What do you got, Jedi warrior?

I’m a child of the 80s, and I’ve never seen the Star Wars movies. I know; I know. It’s a tragedy. Because it seems like this movie is absolutely essential to understand America’s thought process in analyzing any epic tale, I finally caved and watched Episode 1 all the way through with Tom today, <sigh> with the promise of five more films ahead of me.

What really shocked me most was not the crazy costumes, or the crazy characters, or the seemingly poor acting coming out of some really great actors. What shocked me is that one of the things that draws people to a movie like this is the fascination with the Jedi — either good or bad. Everyone wants to be able to predict the future, sense other people’s feelings, stay calm and collected in stress, and most importantly, be able to accomplish great feats with seemingly little effort. It’s the same stuff that draws non-athletes to the TV screen when the Olympics roll around. This fascination often glosses over one very important fact though: the Jedi and the Olympians know they are not in control. The good Jedi submit to discipline and the bad Jedi get crazy trying to get control.

What most people don’t realize is that those who inspire us, from the Star Wars cast and Harry Potter to the Mother Teresa’s and Oswald Chambers, all submit to a higher authority, training, and teaching, AND, simultaneously, come to the place where they accept the gifts they have in this life and how to best use them. I started to talk yesterday about accepting the gifts we’ve been given, but I want to give more insight into how I feel about this.

See, the truth is that we can’t be free unless we are living out our purpose. In fact, freedom is the ability to live out your purpose. A large part of being able to do that is to use the giftings and abilities that God has placed in you. But Satan has a problem both with us using our lives to bless others and with us being free. Because of that, I’m going to assume that all of you have had your giftings turned against you. You’ve had a battle or two, warriors, I’m sure.

I believe that there is a battle on Earth between good and evil. I believe that this war is won for all time, but the battle still takes place on Earth. And because I believe there’s a battle, I have allowed myself to be trained from the time I was young to be a part of the victory dance.  I allow my giftings to be used and sharpened, even when it stings. My test for whether to allow a critical comment in or not?

Does this bring life? Does this bring transformation? Does this encourage me or challenge me or inspire me to get better and love others more? Does it bring health or healing so that my defenses against evil are stronger? Then let it in.

Does it bring death, destruction, kill my self-esteem, make me lack confidence in others? Then it’s not from God. I call it out as a lie and move on.

Romans 11:29 says: For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.  IR-RE-VOCABLE. It doesn’t matter if we think we are good enough or if someone criticizes us. If we are using our talents, we’re going to keep going back to the same spot until we get enough confidence in ourselves. God desires us to have confidence in what He’s created in us. God desires for you to have confidence in you — in who you are and what you want to do.

This is how we take the territory of our lives back — one lie, one accusation — at a time. It’s time to wage war, submitting to our King, walking with Him at our right side to guide us, and take it back. And simultaneously usher in His Kingdom. Now that’s epic.

 

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