I purchased a book today entitled, “Embracing Obscurity.” I haven’t read it yet but I’m intrigued by the title and the fact that I don’t know who wrote it. Embracing the theme of the book, the author is Anonymous. The subtitle is “Becoming Nothing In Light of God’s Everything.” Obviously this isn’t an endorsement for a book I haven’t read but the title piqued my interest since most of the writing and speaking I do relates to a theme that initially appears to be antithetical to this book’s content. Under the leadership of the Lord, I am often prompted to speak to groups about who we really are once we have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ–chosen; dearly loved; indwelt by none other than the Holy Spirit, who knows the very mind of God (this doesn’t make me God, understand); redeemed at the cost of Jesus’ own blood; given a new nature and eternal citizenship; and, most of all, new power as ambassadors of Christ to accomplish what we could never dream of doing before.
I love the section of scripture, written by Paul to the church at Ephesus, that states, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. . . For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (2:6-7, 10, NIV) “Seated in the heavenly realms”–mostly doesn’t feel like that from where I live but that’s the spiritual Truth of it! It is from that heavenly position and perspective that I am equipped to complete what He has “prepared in advance for (me) to do.” Once again, I stress that this divine equipping, along with the heavenly spiritual position, is all due to His work, not mine. He simply allows me to be a conduit of His power and grace as I yield to Him.
But back to the book . . . maybe these two concepts are more closely tied than they appear to be on the surface. The title, Embracing Obscurity, reminded me of the command in Matthew 6 to make sure that my “righteous acts” are not done before men to gain their praise or honor. This scripture is often applied with instructions about how we are to give to the needy, and that is one of its primary intentions, to be sure. But this entire teaching from our Lord, Himself, is about the intended anonymity of “our” contribution, in general. If I am a conduit of His strength, love and grace in all that I do, then all praise is due the source of the power, not its path or instrument. For instance, when I think about electricity, I almost never consider the fuses, receptacles, outlets, wires, breakers, etc., that make it useful. I just enjoy what it contributes to my life. He is the transforming power; I am a tool that helps it flow to the specific need.
I don’t know what Embracing Obscurity will be about. There might even be some references to Matthew 6 in there. Regardless, the Lord has already begun His message to my heart simply through a well-placed title.
Praying you will be blessed as you are used in a powerful way by the God of the Universe, who is so much more than worthy.
Thank you, precious Savior, for saving us from the weight of our own sin and hopelessness and for giving us a very high calling.
To Christ belongs every ounce of glory!