Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Reminder from Gandalf

I just started reading The Hobbit last night. It's great of course. What was great was how God used it to remind me of something last night.

"That's right," said Gandalf. "Let's have no more argument. I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for all of you. If I say he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is, or will be when the time comes. There's a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself."

It reminds me of God's conversation with Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3), or of God's conversation with Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1). Moses wasn't a speaker. Jeremiah was too young. And God said, in essence, "you don't know what you're talking about. If I say your a deliverer or prophet, the a deliverer or prophet you are, or will be when the time comes. Theres more in you than you know - my power, my words, my very presence."

I reminds me of struggles I've had. God has called me a shepherd/pastor, and I doubt. He's called me an evangelist, and I doubt. He's called me to be a father and a husband, and I doubt. He calls me his child and I doubt. I argue with him. When I see myself, I can't see these things. But it is God who defines me, not me. I resist his vision for my life because I can't see those things in me, but it is there because he's put it there. His power, his truth, his Spirit.

I've spoken to many people who struggle with this - with allowing God to define them rather than the mirror or their parents or their failures or their past. At it's core, its a struggle of faith (I think all things are). I wonder if God frowns on us and sticks out his bushy eyebrows, wondering when we'll get it.

I don't know when I'll get it, but I'm more hopeful. The vision of what God has for me is burning in me - I long to be wholly submitted and free of inhibitions. I long to know deeply who I am in Christ and know it in my bones and soul, not just my head. I know the struggle will continue till I die, or Christ returns, but I feel like I'm coming out of a valley. I can't remember ever being so excited about my life in Christ (while at the same time so anxious about so many other things).

I can't wait to share the excitement.

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