There are many people we meet in our lives that have encouraged us, inspired us and shaped us. For me, it was a man who was a missionary in India for over 40 years. He heart, passion, and dedication for the people of India and for Jesus were unlike anything I had ever seen before. He was gentle, but yet had a strong relationship with Jesus and a deep conviction to love others. He was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things during his life. Pastor Warren was just one of many people I have met that I am humbled to have known and been around.
Many times in our lives we look at other people, how they live, how they love and we think, “They are living an extraordinary life!” We may even think, “Man, I couldn’t live like that.” Yet, I believe deep down, we all want to live an extraordinary life. A life that means something, a life that makes a difference in the world, a life that changes things. Yet, there is something in us that keeps us from pursuing a life like this.
But what if we were born to live the extraordinary life?
We sell God short in our lives by our own shortcomings. What I mean by that is not that we fail and we make mistakes and therefore, God can’t use us. The belief that God can’t use us because of our mistakes or past life is a lie from the evil one. Don’t believe it! God has used and is using very flawed people to do extraordinary things for the sake of His kingdom. What I mean is, whether consciously or unconsciously, we don’t believe that God will do amazing things in our lives. We think we aren’t worthy for God to use us in an amazing way. We don’t really believe that He will come through for us if we were to try to do something different or risky. Yet, we sing about how God is faithful and trustworthy, but have we ever stepped out to actually see if this is true?
“Great is thy faithfulness…”
“Call me out upon the waters…”
“I will trust in you…”
We sing it, but do we mean it? We feel it in our worship on Sunday morning, but do we carry it with us when we walk outside the church doors? I think we want it to be true. Our shortcoming is that we don’t give God a chance to do something amazing in and through our lives.
Comfort is the enemy of extraordinary. I love to be comfortable. I like the safe little bubble that I can live in day to day. I can pursue a life of comfort, a good and secure job, a house in the suburbs, go to church on Sundays, have my kids involved in the youth group and youth sports, etc. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this. But, “The American Dream” is the enemy of the extraordinary life God has called us to live. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” The question is what is first in our lives, comfort or seeking the Kingdom of God. We can live the extraordinary life while living in the suburbs, but the question is, what are we seeking first?
We were born for the extraordinary. When I read the words of Jesus, I see Him calling us into the life we were created to live. We were born for this! It is a life that is contrary to anything else in this world. It is contrary to every political system, political party, government, or kingdom.
- We were born to love our neighbor as He loved us, sacrificially. (John 13:34-35) Jesus did not put any parameters around who our neighbor was or wasn’t.
- We were born to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
- We were born to trust Him with our lives, not just a mental belief that we nod our head or raise our hand and say, yes I believe in you, but a radical, outpouring, overflowing, tangible, ridiculous love for others.
- We were born to live an extraordinary life.
What if the extraordinary life is supposed to be the ordinary life of a follower of Jesus? A life that when people look at His followers, they shake their head in amazement that we would risk our lives, love, and stand in solidarity with those on the underside of power. What if His followers actually believed that love never fails. This type of love is what will change the world.
Take a prayerful risk. You have one life, live an extraordinary life.
“Back before we learned the words to start a fight
Back before they told us that the haters were right
He spoke the truth, “let there be” and there was
Love is the language, love is your native tongue.
So sing it loud, get loud, get
Louder than the voices in the crowd, yeah
Even when they tried to drown you out, eh
Your lips, your lungs, your native tongue
So sing it out, get loud, get
Louder than the darkness and the doubts, eh
Louder than the curses and the shouts, yeah
Your lips, your lungs, your native tongue”
– Switchfoot Native Tongue