Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Gospel of Jeff
Have you ever seen Jeff Dunham? He's a ventriloquist, a good one, and, although he could improve on some of his subject matter, his ability leaves me speechless. When he pretends to argue with one of his puppets, he demonstrates his best techniques, going back and forth so fast and with such perfect but invisible voice changes, that I can never tell that the sound isn't coming directly from the puppet itself. The actions of his puppets showcase his talents perfectly. Through them, he shows how he's just so good.
In the back of my mind, though, I know that the voices, no matter how many he uses or how quickly he changes them, all belong to Jeff. My eyes and ears may try to trick me into believing otherwise, but neither Walter, nor Peanut, nor Achmed speak on their own without his influence. They don't have a choice. I do.
God wants me to rely as much on His influence as the puppets rely on Dunham. He gives me everything I need to say and do things beyond my own abilities. And when I let Him, He gets the glory for what I do. Like Dunham, the credit for God's inspiration in my poor flesh goes directly back to Him. He created me to do this.
Bring my sons and daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.--Isaiah 43:7
Serve with the strength God provides so the He will be praised through Christ Jesus. To Him be the glory and power forever.--1Peter 4:11
I have an important advantage over Dunham's puppets; God lets me decide what I'm going to say and do. When I choose His power over my own, when I step aside and say to Him, "I want what You want. I am weak. I choose not to indulge myself, to talk about myself, to achieve for my own ends. I choose to bring You glory as You show Your power to the world when my mouth, and my hands, and my feet move in Your honor."
When I do this, I reflect my God in the way He intended. He made me in His image so that when people look at me, they see Him. The ME I scramble to protect and pamper is smoke, not even supposed to exist apart from Him. Our rewards are not health or wealth or comfort or even answered prayer or heaven. Our reward is God Himself, nothing else. Nothing I do is good unless it glorifies God. Everything that glorifies God is good.