Something dawned on me the other day. It was an epiphany that made me stop hard and ponder from the deep recesses of my mind. “Everyone is trying to be someone.” Most everyone attempts to persuade others of the individual’s importance.
What do we all want? Notoriety. Acclaim. Fame. Fortune. We want to be someone important to others.
An example from my life
I grew up in a small town in Illinois where it is nigh impossible to grow up unknown. Most people know who everyone is in a small town. Even growing up in a small town as the son of the music minister at First Baptist Church, and having one side of my family be prominently known in an adjacent county, I struggled for many years to “become somebody”. I was driven to show everyone that I was worthy of the accolades I had received as a boy and young man, and wanting to prove that people should like me.
Examples from social media and life
Have you seen social media lately? People all over the place are trying very hard to gain attention and notoriety by posting videos of themselves doing some of the craziest things. Some people wind up be noticed because of videos posted showing these individuals doing selfless acts for others. Some become famous because of the outrageous and stupid stunts they pull.
Go to a concert and people bring posters designed to attempt to get a performer’s attention. Who would not want to be pulled up on stage and sung to by a famous artist? We all want our claim to fame. Even those who say that all they want is a quiet life and to be left alone. I am fairly certain that those people would welcome celebratory congratulations for living such secluded lives.
The majority of people want to be famous!
We already are.
Why the Bible tells us we’re already someone special
But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. (1 Corinthians 8:3 HCSB)
(Cue the crickets and tumbleweeds.)
You may be wondering how being known by God makes anyone famous. Consider this: the God who created the universe knows who you are. He knows you on an intimate level that you may not be aware of.
“Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 HCSB)
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:13-16 MSG)
If we were to drill down into the mechanism of stringing together DNA and were able to understand how that process works, it would not begin to define how well God knows us. We would not be able to wrap our minds around the enormity of the brain space it would take to comprehend the vast knowledge God has…of us. All of us. Every single person that has lived, is alive now, and will live in the future. God knows everything there is to know about everyone.
We’re special because God loves us
On top of that, he loves us. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the tax collector-turned-disciple, Jesus said that God sees the moment a sparrow dies. He knows the moment the little bird dies. Yet, we are much more important to God than that bird. We are so important that God took steps to close the relational gap that we created. He not only knows us, he loves us.
“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (1 John 4:9-10, MSG)
So, think on this for more than a moment: not only are we known by the Creator of everything we see and don’t see, we are loved by that same Creator who knows everything about us – good and bad.
Whoa! Wait a minute – good and bad?
Yes. Good and bad. Yet, he still loves us.
For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:6-11 HCSB)
God made us somebody through Jesus’ redemptive work on our behalf
You and I are famous. God, in his infinite love and kindness, made you and me his top priority over all of the rest of creation. He made us such a priority that he, God the Father and Creator, sent his own son to pay our penalty for sinning, because God wanted to bridge the gap of sin that separates us from him.
Who else, among the people that you know and are related to, will do this for you? Who else will give up their own lives to correct your past mistakes and transgressions? Who else will spill their blood to wipe away everything you have ever done wrong? The answer is simple: no one.
Only the God who created you and me would do such a thing. Only the God of heaven would give of himself in such a way, because you are famous in his eyes. You are somebody in the eyes of God the Father.
For those of you who are Christians let me also say this: God has not forgotten you. Turn around. He’s right there. He has not left you. God would never do that to you. Men may walk away and give up on you, but God never will. Come back home. He waits with open arms.
How to Become Somebody Special Prayer
Pray this with me: “God, I first want to thank you that I am known by you. I thank you that I am more than famous in your eyes. Thank you for writing my name on your hand. Please write your name on my heart, and remind me again and again of how much you love me. I ask for contentment in knowing you and being known by you. Help me pursue the life you have for me and not one I create on my own that is so inadequate to satisfy my needs and longings. Hold me close. Hold my heart. Keep me in you. For your beautiful name I pray, amen.
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Copyright © 2018 by David Eric Shelton, ASCAP. All rights reserved.