There is Wisdom in Not Being Normal!
There is Wisdom in Not Being Normal!
“Whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:6-7).
Greetings on this beautiful Monday morning. I hope you are doing well. Who would believe that we have already made it this far into the year, and today, we start another month? Wow, time flies by so fast. We need to continue the race and the journey we each have in life.
How are you doing and how is life treating you? Are you okay? Or are you having difficulty keeping a positive focus? My encouragement to you is to stay the course. Do not give up. Yes, the enemy tries each day to knock you down and kick you around. But, you must just get right back up and knock him out. You may say within yourself that statement is easier said than done. Just remember what I have been imparting to you each week. YOU have power as a citizen of the kingdom. You can overcome. So stay the course!
Thursday, the 4th of July, is our celebration to remind us of the birth of our nation. We have freedom and can enjoy life because of those who came before us who wanted us to be able to appreciate and worship our Creator. We should never forget the sacrifices made to establish this great United States of America. Thank God for those who gave their lives so that we can be free.
I presented to you the setting up of a VCR as an activity that really describes the lives of most of us. There are many who are living the same four functions as a VCR. Please do not get upset - just think about it for just a moment.
The four functions on a VCR are: Play, Stop, Pause, and Rewind. People go to jobs they hate, stop to rest in homes they despise, pause long enough to vent their frustrations, and then play the games people play pretending to be happy. Oh what a tragedy! They never experience the joy of performing other functions available, such as developing and refining their skills, fulfilling long-range plans, expanding their knowledge base, increasing their exposure through travel, and exploring the limits of their gifts, talents, and abilities.
What is the outcome of just performing the same four functions as the VCR? The outcome is the fate experienced by millions. It means that you have resigned yourself to a normal life, with normal activities, in the company of normal people, striving for normal goals, at a normal pace, with normal motivations, with a normal education, that have been taught by normal teachers, who give normal grades, and living in normal homes, with normal families, leaving a normal inheritance, for their normal children, who bury them in normal graves. Oh, what a normal tragedy!
Do you know something? I am convinced that our Creator never intended for us to be normal and get lost in the crowd of what I call “the norm.” Evidence to prove that God never intended us to be lost in a crowd is the fact that even among seven billion people, no two individuals are alike. Our fingerprints, genetic code, and chromosome combinations are all distinct and unique.
Although God created all people to be originals, we often continue to try to become copies of others. All too often, we are so preoccupied with trying to fit in, that we never stand out like we are supposed to. My friends, you were designed to be distinctive, special, irreplaceable, and unique. Refuse to be “normal”! Go beyond average! Be like the Star Trek tag line where Captain Kirk says, “Go where no man has gone before!”
Please hear what I am saying today. I wrote this to challenge the “normal” person who wishes to exceed the norm. It is also for the “ordinary” individuals who are determined to be “extra-ordinary.” It is for individuals who are just like you who know that somewhere deep inside, there is still so much you have not released - so much yet to do, so much left to expose, and so much to maximize.
Do not strive to be accepted; strive to be yourself. Shun the minimum, pursue the maximum. Utilize all your capacity to maximize yourself. Will you do that? You should use yourself up for the glory of your Creator. You should always live life with all your might. Give it all you have. I admonish you to die “empty.” Live life until there is nothing left to do because you have become all you were created by God to be, done all you were designed to do, and given all you were sent to give. Die having fulfilled all that you were created to do.
Are you getting what I am saying? Don’t be satisfied with anything less than your best! At the end of your journey, be able to say that you have done the best with what God has given you to do. The encouragement for this week has been written to provoke you into righteousness in a Godly way!
Principle #6 of vision says that we must understand the process of our vision.
You see, God has a plan for each of our lives, yet He brings those plans to pass in a gradual way. In life, I am learning that God tells us where we are going with our visions, but He rarely tells us exactly how He will take us there. He gives us purpose but doesn’t explain the full process.
In Proverbs 16:9, it says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Please notice the word “steps.” It doesn’t say God would direct our leaps, but rather our steps. There is not a hurried way to get to God’s vision. He leads us step-by-step, day-by-day. Through our tribulations, trials, and character-building opportunities, He moves us toward our dreams.
So why does God lead us in this way? Not only does God want us to win, but He wants us to win with style. It is God’s desire to fashion people with character and battle scars who can say, “God did not just hand me this vision. I have qualified for it.” You see, sometimes we become impatient with God’s process. We can see our destination, but we want to arrive there tomorrow.
God has a route that will have us accomplish the vision He has given us. This route may seem to take us down a long path. That long path is not designed to keep us from our destinations; it is designed to prepare us for the destination. You know, at the time we receive our visions, we are not yet ready for them. We do not yet have the ability to handle the big things that we are dreaming about.
Experience and character are necessary to be able to handle the vision. God wants to prepare us to receive and work in our visions. Therefore, we must learn to train for what God has already told us is coming. We don’t need to worry about whether or not it is going to come. If He has promised that it is coming, then BELIEVE that it is coming.
Stay the course.
Stay in the seat where God has placed you. Put on your seat belt, and hang on until He brings the vision to pass. You must wait on Him! Do not try to unfasten your seat-belt. If you do, you might end up drifting and gasping for air.
In the process, we talk to God, saying things like: “Why do I need to go this way? I do not want to go this route; this route is taking too long.” Then He answers. “The route I have chosen is going to do two things: It is going to develop your character, and it is going to produce responsibility.”
Now, if God were to show us the route He is taking us, we might say, “Oh that’s okay, God. You can keep Your vision. I will stay right where I am.”
As an example, let’s explore the life of Joseph. You know, when he was only seventeen years old, he had a dream from God in which his father, mother, and brothers were kneeling down before him (Genesis 37:9-10). Now Joseph thought to himself, “Oh yes! I really like this dream.”
Joseph saw himself on a throne with a whole kingdom at his feet. In his mind, he was King Joseph. God had given him the ‘what’, but He did not tell him ‘how’ He was going to get there. Now suppose God said, “Hey Joseph, you’re going to become a great ruler, and here is what I have planned to get you there. Now first, your brothers are going to tear your favorite clothes right off your back. Then secondly, they are going to throw you into a pit. And thirdly, they are going to sell you as a slave. Fourthly, your master’s wife is going to lie about you, accusing you of rape. Fifthly, your master is going to have you put in jail, where you will be forgotten for a long time. But eventually, you will be king.”
Now if God had told Joseph the process to the throne, Joseph probably would have replied, “I tell you what. I will just stay here as a shepherd. I am very happy where I am.”
There are some of you right now who are in the midst of the vision process and wondering, “So where is the vision that God has promised me? Where are all those big dreams He showed me five years ago? Even the business that I was working for is closed down. I have lost my job and now my house. What is this? What is happening and what I am experiencing do not look anything like the vision He showed me.”
The sad part is, you are beginning to wonder if there is a God in heaven. Let me tell you that even Joseph probably felt the same way during his ordeals. He found himself sitting in a pit when, just a few days earlier, he had seen himself on a throne. He was probably thinking, “Come on now, where is the God who showed me that dream?”
I believe God’s reply to Joseph was something like this: “Well, I am with you in the pit, and I am working on your character because you can’t rule well without it.” Now, suppose Joseph hadn’t learned how to have self-control through all his hardships (e.g. when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he might have given in to the temptation)?
During the process of vision, Joseph had to learn discipline and reliance on God. He had to develop character to be trusted in the position he was going to be placed in. My friends, God’s way of getting us where we need to go is often different from what we expect.
Do you really believe that God sees and knows everything? If you do, then you have to trust that your hardships are part of His perfect plan for you and your life. If you lost your job this morning, your first question may be, “Then, how am I going to pay the mortgage?”
God’s reply to you may be, “Do you believe that I know you? I am working on your character. So let me take care of your mortgage.” And the process of vision begins.
I pray you see the real meaning of this word of encouragement. Look at this word through eyes of knowledge and wisdom. Take a deep breath and ask, “God, are You in this for my good? What is it that You are doing that I do not know yet? Holy Spirit, where are we going today and right at this moment?”
Go with God and let Him lead you in the direction you are supposed to go. Have a good and a blessed week!
Prayer: Father, to have You as my Father is so awesome. I feel the breeze of Your presence while driving this morning. I see the beauty of Your creation all around me. David said it just right: ‘This is the day that You have made, and I will always rejoice and be glad in it.’ I am so amazed at what You are doing in my life. When I thought I knew something, then You showed me something else beyond my imagination. Today, I will not be resigned to living a normal life. You, oh God, my Creator, never intended me to be normal. I am an original! You designed me to be distinctive, special, irreplaceable, and unique. That is why I will not be satisfied with anything less than the best. Hallelujah! Thank You for telling me that through revelation knowledge. Now, as I see my vision, I will not worry because You have already stirred up people that are going to help me. There are also people who want to hinder me. Nevertheless, You and I are in this together. I have learned to trust You for the rest of my life. Help me to sustain and tarry in what You have already provided me. I wait for the good that is going to come out of it. Thank You for reminding me that patience is the key.
My prayer for you: I pray for Your people. Be with them and give them favor. Bless them when they come and when they go. I pray this in Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen!
Thought: It is the opposition that proves that I am doing something significant with my life!
Living Large to Dream