“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15
As Christians we should all have a story to tell of how the Lord has worked in our lives amongst the every day coming and goings in this world. The way God presents us the stories we have to share with on another are wrought amongst the every day things we experience as we allow ourselves to be transformed by His power and within the broken and parched land we live in. Jesus was well aware of our need to be in this world but not of this world in order to be the greatest living testimonies of who He was and who He could still be in the lives of ordinary men and women. When we fail to live in and amongst the lost and forsaken in this world or when we try to shelter ourselves or our families from lessons that pain and sin have to teach us, it is then we lose out on a great amount of teaching that was meant to strengthen our walks and encourage our faith all the more as we see the day approaching when our Savior Jesus will return.
I was really struck today as I was reading through scripture just how true all of the things that Jesus does through the ordinary lives of believers to display His extraordinary qualities are. The great prophetic abilities of ordinary people when moved by the Holy Spirit become extraordinary displays of who God is because it is from those individuals where there was no self-determined or self-serving basis that comes the act of God becoming manifest in them – it was a sheer gift, which not only blessed the people around them in its profound nature, but also a gift to the messenger who unwittingly was part of the work of God.
To these awesome displays of God through the humble and willing lives of His servants, God desires to work and re-work the story of His unending grace. The stories we have been given are profound to those who are first-hand witnesses to the work of God, but all the more are these stories to the people who are continually blessed by the telling and re-telling of these works of God's mercy, grace, and power.
“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you...be[ing] careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.” 2 Peter 1:12-15
As I have been starting to read the book of Daniel this week, and have been reading all of the wonderful stories that God allowed Daniel to be part of and to be witness to, it struck me that the way God brought King Nebuchadnezzar to such a low point (the testimony he gives in Daniel 4), even in these low places, the people who don't do the will of God, their lives are still living testimonies of all God is and was and will forever be. It does not even matter how a person responds to the eminence of God in what God can produce from the stories He has told including them because in the end God will always be glorified through every story that is told on this earth – His beauty will prevail over all the earth no matter how each man, woman, or child chooses to respond to Him. Although I would add to that thought, it would be in our best interest to pursue having a life filled with stories that give glory to God through our obedience and not through our disobedience.
“I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:2-3
Are you finding yourself today wanting to be sheltered away from the world to control the types of testimonies that will be made out of your life? Is their fear in your heart about what living in the world but yet not of it may lead to for you or your family? Have you purposed to share the stories God has worked out in your life to show His glory, whether or not they make you look good in the end? These questions and many more should always be on our minds as we chose to go out into the world and be witnesses for our Lord and Savior since He has purposed for us to be living testimonies amongst the world we have been asked to live in and shine His light into. It is our trust and faith in Him that gives us the courage to be willing participants in the story He is unfolding.