Since Thanksgiving, I have been baking several different kinds of cookie recipes. In this season, while the kitchen a mess, Hallmark movies playing as the backdrop to pans clanging, stacks of butter and eggs thawing to room temperature, I have been aware of something pressing in my spirit. Personally I am in a good place, but I know when God is speaking to me. I used baking as a quiet time to listen.
These feelings intensified this past weekend after attending an event where I was introduced as being attached to a certain celebrity. The next day I overheard someone mention that they had worked for so and so, you know… and named another celebrity. I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and came home to bake another two half recipes. All the while I was bothered, but stayed with the task at hand trusting that when I needed to have an answer, God would reveal.
Yesterday I was awakened at 4 a.m. and during my first cup of coffee, I felt inspired to pick up a devotional I had not picked up in over a decade. Its cover caught my attention in the bookshelf in my office. Instead of turning to the current day, I was drawn to turn back to three days earlier. In that devotional there was the key to the “quiet pressing of God’s sprit upon my heart.” It was the story of a lad who after becoming a believer, people around him began to exalt him and tell him that he was like John the Baptist. In the beginning he was able to let the “comments” roll off of his back like water on a duck. Unfortunately, in a short while he began to believe those comments about himself and began to outlandishly speak publically that he was John the Baptist. The police arrested him.
This devotional was written in the early 1900s’ and had a different purpose for sharing, but God used it to uncover what I was feeling in my own heart. We live in a world that builds up people in the body of Christ rather than talking up Jesus. We have lifted up human beings and applauded them for simply doing God’s work. We have lost sight that their anointing or ability comes from God. In many cases their personality has become bigger than Jesus! The people attached to them find their value by their association to them, rather than in how Jesus sees them! That is what I was feeling. I wanted the people I heard to know that they were valuable for who God created them to be not valued or honored because of their association with someone else.
When I was a little girl my daddy took me on an errand. He took me around about way to his office to a field of flowers and pulled the car over. I was a rebellious teen who deep inside was really a scared little girl who needed to know that she was valued and one of a kind. My daddy knew me well. He hopped out of the car and told me to follow him. Reluctantly I did. Enthusiastically he pointed to all the beautiful flowers in the field. He paused as if to take in the beauty. Then walked slowly over to one yellow flower in the field. It stood out. He looked at me and said, “Ritalynn you are this yellow flower. You stand out in a crowd. You are one of a kind. You have no need to compare yourself to anyone else. You are highly valued and favored by God. Yes, you have been blessed to know a lot of people but you are not important because of those you know. God made you with a purpose that is as significant as anyone else. You have worth and value because of Jesus, not people or your associations.”
In this season, are you trying to stand out by those you associate or do you know that you already stand out? You are valued, honored and loved by God. In His eyes, you are one of a kind and matter as much as anyone else. Today, see yourself as that yellow flower: important, valued, honored, loved and cherished with great purpose by God who loves you intently. The Creator of this world, the One who spoke the world into being associates Himself with you.
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. 4 Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 5 Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) 6 He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
7 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people — free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! 8 He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, 9 letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, 10 a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
11 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, 12 part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)