Ephesians 4:1 – Live a life worth of the calling you have received.
It is so easy to travel the common path. This path is trampled down by the continual traffic that moves across it. On this path you will find people doing whatever they desire without much regard for the consequences, or much concern for how their choices may affect others.
The real challenge comes when we are called to walk a different path. One not so common. One that does not have a broken trail. This path requires personal cost and deep levels of commitment. Yet, this is the road we as believers are called to journey. We are not called to the common life, but a life that is truly uncommon. We are called to a life that flies in opposition to the road of comfort and ease. The uncommon life requires doing this thing God’s way and not our own. It requires being men and women of grace & tenderness. The road we are on requires that we work, empowered by the Holy Spirit to blaze a trail, to lead others to follow this same road, as we point them to him. Are we ready for the cost of being uncommon?
As we move together into the next lesson on the Uncommon Life, I am personally taking inventory. This section is stirring my heart deeply. Throughout this lesson I see five postures of the life that is uncommon. These are five postures I long to live by and to be the foundations for which I walk this uncommon road.
1. The posture of forgiveness – Mark 11:24-25 – “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Is this a call to be uncommon? Can we grasp what is being offered to us if we are willing to take the higher road of forgiveness?
Susie Larson puts it so powerfully, “ Offered to us are the resources of heaven backed by the honor of God’s Word.”
The importance of forgiveness cannot be overlooked in our lives if we truly desire to be uncommon. Un-forgiveness poisons our souls and cuts us off from the very life source we need. When we stand on the side of un-forgiveness we stand against God. You may feel that is strong, but he felt strongly about it. He promised to us what we offer to others. That is pretty strong and powerful.
To be someone who does not forgive is to be someone who positions themselves as a judge over someone else’s life. It means that we have placed our hearts in a place of self righteousness, implying that we have a perfect record. We minimize our own offenses and sin, and maximize someone else’s.
In doing so, we devalue grace. We, by our actions are saying, grace for me and me only.
The uncommon life will not do this. Regardless, of what pain another has brought into your life, the person who chooses the uncommon life chooses to position their lives as a life that offers forgiveness.
I remember a number of years ago when I was wrestling with someone who had wounded me deeply. I felt like my heart was in tiny pieces. I was not sure I had it in me to offer forgiveness to them. I would drive by their house and each time I did something in me wanted to scream, “Repent.” As I was driving by one day, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Offer mercy and begin to pray for them.” I was ready to rebuke that thought, but when it came again, I knew instantly it was the Lord. I said, “Lord, why should I offer mercy?” He said, “Because, I offered it to you, and because you are planting seed in your life. What you plant you will harvest. Someday you will need mercy, will it be available to you when you need it?” I was broken and without any delay I repented of my own self righteousness and asked God to help me to always be a woman of mercy.
The position of forgiveness is uncommon but it is the road he chose, if we want to follow him, we must choose it as well.
“He won the war of un-forgiveness by forgiving us. We March on to victory and carry on His Kingdom work by being vessels of that same forgiveness.” Susie Larson
2. The posture of Receiving – Philippians 4:23 – Message – “ Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.”
We all have moments or circumstances that make us vunerable. When I am tired, I tend to have a broken filtering system over my mind and heart. If I get tired and then am given an extra measure of trouble at the same time, I will without a doubt find myself battling to push through. It is in those vunerable moments that the enemy will do everything he can to assault me. For each of us, those vunerable places may be different but you can be sure, we all have them. If we allow the enemy to begin to speak into our lives, we will shut our ear to truth and begin to believe the lie.
The uncommon life postures itself to be a receiver of truth even in vunerable moments. This I believe is a powerful point because it can shift how we respond and react to these trying moments.
We must recognize that God is a grace giver and he is daily pouring it out. Daily we must receive a fresh dose of it. Every time we fail to receive from him we will receive from another source because we were created to be vessel of impartation.
The uncommon life runs to him and receives from him regularly so that he is their supply and their source. We cannot underestimate the power of receiving, for it is out of that place that we can be givers.
3. The posture of Standing – 1 Peter 5:8-9 – NLT – “ Stay alert! Watch out for our great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”
“Whatever we allow into our hearts, we allow into our lives, which determines the path we take and the choices we make.” Susie Larson
We are called to be vigilant about our walk with him. We cannot play games with the enemy. We must be willing to fight to stand. This fight is to say no to fear, defeat, and the lies of the enemy. It is where we are doers of the Word and not just hearers. It requires of us to be not be self defenders but to stand in truth and let God battle for us. This life refuses to be pulled into the games that many want to play and to stand with God for his desires to be accomplished in the earth. No to compromise and yes to Jesus.
4. Posture of Bowing – 1 Peter 5:6 – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may life you up in due time.”
I love the analogy Susie uses in her book of the farmer who sowed good seed, but while he slept the enemy came and sowed bad seed. She mentions how the wheat and tares grow up together. The way to tell the difference between the wheat and tares as they grow up together is their response to the wind. When the wind blows the wheat bows. Apparently, the tares are rigid and unbending.
What happens in our lives when God breathes on us? When he exposes something to us that needs to change? Are we flexible in his hands? Do we bow like the wheat, like Jesus?
The life that bows is a life of humility.
The uncommon life continually grows in their understanding of their place before God. They stand strong against the lies of the enemy, but in the presence of God, their knees buckle.
As uncommon vessels we will give him permission to deal with our inconsistencies because we know we can trust his character. Bowing becomes the most natural thing when we trust the one who directs the wind.
5. The posture of Perseverance – Galatians 6:9 – Message – “So let’s not get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
Over and over again the Word reminds us that He rewards those who seek after him. He works for those who wait for him. He pours fresh life into those who are willing to persevere. We all have moments where we may grown tired and weary, but he tells us not to faint and lose heart. We have no idea how close we could be to the greatest breakthrough of our lives. We cannot let the enemy convince us to give up because it is too difficult. We cannot believe that the situations in our lives or families that seem hopeless are, because we could be just around the corner from seeing the miracle we have been waiting for. The uncommon life will not give up. They persevere, they hope in God, they hold on despite the circumstances and let him pour fresh vision and hope into their lives daily.
We hold on because we can be sure that the blessings truly do outweigh the challenges of the battle.