Saturday, March 4, 2017

Faith Followers

We cannot live the same kind of life as everybody else if we want the anointing of God on our lives.-Chris Hodges
I have always been somewhat of a loner, but lately that’s turned to loneliness. Maybe my actions are partly to blame, but maybe God is opening my eyes to the broken and lonely people out there.
We chase a lot of things in this world. Deep down I think people are more afraid of being alone and feeling unloved than living a life that doesn’t cultivate authentic faith. But sometimes choosing God means we walk alone in society.
I know what you’re thinking. But when you are willing to give up yourself and step out against the crowd—you fully understand the price Jesus paid.
I spoke to a youth group recently and I was burdened with this idea of feeling alone and being different. Let’s be honest, in today’s culture, loving Jesus is not exactly cool. Kids walk schools and universities wanting the freedom to be their own god. People we work with don’t want us telling them how to live their life. Society buys into money, fame and status and social media and feeling good about themselves because they can post it for all to see. People go out and do whatever makes them feel good. Nobody wants to be a kill joy or feel exiled and different. And deep down it feels like you are the only one that ever feels this way.
It’s can be a lonely road when you decide to live radically. Most people don’t. It’s too high a price to pay.
I struggle myself, but I want more. Don’t you?
Here’s the big reveal—God doesn’t call it being alone. He calls it being set apart. Consecrated. Holy.
John the Baptist lived alone in the desert for years, but was a prophet of God and made the way for the Savior of the world.
Moses was abandoned as a baby, raised by people that were extremely different and fled after killing a man, but God found him alone in the wilderness and used Him to free His people.
Esther was the wrong nationality, different than all the other girls in the kingdom, but God used her to capture the King’s heart and save her people.
David was the youngest of many brothers but God saw beyond the outer appearance and into his heart and allowed him to not only reign but be a direct descendent to the Messiah.
See a pattern? And like them, God is calling out the leader in you. We cannot live the same kind of life as everybody else if we want the anointing of God on our lives (Chris Hodges). We have to be different. We have to live set a part. Our being different than the world, might just lead to a divine calling.
Sometimes we must choose to not be a part of things. To carry a distinction on our lives we have to say “no” sometimes. Even when it is hard. Even when it is unpopular. God doesn’t want us to not enjoy the things of life, but rather to enjoy abundant life.
Simply put you cannot do the thing God has called you to do with the secular in your head and in your heart. And if that means you are single, a loner or don’t fit in—maybe that’s okay. In fact, maybe it’s the people who go after more in life, that are different and not held down by a standard of fitting in, who end up doing great things. My pastor always says, “Don’t let the world change you; go out and change the world” (Chris Hodges).
Recognize the difference between the patterns of this world and the Voice of God. He is calling you to be great. To be set apart. To live above the reproach. And I don’t know about you, but I want to follow the footsteps of the greats. I want my name added to that list of faith followers in Hebrews. Don’t be like everybody else. There are too many of those. Set your aim high and separate yourself.
And you’re never really alone. The Greatest Name of All is with you always.
-Only Hope—Be different!

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