Sunday, January 30, 2011

One In A Million

I think secretly that’s the cry of every woman to be one in a million. We all just want to be noticed. Whether it’s by a man, through our careers, etc… whatever that thing is we are getting our affirmation from. We want to be different from the rest, the one who stands out above the crowd as extraordinary and exemplary.

Growing up my parents always told me an analogy. They would say: “In order to be unique you have to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd. You have to be set apart, which is a lonely road, so count the cost. As soon as you do that you will naturally rise above the mediocrity. However, remember that it is easier to be pulled off the ladder than it is for you to pull. someone up” This analogy always seemed to come to mind at moments in my life when I was fed up with being the ‘one in a million’. I was tired of being tired and frustrated with being different. It is difficult to hold onto hope for faith (evidence of things unseen) when the crowd around you is desperately dragging you down.

Perhaps this was the case with the Israelites. They left Egypt dancing in the streets, more than conquerors through their God who had made a way for them out of captivity, and somewhere between stepping out of their comfort zone and actually making it to the promise land they lost hope for faith. Oh how many times have I also done that. It is similar to their story of continual whining and complaining in the midst of the road to freedom and think to myself ‘what nincompoops!’ As a kid when I read the story I always wondered how God kept from shooting them all with lightning bolts (and I actually still do… good thing I’m not God!). I was challenged this past week to hold back my stone of judgment. To instead examine myself but better yet have God do it (because let’s face it, I can be slightly biased most of the time). “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” ~Psalms 139:23-24

We are on a journey too. We are on the path of everlasting life. We too, like the Israelites, have been set free from our captivity and are making it to our ‘promise land’: Heaven. The Israelites were doing great until it got a little uncomfortable and then they looked back. As Priscilla said in the teaching this past week: “Are we still hanging out in the old places?... Rid yourself of every sin and hindrance… You can not do what you’ve always done and expect different results.” For me, the ‘old places’ are as simple as mindsets. Friends are rather important also. Whoever is around you has the power to influence you. Make sure the closest people surrounding you are affecting you towards your goal.

Out of the two million Israelites who set out on the journey, only two overcame their old mindsets, didn’t let the people around them drag them down, and stepped into victory. That’s one in a million… and let’s be honest: that’s not very good odds. But before discouragement sets in, examine the amazing thing that sets us apart from the Israelites: Jesus Christ. He came and died for ME. He came and died for YOU. Just that one person was enough for us.

So hey, we’re already one in a million to Him. :) Through Him we can see this journey to its completion. “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by what its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live in overwhelming victory through Christ, who loved us.” ~Romans 8:12-13;37

This week I challenge you to get to the point where you’re ready for everything you’ve seen, been told, heard about, and/or believe in your heart. Go with God someplace quiet and examine yourself. Grab a journal and write down the things that need to be purged from your heart that could potentially hinder your journey. And remember: nothing is worth holding back.

Let’s begin our journey. Let’s be one in a million.