Friday, October 26, 2007

Called Forward

I've recently felt a call to start stepping forward a bit more.

It's quite a daunting prospect.

However I believe God is challenging me not to hide behind the shelter of other people's ideas and beliefs... no matter how much I respect and value them.

I believe he's stirring me up to be at least a little bolder and assertive about my own walk. I'm not the same as the people who I stand behind, I'm no less right or wrong than any of my brothers and sisters. I am not dependent on their approval... and I should know this by now. I have to be prepared to stand next to my own God given assertions and be accountable for them. I have done it here... and I need to learn to do it in the physical world.

That means not clamming up if someone I respect disagrees with my viewpoint. It doesn't mean I should be arrogant and ignore them... it does mean that I show a bit of courage in my own convictions, and not just those of others.

For the most part, this is about standing side by side and shoulder to shoulder with others - but I can see that in some instances it might require me to take a lead and I have started to do this in the small ways.

We all have people we look up to, but we have to remember that they have their own flaws... and our walk of faith is not an exact facsimile of those people. We make our own clearly defined steps towards the Father through Jesus, by the power of the Spirit.

In Homer's Iliad, you have the tragic story of Patroclus. He was the close companion of Achilles... and when Achilles went into a self imposed sulk and refused to fight... Patroclus recognising the Greek's need for a morale boost, donned Achilles armour and led an assault on Troy. The Greeks were inspired and went with him... until he was overcome and slain by Hector.

In the Bible, the young shepherd boy David saw the Philistine strongman - Goliath, and recognised the need to to inspire the Israelites to victory by taking him out of the equation. Nobody else would fight... and so King Saul reluctantly let David accept Goliath's challenge. Saul tried to equip David in his best armour... to give him a chance - but David rejected the offer and chose to use his slingshot instead.... and with a solid blow to the forehead from a single stone, Goliath - Israel's bogeyman... fell.

I wanted to use those two stories to illustrate a point. Patroclus was NOT Achilles... he could not fight the same way as Achilles and his attempt to impersonate his hero led to failure. Similarly, David was not King Saul - not by a long shot (sorry... I had to lighten this up with a terrible pun). However, David recognised this... but instead of trying to fight the battle Saul's way, he trusted in the gifts and talents God had entrusted to him... and he overcame.

Or if you are a comic book reader, there is the character of Nightwing. Batman and the original Robin went their separate ways... and so Dick Grayson found his own path and became a hero in his own right.

Similarly, there comes a time when we have to roll with God in our own manner. There's only one man we need to emulate and that is Jesus... who by his Spirit is within us. So I'm going to be confident in my own walk... and not remain stepping gingerly in the shadows of those I have respected. This is what I am being encouraged to do by God (with a little help from a few of his faithful servants - and if you are reading these words and suspect you are one of them then... yes you are - and I think you know that).

It's funny because in many ways it feels like the door is swinging the other way. How I perceive the world around me, even arguably compared to other Christians... could often be described as tangential... and in the past I've seen this as a hindrance. The people over there say it won't work, so it probably won't - there's more of them. Yet now the boulders I seemed to be tripping over, look a lot more like pebbles.

You know I reckon God's even chucked a couple down there himself to see how I react... or more likely to teach me how differently I am reacting to things that might have incapacitated me in the past.

So I'm not content to walk the path of others... and I don't want to go my own way... I want to walk the path God has set before me with confidence.

I pray you too can be filled with this confidence.


  1. Your confidence and leadership is inspiring...thanks for stopping by.

  2. Anonymous8:02 pm

    Go for it mate. It's comfortable to 'stand should to shoulder/slightly behind' people we respect. Have confidence, God will be with you. Explain who Dick Grayson is? Robin

  3. Thanks Robin.

    DickGrayson is the alter ego of the original Robin (as in Batman and Robin).



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