I saw a chicken cross the road today. Literally: a real chicken crossing a real (and busy) street. It seemed so odd and out of place. I will admit, my first inclination was to jump out my car and grab that chicken! Whatever man, don’t judge me. The price of eggs today is ridiculous. Luckily, there were too many cars to stop and go running after the chicken. And I just knew it was going to be a messy, chicken fight – cuz free eggs don’t come easy.
But as I drove away, I began to meditate on life – my life. Some days I feel like that chicken – trapped in a place that is so foreign. A lot of times, I feel out of place, not fitting in with the world around me. I guess that’s good in a way. The scripture says, “They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.” John 17:16 AMP. The “they” being referred to are Christ followers, those “souled” out for Jesus.
The bible goes on to explain that we are technically “ambassadors” living in a foreign country (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our permanent residence is with God. But we’re here to “represent.” We’re here to do the work and the will of the Father – just like Jesus. If we claim to be His follower, then we should follow, right?
So what is the will of the Father or how do we follow Jesus? What’s the “Mission Possible” that we have been assigned? Jesus was very specific when he left His instructions for us. Often people refer to it as the “Great Commission.” In Matthew 28:18-20 NIV, we are told, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I am so encouraged by that scripture because it shows the awesomeness of our Boss. He’s saying: all authority (#igotthepower) has been handed to me, so naturally, I’m giving it to you. Introduce us (Me and Holy Spirit) to folks so that We may convert them and teach them Our ways. Don’t stress! No matter what, I’m with you until the end of forever. Now that’s a long time!!
So you might be thinking, why me? Why doesn’t God just cut out the middle man and do the work himself? This is a real question I struggled with for a long time. He’s all powerful, all knowing, and all everywhere. Why depend on mortal and flawed humans to build up his church? Imperfect creatures who constantly war between spirit and flesh. To me, it seemed like betting on the wrong horse.
Well it’s because when God made this world, He gave us (technically Adam) dominion over it. So this is our territory or “turf.” If stuff happens in our ‘hood, it should be up to us to fix it.
Now Adam and Eve blew it by being disobedient to God’s simple command in the garden: “eat this but not that.” So God kicked them out of paradise and basically said, “If you want to do what you want to do, then go on with your bad self.” This “eviction” meant we would have to work to survive, deal with the enemy (devil), and feel the limitations of a mortal body.
So that’s where we are today. God gave us this territory (world) to take for Him. But Adam and Eve let the “hounds loose” with that original, disobedient sin. So this world is as wild and crazy as it gets! Sin runs rampant. It’s dangerous and full of ugly temptations. It really is like living in a war zone – a constant battle between spirit and flesh. And the victorious side ends up being the one that you feed the most…
But remember, we don’t have permanent residence in this world. Ultimately our place is with Him. We have been chosen and adopted by God. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 NIV
So we can be assured that although we struggle and fight to maintain today, our ultimate destination is of “heavenly” proportions. I heard someone who recovered from a horrible drug addiction talk about how they got free. They said the best advice they ever received was someone telling them: make your goal to quit be one day at a time. If you can’t do that, do one hour at a time. If not that, then one minute at a time. You can do anything for one minute.
When you’re feeling awkward, alone, misunderstood, and sometimes rejected, hold your head up high! You don’t fit in for a good reason. You’re a part of something so much bigger! Your feet should be on the ground but your head high up in the clouds!! And the mess we deal with now is nothing compared to the reward we await – if we just stay strong, and keep the faith: minute by minute by minute. You can do anything for a minute….
I want to leave you with this one, encouraging scripture to help you stay rooted: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” Romans 8:18-19 NIV