It’s a good thing for people to get to know us and come into contact with our love for God. Scripture encourages us to “let our light shine” and “hide it under a bushel, NO!” and all that. (I know, the bushel-hiding is a song, not scripture, but you get the idea). Those are good things. Whether someone meets us for the first time or if they see us every day, it can be encouraging for someone else to see and experience our sincere heart for the Lord.
However, it is a much more enduring and powerful experience when someone comes into direct contact with God’s love for THEM, as opposed to just how in love we are with God, or how beautifully we sing to Him in anguish to the latest cutting edge worship CD. God’s primary goal is for them to walk away with HIM stirring in their heart, rather than coming into contact with just our personality, walking away being more impressed with our relationship with God than His relationship to them. Trust me on this, their shiny, happy, enamored thoughts of us and our dynamic faith will quickly be replaced with skepticism and suspicion the next time we fail. And we will definitely fail. People are fickle. Either we will fail to meet their expectations or they will just decide they don’t like the way we dress or what music we listen to. Or that we shouldn’t have tattoos or drink wine before 6pm or don’t raise our children right or just flat don’t like us for reasons we can’t explain. So in that sense, our personality and fervor for God really isn’t what we want people to come in contact with. Mere personality isn’t what we want to lead with. At the least it isn’t what we want them to walk away with. We want people to come in contact with God’s shiny happy thoughts about THEM. Because ALL of God’s thoughts toward His children are good. All of them. Always.
How many times after meeting or hearing someone talk, have you thought something like the following…?
“that brother/sister/guy/woman/pastor/preacher/dude really loves the Lord. I want to be like that”
There is certainly not anything wrong with having a dynamic personality and talking about your own faith and how you go about this “God life.”. But when people meet you or hear you talk about God and as a result they come away more impressed with you and your faith than impressed with Who you belong to, then they have only encountered your personality, not God. And in God’s kingdom economy, no matter how professionally you package and market it, your personality and .50 cents won’t even buy that person a cup of coffee. People need to encounter and experience the power of God’s heart. How does God think about them? How does He feel about them? Do you have the ability within your personality to get in touch with that when you meet someone? No. No you don’t. But God in you does. He thinks they are amazing and beautiful and they are radically loved, accepted, drawn in close, and adored. Everyone needs to know that. But if we are so preoccupied with being a “strong christian” or having “strong faith” or thinking that our cool-factor is going to win this coffee house crowd to Jesus, boy have we missed the boat entirely. People don’t need our cool. People need the power of God. The mind of God. The heart of God, telling them His specific thoughts about them specifically. This is called prophecy. Don’t be scared by that word. It’s a gift. It means God’s heart for that person, now, and in the future. And your personality can be anything from reclusive, to outgoing, to scared out of your wits to even talk to someone. God loves to tell other people how He feels about them through you. It’s FUN for Him. And if you’ve ever experienced that beautiful mixture of being a jacked up, sinful, yet Holy conduit of God’s heart towards someone, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But you cannot deliver what isn’t in your semi-truck. You know what I mean? If you don’t own it, you can’t give it. You can’t dole out what you don’t possess. If you don’t know and accept God’s acceptance of you, you will be forced to take the option of approaching others through your personality, leaving them with nothing but either ego-building approval or heart breaking denial. But if you DO know how God feels about you, thinks about you, loves you, pursues you, takes care of you, (insert thousands and thousands of beautiful attributes of God towards you here), then you can ask Him how He feels about that person, and you can deliver it. It might be a simple word….”God really likes you. He sees more in you than you ever give yourself credit for.” It might be strikingly complex and detailed and freak you and that person out completely in a good way. The bottom line is, God’s heart of compassion and desire for intimacy with that person is more important than how cool your acceptable Christian T-shirt is (that is just a rip-off of the Coca Cola logo).
So let me be a part of God’s communication to you. He is passionately in love with you. He thinks you’re amazing. He has put you in the identity of His Son, and that means all of heaven is constantly and consistently happy with you. He is exuberantly pleased with you at all times. He is EXCITED about you. He purposely orchestrates your life for your good. He’s interested in all of your thoughts (and He’s not scared of your bad ones). He likes it when you talk to Him and smiles at your life in pleasure even when you don’t. He is love. You are His. And He is yours.