Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What is Great?

This was going to be a book. But I'm a slacker, and books take research and stuff... SO-- It's an essay. lol. :) There is a good chance, however, that I will expand on some of the points later on... In the meantime, hope you enjoy what's here.

Everyone is called to greatness-- EVERYONE. But most of us never attain it; some quit trying, some never start, and some just miss the mark. Regardless of the how, the why is the same: People miss out on becoming great because we have forgotten the meaning of greatness.

Greatness is not being world famous-- or even popular at home. It isn't being "stinking' rich." It doesn't have anything to do with your finances. It's not being "on top" or having it made or living on Easy Street. Being great doesn't require talent or material things... or anything that today's celebrities have over us "Average Joes."

Greatness is an attitude, a mindset. Something that can only start and be maintained from within. It begins in the absence of fame and fortune, and continues in spite of their presence. Greatness is realizing that it's more fulfilling to serve than to be served. It's always having the right thing to say-- or remaining silent if you don't. It's having joy in the absence of happiness. It's remaining upright when everything tries to bring you down. It's continuing forward when the unforeseen occurs.

Mark 10:43-45 sums it up pretty well. This is what Jesus had to say to His disciples about greatness:

"...Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

So I challenge you, now that you know you possess the necessary ingredients... Go be great!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Tell me, what do you have in your house?"

One day the wife of a man from the guild of prophets called out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man to whom he was in debt is on his way to collect by taking my two children as slaves."

Elisha said, "I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in your house?"

"Nothing," she said. "Well, I do have a little oil."

"Here's what you do," said Elisha. "Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls from all your neighbors. And not just a few—all you can get. Then come home and lock the door behind you, you and your sons. Pour oil into each container; when each is full, set it aside."

She did what he said. She locked the door behind her and her sons; as they brought the containers to her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to one of her sons, "Another jug, please."

He said, "That's it. There are no more jugs."

Then the oil stopped.

(2 Kings 4:1-6, MSG)

Over the past several weeks, I have really been struggling to walk in the direction of my calling. Through a series of less than pleasant events, I-- Well... I more or less got stripped of everything I thought I had going for me, everything that "qualified" me to do what I felt God was calling me towards. There He was, beckoning for me to come to Him. And here I stood, wanting so desperately to go. But how? I asked... I don't have the means... It's like trying to get across the ocean and not having a boat.

It was so little that at first she didn't even think to mention it. And I can just imagine the doubt in her voice when she did say it-- I have just a jar of oil, nothing of great consequence. But amazingly, when Elisha instructed her to take that one little measly jar and fill up a number of bigger containers she didn't gawk at him and tell him he was crazy, that was impossible. I would have. And admit it, so would you! How could ONE JAR fill up anything more than ONE OTHER JAR?!?!?!?! But she did as she was told, without question...

In my own story, I went from feeling stripped of everything, to knowing I had a little bit of... of something. I have a desire. To fulfill that calling, to run to Him, to serve His people... It's not much, but it's something. But I questioned, How am I supposed to make this amount to anything usable? And that's when God reminded me of the widow and the oil. And as I read, He said, She didn't make the oil amount to anything, did she? She just did what she could. She borrowed vessels, and she tilted her jar over them. I caused the oil to keep flowing. Then He drove it home, You tilt your jar; watch what pours out. And don't stop until there's not another vessel to pour into.

She didn't question the outcome, she just did the possible. She borrowed the vessels; she tilted her jar; she left the rest up to God.

So what do YOU have in YOUR house? What "little" thing is dwelling within you that you think can't amount to any more than it is?

It doesn't matter whether or not we think there will be a successful outcome. All He asks is that we do the possible part. It's up to Him to do the impossible.