Posted by: Brad Stanford | December 31, 2009

This Is It!

I’m wiping away a couple of tears as I finish watching the video for Declaration by Kirk Franklin. Not because it’s a great song. Not because Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, and R&B had a child. But there is a very deep and important truth about this idea of declaration.

[video: http://www.vevo.com/watch/kirk-franklin/declaration-this-is-it/USZM20700407%5D

Those of a Joel Olsteen influence will hear encouragement about wealth and power over circumstances in this song. Those of a traditional church background will be encouraged that modernity is over, and we’re returning to the good old days – the way it used to be. I’m sure others will hear what they want to hear as well.

But pouring out of Franklin’s spirit is the incredible and deeply moving truth about taking a stand. To use the metaphor from the video, if I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down swinging. And also…I ain’t goin’ down.

This year could be the greatest year of all for those who know God’s voice. This is the year to sell everything and give to the poor. This is the year to have people in your house as often as possible. This is the year to help out at the old folk’s home (remembering that not too long from now it will be your turn to receive a visit). Maybe there’s a friend that’s always $100 short per month, always scrambling. This is the year to pay a bill or two for them. This is it!

It is time to declare out loud that a line has been drawn, and if the world continues to head towards Hades in an unpainted, unlicensed handbasket, we will not go with it, even if it kills us. In fact, we’re going to give our lives trying to keep others from being sucked into uselessness, worthlessness, and abuse. We have no greater ambition than to see people raised out out of the ashes and disappointment in this life. There is a rushing river of life to be shared, and it can’t even be enjoyed by the giver unless it is given.

Think of a fire hose. When a hose is pressurized, it’s full of water. Now water is nice, but it’s not doing any good trapped inside the hose. Perhaps a highly uninformed person would look at the hose and think, “If I open the valve, all my water goes away. I think I’ll just keep the valve closed.” What this poor person does not understand is that the hose is a conduit, not a source. If you open the valve on the hose, you can not only put out someone else’s fire, but you get blessed with more water, and can move onto someone else’s fire. Double blessing.

You are a conduit. If you want to sample more, you must give more. And I’m not talking about to your church, though it’s clear a believer should be supporting his or her local congregation. I’m talking about loving your neighbor. I’m talking about you painting their house before you paint yours, and if there’s no money left to buy paint for yours after painting theirs, so be it. Need a new stove? Check your neighbors – they might be in worse shape. To be a conduit, you’re constantly asking the question, “But what about them? Are they ok? Do they need anything?”

A store owner does not lock the doors to keep people from buying his stuff does he? what would be the point of the store? You are God’s store to the people around you. They should be coming to you for help. they should know that you know God, and God has what they need. And when God cares for them through you, you get triple blessing: they get love, you get love, and you can lead them to God so they can have a direct line, rather than having to go through you. Then, you can move on to the next person.

This is what going into all the world and making disciples looks like. Introduce people to God through meeting their needs, just like He told us to. Some will come to Him, some won’t. Either way, God is glorified, magnified, and deified. And that’s the point.

Declare who God is by what you do this year. Say it out loud with your life. Let Him show you where He is working, and you join Him (otherwise, you’ll be trying to be a firehose without a source of water, or with your own piddly source, anyway). Go with God. And as you are going…make disciples, immersing them in water, Spirit, and community. You’ll find that its so refreshing, so life-giving, so joyful, that you could do it all day long every day until Jesus comes back.

Indeed.

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