Monday, June 04, 2012

I Wanna Be Great

Chains are OK
photo credit

Don't we all? Let's be honest. We all have the desire deep down inside to be great. Here's how God dealt with me on that one... 

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Cor. 2:14

This verse refers to the Roman triumph procession where the victorious general leads his soldiers and the captives that had been captured during wartime. I have to honestly say that every time I have read this verse before, I have seen myself as one of the soldiers marching behind God showing off my war trophies, listening to the applause, smelling the sweet incense, and shouting “Victory!”  You know, kind of like, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.”  

And no doubt, I am indeed a part of his triumphant troops. However, as I was studying this verse, I felt God saying to me, “Kelli, you may be one of my soldiers, yes. But you are also the captive. Just as Paul saw himself as a prisoner in Christ – the only way you can have true radical victory in your life is to make yourself a bondslave to Christ, a prisoner to Christ, His captive.”
This idea is also shared by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest. He says, 
“The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only – to be captives in the train of Christ’s triumphs. We are not in God’s showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing – the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ."
Ouch. How many times do I want God to put me in His “showroom”? Or how often do I want to get out my soldier’s uniform and my badges of honor and say to the world, “Look at me!”? And God says, 
“No, Kelli, remember you are the captive.” 
Thankfully, Christ has taken me as His prisoner. I am His captive, His bondslave. Oh, yes, I am able to march victoriously. But not because I have won any battles, or fought any wars on my own. Only because I have a victorious General who always marches in triumphal procession do I claim any victory.  

I know when I am a “captive to Christ,” God does His greatest work in me. When I am completely surrendered to Him and to His work in my life, He shows and shows out incredibly. When I was 23 years old, God gave me the awesome opportunity of ministering to college students. But I was 23! I felt so inadequate, so inexperienced, so not the person for the job. I stayed in that position of campus minister for three years and God blessed me and that ministry in a phenomenal way. I was totally “captive” to Him, totally depending on Him for my every move, my every word, my every opportunity. He was glorified! And I spread the sweet fragrance of Him as I went along.  

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.  2 Corinthians 3:5
You know why we cannot be adequate in ourselves. Because then pride would get in the way, and we could not glorify God. 
We would be glorifying ourselves – it’s in our sinful nature to want to be great and have others tell us we are great. 
God's glory is how God shows us who He is. To experience glory, we must realize that we are the captives graciously marching behind our Lord, our General and praise Him that He has given us the great responsibility of spreading the fragrance of the gospel. Because in our inadequacy and in our weakness as prisoners and captives, God shows us and the rest of the world how adequate and how strong He really is. 

What about you? Do you often think of yourself as a "soldier" or a "captive?" Share situations in which you have truly been “captive to Christ,” totally surrendered to Him, where He was able to do an awesome work through you. 


Maria said...

That was good, I however struggle with an opposite problem but a wrong way of perceiving things nonetheless. I tend to not feel like I'm worth being a times I struggle more with feelings of intense inadequatecy. Sin really gets me down. I need to look more at the victory part and understand that God loves me but hates the sin not the otherway around. He has already won the battle and I need to accept the fact that I will sin, but instead of beating myself up and feeling like a failure, I need to repent,stand firm and continue on in the promises He has given me! Thanks again for posting :-)

AmyAlves said...

Hi Kelli, :)
There is something truly miraculous found in God's Holy Spirit, that makes me the happiest to have my affirmation, and value found in Him. GOD CHANGES EVERYTHING! Thank YOU for sharing some of your heart with all of us today sister! ~ Be blessed, Amy

Christina said...

It's amazing what God does in and through our weakness. The weaker we are, the stronger He is. Any victory in my life is only because of Christ. Such a beautiful, grace filled post. Blessings!

Diane Bailey said...

For a season, God has pulled us out of organized religion. It feels like trying to swim without floaties. For me, this is full and total surrender to trust and know he will feed us in the wilderness.

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Thank you, Amy, for stopping by! I love that God chooses to show us our value as well as telling us!

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Maria, such a joy to see you here! I totally understand your view and have dealt with that side as well. The point is that our identity is in Christ and Christ alone. Without Him, we are nothing. But with Him, we can do anything!

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Yes! God is so great when we are so weak and desperate. What a hard but great place to be!

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Oh, Diane, I will pray for you. God has purpose in the wilderness!

Pamela said...

I was raised in extreme legalism. In learning how to follow Christ and at the same time respect my parents and heritage I sometimes find myself unsure where to land. I'm determined to follow Christ first of all! Excellent writing, my friend. It made me think.