Most of you know that I love WonderWoman.
She’s my alter ego.
And when I think of myself spiritually, I pretty much see this:
But this last week, I was wondering (realizing?) that maybe I actually look this:
This week, while reading one of my devotionals, I read about a demonized man in Galilee. Brother was running amuck, naked and homeless, “living” among the tombs of Gerasenes. And the truth dawned on me: I would never seek this kind of person out. Oh, I’d talk about it and I’d encourage you to do it but I’m pretty sure I’d sit that one out.
Well, that’s a pisser. One minute I’m WonderWoman of the Faith and the next Wimpy McWimperson. Awesome. I was frustrated, sad, and repentant throughout the week but I still KNEW that I’d never be that brave like Jesus was—I’m all talk.
One of my favorite people spoke. Maggie Mraz is the pastor of the Bull City Vineyard (BCV) and I adore her. She is real, she loves Jesus and she loves people. As is God’s way, He had something for me: Maggie preached on the demonized man of Gerasenes and also talked about her journey planting a church in downtown Durham.
I encourage you to listen to her because it is damn good God stuff: Extreme Nature of the Power of God to Change the Life of a Person.
What I walked away with was this: God doesn’t want nor need me to be brave, He desires me to be obedient.
During her talk, Maggie asked how a white suburban housewife starts a black church in downtown Durham, North Carolina. She doesn’t. She didn’t seek that out—she heard the call to plant a church in Durham. That’s it. She obeyed and God decided who to bring.
Maggie describes her “friends” (what she affectionately calls those who attend BCV) as the addicted, the uneducated, the felon, the homeless, the poor, the broken and for the most part, black. In fact, one of her friends (Johnny) even said, “God must be doin’ somethin’ because, Pastor, you’re a white woman.” And Johnny’s right–that’s still a big deal in South where we live. (I think it’s a big deal regardless of where you live but anyway…)
And the key to her success isn’t a great church model or administration skills; it isn’t all the support she’s gotten because to be honest, she hasn’t gotten a ton. And it isn’t her bravery. She is simply obedient.
She prays. She listens. She obeys. And Jesus moves.
I need to stop wanting to be the ass-kicker of God and desire to be the obedient child of God because it is only in that place that I can truly achieve the Kingdom things I desire.
To do this, I will need to walk in obedience, not bravery. It is here that lives are changed by His presence (not mine); where others are loved well and deeply and right where they are (even if it makes me uncomfortable); where our enemy is defeated and cast out from His presence (because He is awesome, not because I am so tough and brave).
Right now my obedience comes from trusting but soon it will grow and I will obey because I have built the discipline to do so. But discipline takes time. So if anyone needs me, I will be at the place where it is found: His feet.