The One Sheep
We live in a day and age of instant gratification. We think of overnight “success” stories and in our humanness, we get wrapped up with “why not me”? Why isn’t God doing __________ in my life?
Do you think it’s peculiar to our information age? No, think again. Even David – rugged shepherd turned national hero in the span of… oh, not long – had his time in the books getting sharpened, getting developed for the challenges God had for him.
He fought the bear and the lion and he served King Saul with the harp, getting sharpened, being developed for the leadership role God was preparing him for all along.
How many re tweets do you think David would have had as a King? Piles. How about when he was a shepherd? Probably 0. See, we look at the outward appearance, but God? God looks at the heart. We obsess over 99,000 views on our newest video or getting a 35% conversion rate in our sales funnels.
The King we serve? Does He care about numbers? Here’s what we do know. He rejoices when the ONE sheep comes back home. That one sheep that wandered off from the other 99 – He’s even MORE joyous when it comes home. This is from Luke 15. The Scripture says that there is a celebration in Heaven over the one versus the 99 who are already squared away. Remember, Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy.
In our faith, we have guys and gals with large followings, making them in some sense, rock stars in the faith. I’m not a detractor by any means when I say Jefferson Bethke or Clayton Jennings have large followings. They have sold out to Jesus. And God is using them in ways the rest of us are too fearful to be used. Just like Paul or Peter.
What happened to the doubter Thomas? Did he just kick back after Jesus ascended? I bet in his humanness he saw what Peter and the gang were doing and thought to himself, what about me? And yet, when you look at Paul’s writings, you see this desire to always bless the church with grace and peace. He wanted us to “pray for all the saints.” He was more worried about everyone else, even to the detriment of his own welfare at times (shipwrecked, bitten by snakes, beaten, stoned, etc).
Look at Bethke and Jennings. What are they doing most of the time? Pointing people to the hope we have in Jesus. Are you? Am I?
We need to pray for their ministries. We need to pray for their families as they share the good news to a broken and lost generation that’s literally searching for destructive habits like porn rather a than life in Jesus, according to Google Trends. We need to lift up our prayer warriors and encourage them for being willing to stand in the gap, not tear them down. We’re to be united as one body. Some of us will shepherd 2 people and others 2 billion. To the guy who seems to have everything, remember, much is required.
So for the creators and the dreamers, don’t obsess over gaining 5 more little red notifications on your device. Create to serve others. Paint to bless others. Compose new music so that others would be inspired. Choreograph your dance for the Lord. Shoot your short film or plan your feature film as if serving the King and not men. Let your God-given talents bring glory to our Father; His validation is forever. Man’s validation is temporary at best. Still confused?
Follow Moving Works’ lead. This nonprofit film ministry out of Texas is producing stories of grace that don’t involve cute baby antics or crazy cat shenanigans. They’re real stories, and they’re gritty, and we desperately need more voices like theirs who are willing to share the hope we have in Jesus no matter how muddy our past is, no matter how destructive our present lives are. And you know what? It doesn’t matter if their quasi-feature-length documentary “The Foremost” only has 10,000 views on Vimeo.
They keep creating for the Kingdom because they’re sold out for the Gospel. They’re on a mission, and God will continue to use them in big, bold ways. Because what we can’t account for with all of our “sophisticated” metrics and Google Analytics is God.
We can’t limit His goodness or His reach or what He will do with us when we’re just willing to show up. Those 10,000 views could move an entire generation if God wills it. The Bible is full of stories where the underdogs and the outmatched moved MOUNTAINS with the King of Kings. Look at any of the guys and gals from the Old Testament – Esther and Gideon come to mind – or even the 12 disciples. The few can spark a movement.
Rejoice with our Father over the one sheep, and don’t get so caught up with numbers. Be bold – Hebrews says in chapter 4 we have to live the faith we profess, and we have to go boldly before the throne of grace.
What has God put on your heart? Be bold. Find a mentor, take baby steps, share your passion with anyone who will listen (make sure you listen too) and start being bold. By living the faith we profess, we will be tested. We will be discouraged. We will tire out. This is where God’s work in us goes on behind the scenes sometimes. We can’t see the big picture when we release a video or a movie and it only reaches 3% of our audience, but God does. Live the faith you profess. Part of that means you have to trust. Don’t put your trust in numbers. They’re temporary anyways. Put your trust where your hope is; He never quits.
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