The title of this post is half from a book by Max Lucado, and half from a new initiative at Pinelake spanning the next two years. I won’t spend too much time on the latter half, you can check it out here (the video on the homepage makes me cry every time I see it, be warned!). But the former half, the book by Max Lucado is so so good. This is my first Lucado book, and it is just so real and personal. And each chapter ends with a prayer. Good stuff.
Right now I am really challenged, overwhelmed, and excited. All these emotions are very tiring, so I’ll probably be going to bed very soon. But I just wanted to share what God has laid on my heart about “outlive your life.”
First of all, if you know the radical experiment God has me doing, you know I’m reading through the Bible in a year. And today, as I’ve been pondering “outlive your life,” He just spoke to me that every single character in God’s Word has outlived their life. Years after they died, they are remembered. All of them, good, bad, and ugly. They have made a difference in the world. God has used them, not only in life, but also in death. Their impact lasted (and is still lasting) a lot longer than their earthly lives, because God called them. Today I read a bit in Isaiah 44 & 45.
45:2-3 says, “I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoard in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.”
Isaiah is talking about Cyrus (the Persian King that God used to bring His people back from Exile). And get this: this passage was written 100 years before Cyrus came on the scene! Crazy, huh? But that is how God works! His works through His people are not limited to the dates that will be carved on our grave, if we hear His voice and do not harden our hearts (see Hebrews 3:15 & Psalm 95:7-8).
I’ve been going through Esther 1 and 2 the past week with some friends and tonight we talked about Vashti and how she always gets a bad rap for disobeying the King. Yes, she did disobey Him, but she was following Persian law, which said that a woman did not have to show herself to strangers. And so, we talked about how maybe she expected to be honored or praised for obeying Persian law. Nope, quite the opposite actually. She was exiled. So, we went on to discuss how we often feel the same way. We expect to be praised and honored for doing good, when Jesus promised us the opposite! He said that we will be despised and rejected, just as He was.
So, right after we discussed this, I talked with my suitemate about a relative of hers that recently passed away. Her mom then told her that if it wasn’t for this woman, she would not have found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My suite-mate continued on to tell me about the funeral and how no one really knew the woman, because she was homebound. And I just thought about how this woman outlived her life but got no recognition. Jesus said, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. I asked my suite-mate, “Can you imagine the party going on in Heaven?” Because this woman made an eternal impact in lives. Even in lives she does not know, like mine. God used her life for a difference. She may not have received anything in return, but GOD got the glory and that should be our number one aim in outliving out lives…that God would be glorified in us and through us.
As John 3:30 reminds us:
“HE must increase, but I must decrease.”