything and hug tight, and the belief that He has amazing plans for our lives. Now don’t get me wrong these things, minus the fuzzy teddy-bear, to are true and there are Biblical verses to back each of these up. However, in the midst of all the fuzziness, I think that we lose sight of what God is, a holy, righteous, all-powerful Being, whose every word that goes forth does not return void.

I think the problem that we have is that we think we are doing God a favor when we decide to follow Him, when in reality it is the complete opposite; it is an undeniable honor and privilege to be chosen by a God whose train of His robe filled His temple and has unimaginable creatures that call Him holy non-stop. Far too many of us take for granted God’s love for us and play with God like a tease, as if He needs us to accomplish His purpose. In my humble opinion, that is furthest from the truth. The moment we think God can’t operate without us, the moment we defeat ourselves.

Instead, I would say He doesn’t need us, He just desperately wants us. To me, that’s even more awesome, to know that the God who SPOKE the earth, the heavens, and the universes into existence and can very easily do what He wants when He wants how He wants, desires to use me as a vessel. That is incredible and just blows my mind. The Lord by no means had any reason to call any of us, but He did. We are sinful, wretched, messed up, and selfish people apart from the blood, but God still wanted us to be His. This should make us even more excited to go after and fulfill the purpose He has destined each of us individually, because He saw something in us that many times we never see for ourselves. He wants to take the scars, the brokenness, the failures, and somehow fit it into His master plan.

These thoughts come from several different places, somethings I heard years prior and some fairly recent, but it was Esther 4:13-14 that brought it home for me. In this part of the story Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, was trying to get her to help save the Israelites, and after she gives her reasons for apprehension, he pretty much tells her that she is not blessed for no reason and that God can still do what He needs to through someone else if she didn’t step up. First off, the same things apply in that we are blessed to be a blessing, no matter how little we think we have. We are not to be selfish people that only look out for “mine.” Our position, gifts, talents, skills, are not to be hoarded or disregarded, for God is very strategic in how He places people, but it’s the following verse that explains what I have been saying. He tells her that she very much can bring deliverance for the Jews, but if she decides to just chill out, God will use someone else, and she herself will not be saved.

The Lord’s patience is amazingly perfect, because it’s not unusual that God has to ask us over and over to do things. Like Esther, someone’s life hangs in the balance of our obedience whether we realize it or not. Furthermore, when we don’t pursue to discover and fulfill our purpose, we find ourselves dead, maybe not physically, but often times mentally and spiritually, and dissatisfied in life. (Another verse of reference here is Matthew 16:25.) On the other hand, people have shared that because of their disobedience, a person they were supposed to minister to in one way or another, died or suffered.

Nevertheless, praise God for the Esthers, those that may have needed some persuasion, but heard the call and were not afraid to put it all on the line (Esther 4:16), but believing their purpose was bigger than their own life.

Irreplaceable, in the sense that there is no other you past, present, or future, absolutely, but in the sense that we determine God’s will from being done or not, maybe not. He will get His work done with or with out you or me, so I don’t know about you, but I am willing to be drafted and willing to fight if I know I’m going to win, even if the battle looks otherwise. The Lord is gracious and created us for His glory and sent His Son to restore us back to Him so that He can use us to impact the world with His love, despite how backwards, slow moving, impatient, stubborn, lazy, irrational, needy, clueless and selfish we are. He wants you. He chose you. So go and act like it on purpose, for His purpose.