Monday, October 22, 2018

What Else Do You Need?

At times it seems the realm of entertainment is devoid of anything vaguely resembling solid, biblical – or even traditional – values. It’s almost as if someone in charge of LaLa Land told everyone, “Whatever the Bible says to do, we need to do the opposite.” Occasionally, however, glimmers of hope emerge.

Even the illumination of a small
spotlight can dispel the gathering
One of those recently was a statement by actor-director-comedian Tyler Perry, whose “Madea” comedic films have drawn millions to the theaters and who, as I understand it, is a man of strong faith. In a quote online, Perry said, “It doesn’t matter if a million people tell you what you can’t do, or if 10 million people tell you, ‘no.’ If you get one ‘yes’ from God, that’s all you need.”

Those are words many of us need to hear, because we live in a world that will either beat us down, killing our aspirations and dimming our vision, or seeking to dictate how we are to think and act. As Perry says, one “yes” from God should be all that we need.

Peer pressure is a reality of the human condition we all encounter. It can be bad, seeking to force us into doing or believing what we deep-down know is wrong. Or it can be good when we’re surrounded by those who uphold strong, positive values and encourage us to do the same. But even when we lack helpful support, we can recognize, one “yes” from God is all we need.

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This statement came from the apostle Paul who, following his conversion, encountered one obstacle after another, challenges that would put the faith of most of us to the test. He surely had more than his share of detractors, but Paul learned time and again that the Lord indeed would equip him to do everything he was being called to do.

This doesn’t mean we can do anything we have a mind to do. Even if I wanted to do so, I’ll never ride the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby. No man will give birth to a baby. And no woman will ever jump from the Eiffel Tower and fly unaided, regardless of how much thrilling it might be to attempt.

But whatever the Lord calls us to do, He promises to provide the strength and resources to get the job done. I think of men like William Wilberforce and John Newton, followers of Jesus who dared to resist the prevailing current by opposing slavery and eventually serving as catalysts for its abolition. Joni Eareckson Tada, a well-known and much-accomplished quadriplegic, continues to be a role model for what it means to overcome great adversity and achieve what most observers would have said was unthinkable, including painting, writing and public speaking. Her faith in Christ also has served as her anchor.

We all find ourselves celebrating individuals who overcome circumstances and disabilities of many kinds in setting and then reaching lofty, seemingly impossible goals. Not all, of course, are driven by strong inner faith. But I believe that just as the Scriptures say we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), God provides the inner motivation that compels us to unimagined heights.

Another verse tells us how: “And my God will meet all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). This applies to our basic, everyday needs, but also to whatever we need to carry out those things He uniquely calls us to do.

So if you are being asked to do something that seems far beyond your capabilities, a call the Lord has placed on your heart that won’t go away, disregard the naysayers. If God says yes, that’s all you need.

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