“That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. – John 3:29-30 (MSG)
Obscurity: The state of being pushed in the shadows, sidelined, no longer known or unknown.
Obscurity is not a celebrated quality in our notoriety-driven society. We are taught the value of wealth and fame from very young ages. Either directly or indirectly, we acquire values through music, social media, entertainment, literature, family, or our peers.
As young girls, we dream of being the Betty Grable of our generation, longed for, adored, and (quite literally) insured. From an early age, we are told, “You can be anything you want to be.” But, what we want to be is loved, desired, and even idolized.
Nevertheless, all our lives, Christ whispers to us, “Come”.
He lovingly offers us his hand. If we receive him, we face the reality that we can not be a god to others (or ourselves) and allow the Lord to be our God. The onset of accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior also mark the beginning of a tremendous inner struggle.
Although we have decided to accept Christ as our Savior, years have strengthened our resolve to be masters of our own lives and, sometimes, the master of others. We desire to submit ourselves to Christ, but many of us wrestle with God repeatedly in the process of surrender. If this is your story, you are not alone.
Like many of you, surrender never worked well for me before I came to Christ. My experience with surrendering my will was limited to other humans. However, humans are, at best, infinitely flawed. At worst, human relationships result in abandonment, abuse, neglect, and rejection.
So, based on my vast experience with human failure (most of it my own) and my limited experience with faithful, unfailing, unfaltering love, I, like many of you, found it difficult to trust God.
However, to trust God’s promises, we must first trust the Promise-maker.
I reasoned that if I could control my own life, I would at least have control of the narrative. At least I could know where I was headed. Nevertheless, that was a lie, too. Because to control the narrative, I had to control everything and everyone around me. Yet, I barely had control of myself.
Before we know God, trusting Him can leave us weary and apprehensive. It can be overwhelmingly frightening. So we struggle. Our fear leads us to move without God. Our need sends us back. If we are wise, we only do this a few times before we fall on our faces and offer everything we are to Him, for we have learned that we can trust Him, and He loves us.
Unfortunately, this process can take several setbacks for the incredibly stubborn like me.
So eventually, because He loves us, He allows us to experience the consequences of our pride and sin. Within the supernatural rhythm of wrestling, pulling, and then returning to Daddy again, we learn that He is faithful, trustworthy, forgiving, and perfect love. Then, as we become spiritually mature, we arrive at this truth: There is no life without Christ.As we become spiritually mature, we arrive at this truth: There is no life without Christ. Click To Tweet
Everything we have and are is because of Christ’s mercy and grace, so to be obscured for Christ’s sake is a gift.
Dear Sisters, I pray that His Spirit fills and flows through us so that we might be full of Him and that His power may be evident in and through our lives. Let’s yearn to be used to accomplish His will every day and in every way.
May we relate to John the Baptist, who said of Jesus, “That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.” John expressed joy at the thought that Jesus was being sought more while He was being sought less. He had accomplished His purpose and rejoiced at the gift of obscurity for a well-lived life.
Therefore, let’s pray that our eyes see as Christ and our tongue speak as Christ. May our feet go as Him, and our hands heal as His. May our ears hear as his, and our hearts love as his!
I pray that He would be known through our lives and that our natural, selfish, sinful selves would be no more. I delight in imagining our strong-willed and prideful selves becoming unknown so that we would be fully able to point to Christ, unhindered by selfish ambition.
Our natural women struggle with acceptance and validation. They may be paradoxically prideful and self-centered yet at the same time stricken with low-self value and a penchant for pleasing others. However, our spirit women are humbly amazed that Christ would desire to use a broken vessel such as ourselves.
If only the stubborn-hearted us, prone toward selfishness and sinful habits, would be sidelined. Then, like John the Baptist, we too will learn to submit our lives to Christ and rejoice at the gift of obscurity for a well-lived life.
For further study: 2 Corinthians 3:16-18; Romans 12:1-3; James 1, John 3:22-36
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