What Is That To You? Follow Me!

I was sitting in the Kansas City IHOP a couple of weeks ago and was finishing up my reading in the book of John and these words jumped off the pages. It was one of those moments when you just get stopped in your tracks and it’s all you can think about.

“What Is That To You? Follow Me!”

In the scripture, Peter was worried about what Jesus was going to do about the other disciple. Jesus pretty much told him to mind his own business and follow Him. How often are we so focused on what the “other” person is doing that we lose focus on what God wants to do or we lose sight of who we are because we are trying to be like someone or something else. Why is it we always want what someone else has? Or why do we think if we do what they do, we are going to have the same outcome?

There’s a quote that says, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” I agree with that but the person on the other end is the one receiving the benefits of that flattery. The person wanting or trying to be like someone else can lose sight of the personal call that God has for THEIR  own life because they are so busy trying to reap the benefit of others instead of reaping the benefits that God says He pours out daily for each of us. Psalms 68:19

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a great outcome of our plans and seeking what others have been done to be successful but did God call us to be a copycat of someone or something else or did he call us to be unique? He says in Psalms 139  We are fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s beneficial sometimes to use the ideas of others but when we start identifying with them rather than God, we miss something that God wanted us to do in us.

I used to always say, “When I grow up, I wanna be just like…………” You fill in the blank. The sad thing was I never could be just like so and so and would be so disappointed and feel like a failure when I didn’t even resemble that person. But what I didn’t realize is God wanted so much more for me and I was willing to settle for so much less.  When I die, the only thing I want people to say about me is, “That woman loved God so much and she was following hard after Him!…oh wait,,,,, ok and that,” She was crazy about Hallmark Christmas Movies! That could be my tagline. But seriously it can be a great compliment to be compared to someone who has done great things but shouldn’t we rather want to hear, “She looks more and more like her Father every day.”?

I always dreamed of being a great speaker that could effect change in people’s lives but now I have to ask myself can I be ok with only affecting the 5 possible readers of this blog? What if God wants me to take care of those 5 people? What is one of those 5 goes on to be a great speaker that actually effects change in people’s lives? What if we are so busy looking ahead that we miss what’s going on right in front of us? What if having our dreams realized means realizing the dreams of others first or heaven forbid our dreams are going to be accomplished by the dreams we plant in others? What if what we think is a little thing is actually a huge thing to God or vice versa?

I have this vision of God pulling this little girl by the hand as she keeps looking back and says, “But what about………… and what if…..but Daddy Ann is doing……God the Father is saying as He pulls her along.“What is that to you? Follow me?” And when she finally catches up and looks at what’s in front of her she says with this huge gigantic smile. “Ann who?”

 

Puffy Knowledge

I’m sure we all know those people who have incredible knowledge and speak right over our heads. Sometimes I just want to say, “Hey can you speak more in a language I understand!” It drives me crazy. I want to have this great convo with this person and I only understand three or four words per sentence. I think we need an app for understanding brainiacs or a book called Conversations for Dummies.

If the knowledge we possess isn’t building up others. It’s time to check our motives. Knowing more is an opportunity to love more. Knowing God well should always translate into loving others well. Lisa Bevere, Adamant

1 Corinthians 8:1 English Standard Version  ……..we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

In their defense, there are those who hang around with the same people who have that same level of knowledge, so that’s just their normal language and they forget to dummy down when they come around people who are normal like me. Ok, I just saw that look of surprise on your face. Don’t judge me……… especially if you think you’re normal.

But………………..then there are those who do it just for show so they can look like they are language gods. Those are the ones who make me crazy. Just saying.

But am I truly justified here in my thinking if I do the same thing with the superior knowledge I may have in a subject or with a gift God has given me? Do you? Do I make people look small so I can look big?

Our whole purpose in life is finding Jesus and when we find Him it’s to love and serve others. We love God so we can love people. Luke 10:27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” NLT

Everything we say or do should be motivated by our love for God, ourselves and others. We glorify God and build up the ones we love or He loves….and even the ones hard to love.

My hope and goal is to not lord it over someone that I know more or am better than them. When I share with someone my whole motivation is to point them to God and show His love. I share my knowledge or passion because I want to give them something that propels them forward in their walk or journey with the Lord…………….or it should be!

I teach a 4 step class on Sunday mornings at our church and one of my favorite classes is the Spiritual Gifts and Temperament Class. I had 6+ years of training in Temperament Theory and Therapy so I absolutely love sharing the things I know with my students. Seeing the moment that light bulb comes on in someone’s mind and they start relating and when you see that incredible joy on their face, well. that is what drives me to do what I do.

One of the spiritual gifts that God seems to have permanently given to me (we all know that the Spirit gives as He wills.) is the gift of encouragement. So everything I do I do through that gift. But without loving those people who walk through that door, and I do, my words could fall on deaf ears. My gift is not teaching but when I am motivated by love and I teach with encouragement, I look like a teacher.

My encouraging words to you today are: use the gifts and knowledge that God has given you to change your sphere of influence whether it’s in your home, workplace, church, family or neighborhood and let everything be motivated by love.