I was at a show recently that had several different artist that performed. Different genres and different styles showcased by several groups. For the most part, it was pretty cool.
At one point in the night something was said that definitely was one of those eeeerrrr (screeching record) moments. At least for me anyways. At the end of this groups performance the front man was giving his farewell speech and in a word of encouragement declared to all of us in the audience, “...be true to yourself and God will follow you.” My immediate reaction was to turn to the person next to me and ask, “umm...what’d he say? I think he’s got it backwards.” We just sorta laughed it off although I didn’t really think it was funny.
I couldn’t help but ask myself...is this really how the majority of people see life? That if we are true to ourselves, God will follow and condone our ambitions and actions. That Jesus will actually follow us. I guess this thought is based on the premise that we are being ‘true’ or ‘real‘ and that that’s enough. The problem with that is that there is no truth outside of Jesus Christ and we are the most real when we are imitating Him -- not trying to be a better version of ourselves.
It’s difficult to swallow, but the truth of the Gospel is that we must lose ourselves and follow Jesus.
I have to point out the very declaration of John the Baptist, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Anyone who desires to pull the Kingdom of God to Earth must have the same attitude. If we want to bring our own, finite empire to Earth, then we should just keep trying to be true to ourselves. We might even be successful, but we can’t expect it to have any eternal value. Which raises the question, if there is no eternal value on the other side of what we’re doing...what are we doing?
I find myself praying that I would be transparent so that God would be obvious. I don’t want to be true to myself. My biggest obstacle most of the time is my self. Of course I want to be who God created me to be, but not at the expense of the opportunity to display Christ to the world. The Bible teaches us that if you try to save your life, you lose it and if you lose your life, you save it. (Matt 10:39)
I’d like to tell that front man and maybe even encourage you to pull an Eminem and “lose yourself”. To have faith. To do what everyone else who God has used has done and that’s take up your cross and follow Jesus.
For God’s Renown!