The Understudy

luke 6-45Sounds deep, right? Well it should – it’s the Word of God. But I have to ask, do we really understand what these words mean? What Luke is saying here is this: whatever fills us, completes us, satisfies us, whatever is most important to us is what we constantly talk/think about.

That brings me to my second question: What do we always talk/think about?

If I’m being honest, the words that come out of my mouth, the thoughts that run through my head all have one thing in common: they revolve around ME.

I hope I have an easy patient load tomorrow because honestly, I deserve a break. Wow, this person is driving so slow – she may have all the time in the world, but I certainly don’t! I wonder if he thinks I’m weird/awkward/both. Am I “put together” enough for this role? I know I shouldn’t be angry at her, but I kind of am and I kind of think I’m justified in that. Why can’t they just change their plans for me – I’m really not asking a whole lot. Why do I have to change my plans for them – they’re really asking too much of me! 

And on and on and on. Me, myself, and I. Clearly, somewhere deep down inside, I really do believe the world revolves around me. Around my desires, hopes, and goals; my fears, insecurities, and doubts; my plans, routines, and hobbies – ME.

When I consider this ugly truth in the context of our verse from Luke, it makes my heart sad. When did I start making life all about me? Somewhere along the way, I stepped into the spotlight. Scratch that. Somewhere along the way, I decided God just wasn’t cutting it as the lead role, I decided I was meant for more than being the “understudy.” I shoved Him out of the way and basked in the spotlight of my own glory (which really looked like utter darkness compared to the glory of God).

If I’m always talking/thinking about myself, then what is it that “fills” my heart? Where do I find fulfillment and satisfaction? Where do I look to to be made whole? Myself? How arrogant and prideful of me! More so, how foolish of me! The Lord God Almighty, HE is the only One who fills us, completes us, makes us whole. HE is who it’s all about.

It’s easy to get caught up with life and the things that excite us, motivate us, wear us down. Life is busy and demands our full attention. But the funny thing is that we don’t need to grant life our undivided attention. All we have to do is keep our focus on the Lord and He will take care of all the things that vie for our attention.

When I look to myself for contentment, when I rely on my own abilities, when I glory in myself, I am robbing the Lord of what belongs to Him; I am stealing His title and role. Thinking about myself on the constant is a waste of brain power. Talking about myself 24/7 is a waste of breathe. When I focus on myself, I lose sight of the One on whom my eyes should be set.

My life is all about Him. I have air in my lungs and blood pumping through my veins because He breathes life into my bones. I have an eternal hope that will never fade, spoil, or perish because of His work on the Cross. I have peace because of His Spirit that lives inside of me. I have no need to worry or fear because His name is Jehovah Jireh, my faithful Provider. I have countless blessings in all shapes and sizes because He withholds no good thing from me.

I am because He is, because He loves, because He lives.

“Her mouth speaks from that which fills her heart.” I want love to flow from my mouth, I want joy to spill from my lips, I want grace to speak over every situation, I want mercy to drip from my tongue. Because that which fills my heart is not anything of myself. That which fills my heart is the Lord Jesus Christ. His love fills my heart, His joy, His peace, His strength, His power.

He will fill me to overflowing, if only I would let Him. If only I would willingly surrender the spotlight, if only I would allow His glory to take center stage, if only I would take the background and allow Him to lead.

Society tells us to battle to the death for Number 1. Society tells us that if you’re not the lead role, the main character, the center of attention, something’s wrong with you. Society tells us that life is all about us, that we are our own gods. And for some ridiculous reason, we’ve bought into all these lies. In this world, no one likes to play the understudy simply because it’s not the lead role. The cool part about all of this: we’re not OF this world. We are foreigners in this place, ambassadors from another Kingdom, missionaries that have travelled abroad for a greater purpose.

An understudy: someone who learns another person’s role in order to act it out in their absence. Is that not what we were created to do? To be imitators of Christ, to observe Him, to learn from Him, to study His role and mirror it?

Taking the background does not mean we fade into obscurity. It simply means that rather than making much of ourselves, we make much of God. We point to Him. We give Him the glory, because in all truth, it belongs to Him.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:22-26

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