Greg Laurie would be considered by some to be a superstar pastor. I used to think that was always a negative thing. After tonight I don’t. Why not? Because God uses superstars.
It would seem that there are some superstar pastors out there who fall on the dark side of the force. They are divas. They are proud and arrogant. Then there are those who have been equipped, put into places where they are in front of the world, and God uses them in such a way that they are labeled as successful. When this happens on a regular basis in a variety of formats to the point where they are almost a household name, whether or not they are proud, arrogant, and a diva, they can become labeled as superstar. I don’t know Greg Laurie well enough to know his heart so I won’t make that judgment. I will say this (again); God uses superstars.
When they announced tonight that they were going to show this video my initial reaction was, “Sheesh. A Greg Laurie testimony video. He has books, he has crusades, he practically has a whole industry built around him. You can tell because he has an entourage. Now we have to watch a movie about him and he is in it. C’mon man!” But, I hung around the back door to watch a bit of it and see where it would go.
Then my shoulder started to hurt because I had my bag on it so I put it down. I was still watching. Then my feet started to get tired because I was standing by the door leaning on nothing. I was still watching. So I went in and sat up against the A/V booth on the floor right in the center aisle. I was still watching. This was no “Greg Laurie is the most humble man on the planet and he wants you to know it,” video. This really was about what God had done in Greg’s horrible life, how God worked patiently on Greg through his life, and how God called and equipped Greg to do something he never dreamed of doing. It would be like if Paul had made a movie about his life. When you read Paul’s testimony in Acts he is talking about himself, but he is also talking about what Jesus did.
This 50 minute video wasn’t about Greg, it was about the Lord.
In all honesty and humility, when the video was over I wanted to get up, walk down that middle aisle that was right in front of me, kneel down, and get saved again. Or receive my calling again. Or something. It was as though God was shining a spotlight into my heart and showing me all kinds of stuff. Fear, compromise, fear, insecurity, fear, doubt, fear, lack of faith, did I mention fear?
What am I afraid of? Like everyone else, failure. That’s kind of a no brainer. I’m also afraid of success. Well, not so much success, but the dangers that come with success. And if I don’t succeed, then I won’t have to deal with the dangers. So what do you do when you area afraid? You don’t try. And you can find some great ways to rationalize it and make it look all Godly. But all of that is just a bunch of excuses. You know what they say about excuses, right? Everyone has a couple and they all stink.
With realization comes the need to change. Change is scary. Its easy to tell others to change. Just do it. It’s harder when it is yourself. It’s especially harder when it means changing who you are as it relates to your relationships. It doesn’t mean becoming someone else, but it does mean becoming a different you. A different you for your wife, your kids, your church. It’s like getting a haircut in a way. Its something that has to happen but you also have to deal with, “Did you get your hair cut?” When you are someone who hates drawing attention to yourself, it’s hard. It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable.
It would also be disobedience to not. If God has gifted someone to be a great violinist but that person doesn’t play for other people because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves, they are neglecting God’s gift. That’s how I feel. God has (apparently) wired me to be in front of people. He has wired me to be a communicator. At least this is what I’ve been told for a great portion of my life, especially over the past few days as it relates to my blogging.
I have been doing as minimal job as possible because I don’t want people to see me, I want them to see the Lord. My writing, my preaching, I’ve been holding back because I don’t want people to see me. Is that another form of pride? Perhaps. Like I said, we humans have an amazing capacity for rationalization. What I am really doing is potentially neglecting the gifts God has given me for His glory and not my own. I’ve been so afraid of being glorified myself that I don’t give God a chance to be glorified. That is probably equally as bad as what I’m trying to avoid.
The encouragement I have received from people who have been intentionally trying to give it, as well as those who have not intentionally been trying to encourage me yet have done so anyway, has helped. Fear of failure to the point of not even trying is in itself failure. The disciples failed. Paul failed. Moses failed. David failed. The heroes of the Bible were all failures at one point or another. Who does God use? Failures. So what’s my hang up?
Peter walked on water. It was only a few steps, but he did it. Hm. Guess its time to get my feet wet. Thanks Greg.