This is a follow-up to my previous blog.
With each passing day, I have felt more and more that I need to de-clutter my life. In my last blog entry, I began by saying:
The more I do for God, the happier I am.
During the last few days, I feel that God has been challenging me to narrow the focus of my online presence. I have my personal Facebook page, my GCM ministry page, another page solely for political postings, two Twitter accounts, etc. Each page or account has a specific purpose, and they rarely crossover with one another.
Two days ago, as plainly as possible, God asked me a question that wrecked my fragile balancing act. He didn’t mince words, and He didn’t let me slide by with a flimsy excuse. I put it all into a personal journal that I keep, and I want to share a part of that with you…
… I heard in my own spirit, “Why are you still keeping your personal Facebook page separate from the ministry I have given you?”
In my mind, I quickly formulated the argument that I had the two accounts connected and did occasionally share stuff from the ministry page onto my personal page. However, I knew that argument would not fly with God. He knows my deepest thoughts, and He wouldn’t have asked the question if it weren’t necessary…
… In answer to God’s question, I simply said, “I didn’t want to seem like I was pushing my faith on people.” Then He asked, “What is the purpose of Facebook for you?” I replied, “To connect with people and share my thoughts.” God said, “So, to show people who you are and what you think?” I answered, “Yes, exactly.” Then He pinned it down for me. “And who exactly ARE you?” He asked.
The inescapable truth rang loudly like a gong in my head. Who am I? Apart from Jesus, I am no one. But because of His grace, I am a child of God. I am His servant, and my purpose is to do His will. My reason for existence to be about my Heavenly Father’s business. And with that truth ringing in my head, I answered Him with a simple, “Ah, I get it now.”
… And I needn’t worry about people getting offended by my faith. Sharing who I am isn’t “pushing” it on anyone. That’s a trick of satan to keep us from witnessing. Fact is, the truth of the Gospel message is going to offend some people, and that’s not a bad thing. We have to get uncomfortable sometimes in order to decide to change. If my friends are heading in the wrong direction, my witness SHOULD make them uncomfortable. That’s often how the Holy Spirit initiates changes in a person’s heart.
Today, I felt another urging of the Holy Spirit. More clutter to get rid of? Yep. This time, it was a polite but firm conviction regarding an alternate identity I have used for years on Facebook for political posts. Now, while on the surface there may be nothing wrong with Christians having and sharing political beliefs, the point is that it had become a distraction for me.
What I felt God was saying to me was that, all too often, the sometimes heated debates I found myself getting into were running counter to the attitude I should have as a follower of Christ. Debating things is fine, but passionately proclaiming my political views tends to put me in an adversarial state of mind. It can get my blood pressure up. It even makes me turn into a self-righteous sounding pundit. But mainly, it just doesn’t do ANYTHING to edify the Kingdom.
While I won’t fault anyone for speaking out on important issues, politically or otherwise, the extent to which I was involved in this was ultimately self-defeating. And having all these different versions of “me” is exhausting. The Stace that my family sees, the one my friends see, the one my political followers see, the one my ministry followers see, etc. It can get confusing. And it’s not at all healthy for me.
There is ONE God, and there is ONE me. The me that EVERYONE should see has many layers, but he is just one guy. And that guy is a servant of Jesus Christ. Imperfect, yes. Still struggling with sins, yes. But forgiven, and eternally grateful to my Creator who loved me enough to send His Son to die for my sins.
There is only ONE Stace Massengill, and God has asked me to make that clear so that I can be a transparent witness for His Kingdom.
Has He made a similar request of you? Do you have a bunch of unnecessary clutter in your life? You might be surprised at how much we tend to weigh ourselves down with a lot of baggage that we simply don’t need. I urge you to talk with God and ask Him to point out the distractions in your life. Let Him show you the stuff you can do without and how liberating it can be to dump the excess weight.
We are supposed to be FREE from any bondage, yet we willingly take on the yoke of it. Get rid of the distractions today, my friends. Put aside anything that hinders you from the work of God.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…Hebrews 12:1 [NKJV]
Be free again. Be free in Christ.