Dare to be Different!
Look closely at the picture, do you see it?
No, not the dog.
Do you see the thing on the tree that is different from the others?
There is a set of 3 leaves on this tree that when you look at the overall tree, they escape your eye. But they are there, and they are different. Despite their brilliant green, you must adjust your eyes to see them. Once you find them, then your eye will go there every time.
What I find fascinating is that at first glance, or walk by, you do not even notice them even with their brilliant color. If I had not gone over to see the dog, I would have walked by unaware of the different leaves. Once my eye had found the brilliant leaves, my eye would not leave it and then they stuck out in the crowd.
I consider myself to be different, as we all are, I find I walk in the path not mostly taken. I am in the crowd but the odd man out. I will wait, watch and learn how to interact with whatever crowd I am with. If I was on that tree, I would be in the cluster of brilliant green leaves. I would blend in at first glance and then with more notice, I would stick out.
I am different because I try to walk as Jesus did. Jesus was always in tune with His Father, He said that He cannot do anything on His own.
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” John 5:19
This makes me different from the world, from many churches and even many people.; Are there others like me? Absolutely! I belong to an amazing family of believers.
As I sit at Mission Thrift Store week after week, I have a great many people thank me and tell me that it is unusual for a person to volunteer to sit and wait for people to come by for prayer. They find me unusual and different. There are others like me, but we are few in number, and different, much like the green leaves on the tree.
I am redoing a study that I did 20 or more years ago called "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. It changed my life and the way I view how God works. As I am re-reading it, I am amazed at how much I have forgotten.
For instance, one of the concepts is that we watch to see where God is already working, not invent things to do for Him. I have done this in the past - got a great idea and whoosh I was off and running to make it happen.
The Prayer Room was different. Instead of me thinking I had to start a Prayer Room, running with the idea and asking God to bless it; God took Brian and I to Georgia, USA to find a Prayer Room and then invited us to join Him in what He was already doing by starting one at home. It was never our idea, it was Gods! Because it is Gods idea, He works through me and the other volunteers, it is not us doing it, therefore it requires minimal effort on our part, we simply show up.
The way a lot of Christian people operate and I recognized that I had been doing it, is that we get an idea and it can be some amazingly great ideas, and we think we should, ought, need or have to do them. We try to get the resources, the people, the finances to get things going and we pray and ask God to Bless this marvelous idea we have.
But the way The Bible talks about how to go about working with God, it is that God invites us to join Him where He is already working. We adjust our lives to Him, instead of expecting God to adjust His plans to our ideas and our plans. I hope you noticed that difference.
God told Noah to build a boat, albeit a large one. God invited Noah to work with Him.
God told Moses he was going to rescue the Israelites in Egypt. God invited Moses to work with Him.
God told Jonah to go and preach to the Ninevites. God invited Jonah to work with Him.
God told Saul that He was changing his name to Paul and was going to use him as his instrument to reach the Gentiles with His message. God invited Paul to work with Him.
Jesus saw two fishermen at the beach and told them to come follow Him. Jesus invited them to work with Him.
We do not have to come up with a plan to help God out. He is already working all around us and our job is to watch and see where that is, and then join Him in the work He is already doing.
The other line I read this morning in Experiencing God really caused me to giggle. “If the idea that you get makes sense, it probably is not God.”
Seriously I have learned this the hard way, but the reasoning is right on. If God gave you an idea that was easy to do, He would not get the credit, because it would be humanly possible to do it. God shows up in the supernatural, the impossible.
Don’t believe this?
Noah and the Ark – it had not rained yet on the land so building a boat as huge as it was, seemed really senseless.
Moses was hiding out in a field tending sheep and God told him to go and rescue the Israelites, does it make sense to send a shepherd to lead a couple million people?
Jonah and the Ninevites, well the Ninevites were the enemies of his people. No one
wanted to save the Ninevites, including Jonah, it did not make sense.
Saul was going about murdering people following Jesus, and God was going to use him to save people? No way.
Two unschooled fishermen were who the Son of God picked to become disciples? How crazy was that?
God is not normal by human standards, never has been and His ideas and methods are not normal or sensible, so if you are looking around you to see where God is working, expect the unusual. But expect to find Him working all around you and then join Him where He is working, you will never be the same.
Will it look sensible? Probably not.
Will it look impossible? Most likely, because if it wasn't, it would not be a supernatural work of God.
But it will be the most exciting thing you have done in a long time. Dare to be different.