“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I remember this question being asked of me so many times as a child. I am not even sure of my answers now. Although the memories of my childhood desires are vague, I have always wanted to build things and work with my hands. At age 9, I remember taking apart small engines and putting them back together!
I have — or had — a strong desire for adventure, even semi-dangerous stuff. As a kid, I would ride my mini-bike in the fields all day and would inevitably go way too fast. When I had a crash, it was monumental! There are semi-legendary tales of epic crashes while snow skiing and a few fist fights that were usually about some injustice.
As a kid, I would daydream of great adventures and me saving people or being heroic in other ways! Thoughts of grand adventures were often prevalent.
We change. In life we find ourselves living a sort of automatic existence and being just “good” people. Not that it’s bad or anything. It’s just not, well, dangerous. “Dangerous?” you say. “Who wants to live dangerously?”
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” — Judges 6:12
Now the person to whom this is being said was hiding in the wine press while he threshed wheat so the oppressive occupiers wouldn’t see him. Not my image of a mighty man, for sure. Most biblical warriors would just kill a few hundred men with the bone ripped from the carcass of a dead animal or swing a huge sword and be done, instead of hiding! At least those who knew they were warriors. Oh, Gideon! What have you forgotten that you once knew or felt?
I think the issue here is larger than one of just fear or forgetfulness. I think there is a huge identity crisis taking place that began a long time ago in a place far far away … Okay maybe it was earlier in life. Gideon was lulled into living as something we were never intended to be – a safe, compliant person. And the one singing the never-ending lullaby is Satan himself.
The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly. — John 10:10
So what is it that this thief is stealing? I think it is our identity — the very truth about who we are. He lies to us continually, getting us to believe anything about ourselves other than who God says we really are. What is he killing? The very dreams and plans God put in us from the beginning of creation. In Jeremiah 1:5, God said he knew Jeremiah before he was even conceived. So this is true of us as well. And lastly, the enemy wants to destroy any potential you have for changing the world around you. If he can’t have your soul, he is hell bent on you being ineffective for the kingdom of the God he so hates.
Comfort, no conflict, and what we pursue as good can be distractors of living from a place of dangerous faith. Look around. You see a lot of good, comfortable people, especially in church. But how many have forgotten the dreams of childhood? How many have forgotten who they really are and never learned to live as sons and daughters of God?
We were created as masterpieces with purpose and the very DNA of God infused into us (Eph. 2:10). I added the DNA part, but we are His creation in His image, so I believe we have His DNA. Exodus 15:3 states, “The Lord is a Warrior and the Lord is His name!” If the Lord is a Warrior and His Spirit lives in us, what does that say about who we are? Go ahead and say it! “I am a Warrior.”
You see, Gideon wasn’t bad. He had just forgotten who he was. So an angel of Lord just needed to remind him. Oh, it took awhile for Gideon to come around, but he did and he defeated many enemies!
What dream, purpose, plan — or even who you really are, has been lost or systematically stolen by the enemy? How has the pursuit of a safe, good life lied to you?
I don’t believe the real you is just — yawn, good. You were designed by God and infused with what you need in order to take dominion.
I am finding myself wanting to go fast again and discover new adventures. The buried “me” is returning!
When you awaken who God really made you to be — you will change. Those around you will change. Be dangerous!