I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor in power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turn back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up, for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me; and when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – my banner will be clear.
Anonymous African Pastor from Zimbabwe
I started wondering – who am I in Christ? What does God expect of me and what do I expect of myself? As God would have it, this line of questioning continued in my mid-week small group when we looked at the Great Commandment, the Great Commission, and the Great Requirement.
The Great Commandment – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
The Great Commission – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
The Great Requirement – He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
We were asked to consider what God expects of us in light of these scripture passages. Again, I found myself asking, “Who am I and what is expected of me?” It seems that I’ve been asking these very same questions all of my life, but now it’s more important for me to answer, not only for myself, but for the world of people around me. It’s been uppermost in my mind and my meditations this week. While it’s by no means my final answer, I have come to an understanding that will let me put this line of questioning away for awhile.
As I have been challenged this week, so now I pass the challenge onto you – Who are you in Christ and what is expected of you?
About the pictures:
North Park (May 2010)