Be All That You Can Be
When I was young, the army had a slogan "Be all that you can be. . .in the army." It was a catchy little jingle. I'm sure it was written to draw young people to enlist. It was a loud call to come and reach your full potential by joining a great cause.
During this global pandemic it would be easy to fall into the trap that this is all pointless. It would be easy to fall into a place of despair and even depression thinking that nothing good could come out of this current crisis. If we are not careful we will miss the potential of this providential suffering.
See all this thinking misses the reality that there is a King reigning on a throne in heaven right now (Hebrews 1:3-4). There is a king who right this very second is holding all things together (Colossians 1:17). He is orchestrating the moments of your life to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:28). Or to put it another way, he is purposing these days for you to be all that you can be in Christ.
What is God calling us to "BE" right now?
1. Be Still and Know God is God
If this moment offers us anything, it offers us time to be alone with God. This should always have been the priority for us as Christians. However, we make our lives so busy that everything but Jesus becomes our priority. We work overtime at our jobs. We overcommit to our relationships. We over-priortize our hobbies. We over-obssess about working out. And Jesus always gets the leftovers of overcommitting to everything else.
What if we heard the Lord in this moment saying, "Be still and know that I am God"? What if we saw the mandated margin from our government as the Lord saying, "find a quiet place to get alone and spend time with me"? Let's use this pause in our lives to prioritize opening God's Word and spending time with our Savior.
2. Be A Family
Jesus is not the only person that gets our leftovers. Many times it's our families that pay the highest price for our busy lives. Our spouses wake up everyday to compete against our jobs for our affection. Our kids walk into the kitchen to compete with our phones for our attention.
A simple question, "Does your family know they are a priorty to you?" Let's not waste this moment in our homes! This crisis moment in our culture should be a precious gift for our families. Sit in the floor playing board games. Go on walks with your children. Listen to your spouse for hours. Make dinner together and laugh eating around the table.
3. Be Present
When your kids hear you say "Daddy, watch this!" or "Mommy, can I tell a story?" Do they see you looking at them in the eye? Or do they seek you looking at your phone?
I don't care if your kid is a 2-years-old or a twenty-year-old, they know when they are being noticed. Sadly, I am shortest with my kids when they are interrupting a YouTube video. The same is true of your spouse. They know when you are more present with them or with your Facebook followers.
Why not make a committment today to put your phone in the drawer? Why not limit your screen time so you can have unhindered time to be present with one another? It's amazing to think the Lord of the universe has his eyes on us and turns his ear towards us because of Jesus (1 Peter 3:8). Should our familes deserve anything less from us?
4. Be A Leader
My favorite time of year every year is the first weekend of March Madness. I love this time of the year more than Christmas. For a couple weekends, we get to watch the cinderalla teams knock off the Goliaths of the basketball world. We tune in to watch buzzer-beaters. We are stand in awe of clutch performances.
Not this year. And this as a gracious gift from our gracious God. Instead of tuning in to watch the Kentucky Wildcats, tune into the hearts of your children and your wife.
Fathers and husbands, be the leader God calls you to be in your home. Get off the couch and serve your spouse by cleaning the kitchen. Put down the latest CNN COVID-19 article and play outside with your children. Use the "Family Worship Guide" to lead your family to study the Bible together.
5. Be the Church
Many times we see church as a Sunday morning activity. It's a weekly event that takes up a spot on our calendars. Or we see the church as a building that we go to once a week. If these things are true than the church is over for the foreseeable future.
However, the Bible teaches clearly that the church is the people of God (see Acts 2; Ephesians 2). The church is the people of God that have been united to Jesus and one another through his precious blood poured out on Calvary.
If this is true than the church is still alive and well. The church can still be the church today. We can love one another as much as ever. We can care for one another by running errands. We can pray for one another over Zoom or Skype. We can be on mission together as we all seek to share Jesus with our neighbors.
6. Just Be
In his book "The Art of Rest", Adam Mabry writes "I don't do rest. I do do." I feel like him. Maybe you do as well. Your whole life is made up of being busy trying to establish your self-worth. You have made an idol out of your productivity so that the Lord might be pleased with you.
Maybe right now the Lord in his grace is saying "Just Be!" There is nothing you can do right now to earn God's approval. Why don't you simply rest in knowing that all the approval you need is found being hidden in Jesus? Why don't you find peace knowing all the acceptance you were looking for is found not in what you do but what Jesus is done?
The Lord is sitting right now on this throne. He is orchestrating these present sufferings in our lives so that we will flourish and grow in Christ. Don't miss this moment. Lean into being all that you can be in Christ.