Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Psalm 105:1 (NIV)
I did a thing.
For various reasons I withdrew from all social media platforms, which is career suicide for a writer these days. But I just did not feel comfortable in my place of vulnerability to be out there.
I had gotten comfortable with those around me, my circle of friends and my community. You know, my peeps.
But, after a writing opportunity came my way this week, one in which I talked about using my voice, I felt a nudge from the Lord saying it was time. Time to make Him known among the nations – because whether I like it or not, social media is in all nations, for people I do not know as well as those I do.
How am I to witness to His goodness if I only share it where I feel comfortable? How am I to testify to His daily strength in the suffering if I keep it close to my chest, so to speak?
I am not one to shy away from speaking, speaking up and teaching in front of others, but for some reason I hit a raw spot. A nerve. A place of vulnerability I was keeping closed. Yes, some family and friends knew this place, but I was keeping my voice at a whisper.
God asked me to walk in obedience and break the silence – my silence. Enough was enough. Use the voice He had given me and tell the nations what He has done.
What has He done?
He has shown me He is faithful
He has demonstrated His goodness over and over again
He has taught me one can be productive during suffering
He has shown me that while I may be in a valley, others are too
He has challenged me to get beyond self and go to where people are and it is possible to do this very thing through writing
He has shown me I am good enough as is
He has held me when I cry, have a fit and even when I fall apart
He has welcomed my questions, my silence and my raw emotions
He has pointed me to the Cross and His Son over and over again
This list is by no means complete, but God has shown me so much about Himself and myself too. Even I can see the growth in my own life. And even I can see how my wrong thinking and attitudes needed to be challenged and changed to reflect Truth rather than standards of the flesh.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
While on earth, Jesus constantly spoke of His Father. He did His Father’s will, testified to all about His Father and proclaimed the Good News. And His attitude was humble and obedient.
I cannot say the same about myself.
Jesus endured much. He was on the receiving end of pain, mocking, insults, rejection (even His own Father turned His face away in Jesus’s most darkest hour), betrayal. My life is just a splinter in comparison and yet I am to have this same humble and obedient attitude.
God calls each of us to be a witness – some may go to other nations, some may stay in their own neighborhoods. But the command is the same:
In your going, preach.
Yes, Mark 16:15 quotes Jesus saying, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
In looking at the context of this command and the verb tenses, the command and emphasis is on preaching, not on going. Jesus is commanding us to be about His Father’s business everywhere we go, telling others. We focus on the going, Jesus focuses on the telling.
Having served on a foreign mission field, I had embraced these passages. I loved them, but I had wrong thinking. Preaching the good news it not just for those who have left ‘home’, but for all of us. It is in our going, we are to tell others.
And what are we to tell? What He has done.
Do you have a story to tell of what He has done in your life? Are you keeping it close to your chest (as you would with an incredible Rummy hand) or are you laying it out there for all to see? Even in your raw state, are you willing to let others in to see your flawed, fractured life along with your failures? We all have them. But some of us are so busy covering them up with fig leaves, we forget to look up and out.
It is not easy to be vulnerable. Not easy at all. But, aren’t you attracted to the one who is not put together but is willing to let God work through the mess?
I am not talking about being attracted to the ones in open unrepentant sin (we are not to be drawn to that), but to ones who are seeking God and His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) – they have a testimony of God’s grace in their lives which will bolster ours.
Much like your testimony is for others.
Let us tell the nations what He has done. Let us preach in our going – in our every day lives.
People are hungry for hope. And we have it.
His name is Jesus.
Father God, You are worthy and I do shout to all the nations the marvelous works You have done - in my life, in history and through Jesus. Thank You for the precious GOOD NEWS. Give me the courage to share and to share boldly. May You be honored in my going and my telling. In the Name that is above all names - JESUS.