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Posts Tagged ‘definition’

They had prepared their slings and arrows fashioned from their outrageous fortune and had used them with intentional force.  It was premeditated.  It was a set move.  It was nasty. Sometimes in life we feel like we are set up to fail, that no matter how much we stand up for what we believe, we end up sitting right back down.  There is a paradox in fighting for justice, what is right and true, and then, turning the other cheek, as Jesus did.

stickstone

Persecution takes many forms, usually its the subtle acts orchestrated by the enemy, often through people, places and events that are designed to throw you off track, get under your skin, and make you feel angry and then revengeful.  How we deal with these irritations is important.  Sometimes we need to speak up and sometimes silence is the best offensive weapon. How often though do we race ahead without acknowledging that the battle belongs to the Lord.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. ~Exodus 14:14

I have often been persecuted and insulted for my faith.  Mainly the subtle stuff – the blank looks, the whispers, people apologizing for swearing in front of me (what’s with that?) and the scattering of people when I walk in the room.  All this is good.  Really.  It means that people maybe just recognize something in me that looks a bit like Jesus.  This is what I’m aiming for and it helps me to know that I’m on the right track.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. ~ Matthew 5:11

What I do know is this.  We are blessed when we are persecuted – it means that we are on the right track.  We are blessed because we serve a very big God.  We are loved by God and that is all that matters.  Persecution does not define us – it just points to the road we are walking, the narrow road. Other people’s harsh words are really just sticks and stones. God’s word on us is final and defines us.

So what about you my friend?  Have you been persecuted lately?  Here’s a harder question. Are you someone who is persecuting someone else, but you would never admit to it? If you are, what will you do? Maybe sometime this week, here or somewhere share your story, it may just help someone recognize that they are blessed and that they are on the right road.  Perhaps you could pray for those who you know that are on this journey.

Definition

I am not defined
By what you think of me
My reputation matters not
As it flows out with the sea

The content of my character
Is chiselled by the sea
As the Master works his plan
And his purpose just for me

I am not defined
By what emotions capture me
This is just the way I feel
And not my reality

Your words hold no power
No judgement over me
I break the chains of bondage
As Jesus set me free

So say and think what you like
Your storm in your cup of tea
Your hollow judgement
Holds no verdict over me

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Gladiator is an epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe who portrays the fictional character, loyal Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when the emperor Marcus Aurelius’s ambitious son, Commodus, murders his father and seizes the throne. Maximus flees and hides his identity by becoming a slave and a gladiator.

Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor. Eventually, Maximus journeys back to Rome to confront his archrival.

Having arrived at the Colosseum, their team is put in a match that is meant to be a reenactment of the Battle of Carthage. Maximus and his teammates are on foot, armed with spears and shields, against a cohesive and well-equipped force of mounted fighters and archers on chariots. By means of Maximus’s leadership, however, the team is able to upset their opponents. Commodus comes down personally to congratulate Maximus on his victory. Maximus prepares to kill Commodus, but at the last moment decides against it.

At this point, Maximus removes his helmet and reveals himself to Commodus. Maximus promises to exact vengeance against Commodus, who is still in shock to learn that Maximus is still alive. While Commodus yearns to kill Maximus on the spot, he cannot; doing so would cause the watching crowd to develop distaste for his leadership, since the crowd loves Maximus.

This is a powerful moment in the movie and like all movies there is a story here that is far too familiar and meaningful. Once Maximus reveals his identity, and who and what defines him, the fear on Commodus’s face is palpable. This is exactly what happens when we know our identity, and when we let God define us – then the accuser has no more arrows, and has to flee. Here’s the moment:

 

We have a gladiator, someone who fights for us, our own Champion of Heaven. It is only when we let God define us and name us that we really find out who we are, why we are here and can begin to dare greatly in the arena. God calls us to this place, the question is though – will we follow?

May you this week come to know more clearly the Champion of Heaven. Ask God your real name, ask Him what he thinks of you and then listen for His voice, not yours, not others – just His. May this moment define you.

Champion of Heaven

I have heard you calling my nameimage
Through the rolling thunder and the rain
For you I live, to the end of my days
Champion of Heaven
You call my name

I have felt you beating my heart
You breathe my life into your art
For you I praise, day after day
Champion of Heaven
You move in me

I have seen you in my dreams
Flowing colours in braided streams
For you I pray, night after day
Champion of Heaven
You build my dreams

I have held your hand in mine
We will never run out of time
For you are here, year after year
Champion of Heaven
You walk with me

I have tasted, I have seen
Of your glory where you’ve been
For you are for me, not against me
Champion of Heaven
You make the way

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