Thursday, May 12, 2011

Influence Doesn't Need to Make a Personal Appearance

In the Jesus-following life what's important is that, through you, people meet Jesus. People need Jesus more than they need you. You can be free of the illusion of your indispensibility. This means it's OK for you to be out of the way, to be unseen. Great things can happen when the spotlight is off you. It's a matter of discernment. There is a ministry of presence and a ministry of absence. God can work in both if the spotlight stays pointed on him.

When life becomes a matter of making a name for myself the sickness has set in. Self-exaltation and Jesus-glorification do not mix. You can stay underground, behind the scenes, and make a difference. The difference you make for Jesus will be greater if your name gets out of the way. The less your name or my name or anyone's name is associated with Jesus the better things are and the stronger the Movement becomes.

The underground life is a threat to the dark kingdom. This is because the underground life, the subversive life, is able to get at the root of things. Roots grow underground. On the surface stuff "appears." "Root," in Latin, is radix. Our English word "radish" comes from this. So does the word "radical." A life that is "radical" lives subversively underground where the root of all things lies. The kingdom of darkness fears when Jesus-people start messing with the root system.

Jesus said: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29) The Kingdom of God is like a seed growing secretly. It's growth is secret because it is underground, out of sight. There is danger lurking underground. Be dangerous for Christ.

Live this life content to be unknown so that Jesus will be known. Don't water your own self so you can bloom before others. "Influence" doesn't need to make a personal appearance.