Read His Words Before Ours!
It’s Wednesday night, and as I’m pondering this Journey Study, scenes from the movie Mean Girls play in my mind. For any of you who haven’t seen it, the plot centers on a female transfer student who grew up in remote Africa with her parents and now is trying to navigate the strange cultures within the friend groups found in her new high school. One key group, stereotypically dubbed “the Plastics” due to their emphasis on perfect appearance and desire to be superior to everyone, impacts her world as she conforms to their image to be included. They have rather, um, unique rules for their group. For instance, on Wednesdays they wear pink.
Today being Wednesday is one reason the movie is on my mind tonight, but the far more serious reason resides in the truth depicted within the movie. The main character discovered that finding her identity in her new surroundings would require intentional choices regarding her circle of friends.
A famous quote from the movie is shared when one of the characters asks if “anyone has been personally victimized by (insert name of character I will not share to avoid any spoilers).” In a scene dripping with teenage angst, hands around the room fill the air. As I pictured that, I imagined other scenarios in which that question could be asked in my life and I could raise my hand as having been personally victimized. Names of people that could fill that blank went through my mind. Then I considered times my name could fill that blank and others could raise their hands. (If any of you are reading this, please forgive me.)
Then God’s name came to mind to fill in the blank.
I realized I could not raise my hand.
I could recall times where my expectations of what God should do did not match reality or moments when my flesh angrily protested at the outcome, but I can honestly say I have never been victimized by the Lord. The more I pondered that realization the more something shifted inside my heart.
I have never been victimized by the Lord.
Yet I will make choices to please the people around me to the detriment of my relationship with Him. Just as the main character in Mean Girls made choices to align herself with the Plastics, I know I have chosen others over Jesus.
Sometimes it was to avoid standing out or to keep conflict from ruining a friendship. Regardless of the reason, I found myself seeing a line in the sand and stepping to the side that provided safety in the moment.
However, did it really provide lasting safety or peace?
This question resounds in my mind, especially after my hand raising realization from the Mean Girls movie.
The Lord has never caused me harm,
so why do I second guess following His leading?
In Acts 5 a few disciples have been imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. An angel of the Lord sets them free, telling them to return to doing exactly what got them put into jail in the first place. They obeyed and quickly found themselves, again, before the church leaders who originally ordered their imprisonment. These disciples boldly aligned themselves with the Lord and experienced the provision of the Lord, choosing faith in Jesus over fear of people, and were eventually set free.
In the process of being detained the second time, Scripture notes the disciples were taken to the church leaders unharmed for fear that the people listening to the disciples would turn on those hindering their speaking.
Fear of man is a powerful force regardless
of a person’s station, authority, or any other aspect of life.
Fear of man is a very human reality; one we need not fall into!
So, tonight I acknowledge my humanity and admit I want to be braver and bolder.
I long to be like the disciples who confidently obey the Lord,
regardless of pressures around me.
I want to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who walked into the fire
trusting His goodness.
I want to run the race He has for me,
because He is for me.
And I recognize that in order to do this, I must cling to the truth I discovered in my Wednesday night ponderings. The Lord has never let me down and He will not start now.
I will never be able to raise my hand saying I am a victim of the hand of God.
Instead I choose to hide in the shadow of His wings and live for His glory.
And, sometimes, on Wednesdays, I’ll wear pink just for the fun of it. J
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!