Thursday, May 10, 2012

50 Days of Holy! Beyond Blending

We spend much of our lives trying to be someone else; trying to be like everyone else. We model ourselves after those we admire. We emulate those who are popular. We want to fit in. We strive for acceptance. Yet, God created us to be unique individuals. When we become totally His, He sets us apart from the crowd. He transforms us.
"You were all called to walk the same road, in the same direction...Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift (Ephesians 4:4,6-7 The Message)."
I am reflecting on the various chapters of my life this morning, each stage of attempts to step out, to be different, to be me. And being told that I needed to "fit in", to blend. My individuality created problems, jealousy, envy. I was expected to blend in order to be accepted. Being me was always either too good or not. good. enough. As a result, I became very self-conscious. My gifts were stifled. My wings were clipped. "Being me" was a constant stop-and-go battle.

Ever felt like that? I'm guessing you have.
"And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd... that's no life for you. You learned Christ!...everything--connected with that old way of life has to go... 
Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you (Ephesians 4:17-24TM)."
The real me, the true me, the free me is almost more than even I can handle! So unique and individual, this "God-woman" within. It makes me laugh to imagine what my Creator was thinking. What really humors me is when friends call me flamboyant! (My mind immediately defaults to a combo of Liberace and a wild pantsuit I made for myself in the seventh grade!)

But the most amazing thing is this: to have arrived at this place of embracing the  person God created me to be and being fully embraced by the body of Christ. The result:  freedom to thrive in the gifts and talents He has given me in the place that He has sent me!

Are you hearing this message? 
  • As individuals, we are to discover and excel in our spiritual gifts, embrace the person God intended us to be. We use our gifts to build up the body of Christ (the church) and share the love of Christ with the world.
  • As the body of Christ, it is our responsiblity to affirm and accept, encourage and empower, even celebrate the unique giftedness of each individual member of the church...
"until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ...who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love (Ephesians 4:13-16TM)."

 Ahh! What a beautiful vision of the church, Christ's body, fully developed in the Spirit, operating in our gifts, overflowing with love. This vision is coming alive in our women through Woven. It is a sight to behold: this love we have for one another! God is so glorified! And, we are so blessed!

My favorite Prayer (Ephesians 3:14-21)

"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!"


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