I still remember the day this “revelation” came to me. It was a hard pill to swallow, indeed, and even now I hesitate, can I write this right?
Who first convinced me I could be Superman? Was it Copeland Ministries? Osteen? I’m really not sure. It seems like it is what I grew up in, and could not help but catch it, become it, see everything through it…so much so that when I finally broke…the new revelation blew me away! This cannot be! How long have I preached it the other way? Have I been wrong all these years?
We men have a problem with this because we have this “macho” thing going on. It’s just part of being a man. We have to be strong, tough, don’t whine, work harder. We are made of muscle and guts. A woman’s power is in her beauty; she is not challenged to be physically strong. That is the man’s role, we are the stronger vessel. (Most of the time.)
However, women have a problem with this too, because they are expected to be beautiful and also be everything to everybody! A woman’s work is never done, as they say. So she pushes and pushes herself, trying to be Superwoman, because all things are possible through Christ Jesus who strengthens me! Bless God, I am a Christian, so I can rise above! Be the head and not the tail! Be the lender and not the borrower! If I have enough faith I can do anything! In Christ Jesus I am the hunter, not the prey!
That was a favorite line of mine. “I am the hunter, not the prey.” As far as I know, I may have been the one who came up with it, as far as using it as a spiritual analogy.
Lord knows I fought hard. Wore myself out fighting hard. Fighting the good fight of faith! Pray more! Work harder! You can do it! Yes, that was the whole problem. “I” can do it. Here is exactly how it happens; pay close attention to this…
As we take on more and more, because everyone thinks you are supersaint, we begin to work harder and harder. And because we are working harder and harder, we begin to pray less and less. Our prayers become short and tired because we are exhausted, but we will still do it! And without even realizing it we have slipped into “us” doing it, not God, because our prayers are weak and we are not taking time to drink of our Lord and rest in him. We are doing it and we don’t even realize it, until we collapse! We did not mean to do it! But God says I can be Superman, right?
What did you say, Lord? I’m a sheep?
Oh, yes. I know what you mean. If I’m a sheep, then I”M SUPERSHEEP!!!!! Da-da-da-daaaa!!!!
What was that, Lord?
No? I’m just a sheep???
YUKK!!! I don’t want to be a sheep! I’m an eagle! Child of the Lion of Judah! One of David’s mighty men! Anything but a SHEEP!
Doesn’t your word say, they that do know their Lord shall be strong and do exploits? Yeah, that is what I want to be for you, Lord!
What’s that? When am I strong? Paul wrote in II Cor. 12:10: “for when I am weak, then am I strong.” ??
Okay, Lord. You got my attention, but you got to convince me. I mean, I know I just came to you an overwhelmed broken mess, but how will “me” embracing my “sheepness” help any of that?
What’s that? Real prayer will become my number one priority? I will quit trying to prove myself and I will rest in you? I will develop a “Shepherd mentality” instead of a “warrior mentality”?
But Lord, wasn’t David a mighty warrior? Did he not face Goliath and take his head off with Goliath’s own sword? Did he not go on to do many mighty exploits as a warrior?
David did not see himself as a warrior? He became the greatest of warriors because he was not a warrior? He had a shepherd mentality, and he understood what it meant to be a sheep? He did not mind being a sheep because he knew he had you as his Super shepherd?
Did he not write: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” As a matter-of-fact, all of Psalms 23 is written from the mentality of embracing our sheepness, and loving our super shepherd.
I DO NOT FIND THIS EASY TO DO! But it is only absolute truth that sets us free. I know you’re only trying to take me to a greater revelation, Lord, a higher way of living. Lead on, Shepherd, I will try to follow.
God’s word says that he will resist the PROUD, and give grace to the humble! It is humiliating to embrace your sheepness. It is the way of humility. The flesh does not want to do it. We still want to see ourselves as strong! But we are not. Jesus prayed and he said: “Thine is the power, thine is the Kingdom, and thine is the glory.” All of it belongs to Him! We had nothing to offer! When we fell in sin we were DEAD in our trespasses. We had to be totally separated from a holy God, for we had become contamination! Everything we would touch would be defiled! God wanted to share his blessings with us, but he had to “SAVE” us before he could even “SHARE” with us! It’s all his! We have “NOTHING” to brag about! Without him, we are the bottom of the food chain!
Here is what God did to me. He took my favorite saying: “I am the hunter, not the prey.” And he turned it around and said, “You are not the hunter, and you are the prey, therefore, you must always PRAY!”
Yes, guys. Sheep are at like the bottom of the food chain. That thing in Psalms 23 where David wrote, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” ??? That is because without our shepherd just about everything desires to eat us, and is fully capable of eating us! But we walk around with no fear of the Lord anymore, playing with things we ought not be touching, and offering up weak little prayers if we pray at all!!! (And we think we can be Superman?) This is very foolish living.
Oh, I can see this will not be done in just one article. This could be a three parter again.
Okay, let me try to tie up a couple loose ends and then we will hit it again in part two.
First, I Samuel 17:14 > “But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep.” David knew what it meant to be a shepherd. As a matter-of-fact, he was still doing the work of a shepherd, and he had never been a warrior before in his life!
You know this story, so I will point out just certain points. In verse 28, Eliab, his eldest brother, got mad at David and asked him > “Why camest thou down hither? And with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?”
David goes to Saul and here are the “qualifications” he offers up as his reasoning that he can defeat Goliath! >
“And David said unto Saul, thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, and I went out after him, and delivered it out of his mouth, and when he arose against me, I caught him by the beard, and smote him, and slew him.” (That, my friend, is not a typical warrior combat strategy. That is the power of God coming on a young lad!)
In verse 38, Saul tries to arm David in warrior’s armour! David tried them on before saying, “I cannot go in these; for I have not proved them.” (He was lost in them!)
Here is what he fought Goliath with: (vrs 40) ““And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” (David even had to use Goliath’s own sword to kill him with! For he did not even have a sword of his own!)
David became a great warrior because he was a great lover of God, it’s that simple. He loved God like any sheep should love their shepherd, because without a shepherd, sheep are nothing but sheep for the slaughter! But with a Super Shepherd they can graze in green pastures, in the presence of all their enemies, and grow fat and happy! Now that is a power! But it comes as we get a vision of, begin to see everything through this new paradigm, and embrace our sheepness! (There, I just had to say it again. I wrestle with this, too,everybody. But I must say, since I have changed my perspective, I have seen new, and wonderful, and powerful results. Along with a lot less stress, and a lot more joy and peace. At last I can freely say, “I’m not Superman, even if I do still wrestle with saying, I am a sheep. lol!)
What this article is about is learning how to be a sheep, so we can have not so much a sheep mentality, but a shepherd mentality, because the sheep must understand the value of their shepherd!
I believe much of the Church’s problems today stem from the stress and burn-out of a bunch of people who are still trying to be Superman! We think there is something wrong with us if were not Superman. So we do not speak of our failures, we hide them. We stress and we strain to run faster and do more! And of course we must keep up with the Joneses, because how can the Joneses be more “super” than we are? And surely we must prove how good our God is by having the biggest house and the newest car, right? (Or at least close to it.) Whew, how exhausting the pressure can be on a bunch of “sheep”.
And here is the kicker, God says, if you think you’re Superman, then I’ll just let you do it, because the best thing that can happen is for you to find out that you are not! The way up is down in the Kingdom of God! He who shall be the greatest shall be the servant of all!
We do not see how big God is, until we see how really small we are. As long as we do not see ourselves small, as in very small, then we do not see God big, as in very big! (And we will fail to pray and drink of him the way we know we should.)
Wow, I have barely scratched the surface of this. In Part 2 I need to get into the difference between Laodicea and the Philadelphia Church. Philadelphia saw themselves”WEAK”, and Laodicea did not. I think there was a good reason why Philadelphia saw themselves weak, and it is one that applies to you and I! You don’t want to miss part 2! This is what actually opened my eyes to a lot of this.
So until the next time, baaaa!