Friday, Apr 10, 2020

Act Like a Follower, Think Like an Ambassador

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Brandi Hawthorne
Brandi Hawthorne
Brandi Hawthorne is a women's Christian Development & Lifestyle Coach. She blogs at Woman, Live! When she's not teaching women to love God & live their dreams, she's somewhere laughing loudly with friends & family.

For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night…will never stop. Gen. 8:22, MSG

When October rolls around every year, we expect cooler temperatures and our yards to become an array of orange and red.

When the leaves fall to the ground, turn brown and leave our trees bare, a child may look at that bare tree and think it’s dead, but experience tells us that the tree is alive and well. We don’t panic because we know that in a matter of months that tree will be full of beautiful green leaves and bloom once again.

So, why do we get bent out of shape as our lives experience ups and downs, full seasons and bare seasons. Don’t we understand that just as sure as there’s a valley, there will be a mountain? Or, better yet, there is a valley because there is a mountain.

Why Fret or Lose Hope?

God hasn’t forgotten about us (2 Cor. 1:3-5 MSG). In their song, Already There, Casting Crowns reminds us that God is remembering our future. Do you realize what that means?

God has already seen the end of our lives. He’s not upset about what today looks like because He’s seen the next 20 or so years. What seems like a setback to us, He knows is a planned setup. He’s already seen us come through the fire untouched. (Isaiah 43:2, MSG)

I’ve watched Christian teammates go through valleys (myself included) and I know that we don’t always do it with the best perspective.

Here are 3 reasons for you to go through your next trial with unstoppable faith and infectious positivity.

Great Gifts Require Great Responsibilities

To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48, MSG). I love to watch the raw footage of the Steve Harvey Show. Steve is always dropping Biblical gems. On a recent video, he said, “If you don’t want the requirement part then God’s gotta pull back on the giving part.”

We often want bigger houses without more cleaning and higher power bills. We want the joys of marriages, but scoff at submission. We want increased salaries but not increased tithe.

In a blog post, Mark Batterson calls these hypocrisies holy complications:

Sin will complicate your life in unholy ways. The blessings of God will complicate your life in holy ways. Part of counting the cost, when it comes to following Christ, is allowing God to complicate our lives in holy ways. Are you willing to allow God to complicate your life?

Are you able to handle the requirement or holy complication that comes with the abundant life you desire?

Peculiar Is the New Normal

When my grandmother died, I created a Facebook post with the lyrics of a song written just for her (she was a singer) and a congratulatory message.

It read:

“To a home on God’s celestial shore, in the middle of the air, I’ll live forever more.” Can’t you hear her singing it?

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)

Congratulations, Grandma.

Was I hurting? Of course. She raised me. Did I wish God would bring her back? Absolutely. But, I wanted to take on God’s perspective. My grandmother had completed her assignment in this alien country and had been called home. No more cancer. No more worrying. No more sin. That was something to celebrate and so whenever I’m feeling sad that she’s gone, I begin to celebrate her crossing the finish line and look forward to the day I, too, will return to God.

What Would an Ambassador Do?

Remaining calm when the world is angry, forgiving when the world holds a grudge, and speaking what we don’t see when the world wants us to gripe and moan about what is set before us isn’t popular. In fact, some people may not want to talk to you while you’re being all disgustingly positive. Where’s the fun in that?

The late Dr. Myles Munroe loved to preach on the Kingdom of Heaven. One of my favorite messages from him was about being an ambassador. He said:

An ambassador always speaks the position of his government.

So, instead of responding,

“Well, in my opinion…”

An ambassador always responds,

“The position of my country is that…,”                   

Your friends might look at you like you’ve got two heads when you celebrate what seems like misfortunes, but remember that God’s children see with spiritual eyes. If all things are truly working for our good, what is there to complain about?

Remember, we aren’t here to take on the opinion of the world. We’re here to be a light. We’re here to represent Jesus. We can’t represent Jesus if we’re agreeing with the world.

So, what’s the play call?

As Christians, we often do a better job of representing Earth than Heaven. We think like the world. We speak like the world. And, we act like the world.

It’s time we begin to think, speak, and act like Heaven. We represent the Kingdom of God.

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