Starting on the Path to Obscurity

In a world of endless self-promotion obscurity may seem enigmatic, foolish, and futile. From the moment the serpent enticed Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, mankind has been trying to supplant God; each of us has become the center of our own little universe. Perhaps we want to put God in His rightful place, but we have no idea how to start.

We must first understand what it means to actually embrace obscurity. It's "...not about wiping ourselves from existence but rather, voluntarily, becoming nothing in light of everything God is and has promised us. Why? So we can bring Him greater glory. It's about making Him, not ourselves, look good." (p. 3) Now that we understand the purpose of living a life of obscurity (or, as I call it, a quiet life), we can begin to think about what it encompasses.

Modern technology has certainly reduced the size of the world. News satellites, the internet, and social media put information and relationships at our fingertips. With all of this access to others, we might be lulled into thinking that we live in a small world. Yet this is hardly true. I recently spent a day at an amusement park surrounded by thousands of people I've never seen before and - in all likelihood -will never see again. A day of walking, riding, and people watching, and I didn't recognize a single person.

We live in a big, big world. Considering the number of people alive on the planet today, the amount of space each of us occupies is infinitesimal. Our lives are of little consequence by the world's standards, yet every Christian has the opportunity to live a life that magnifies the One True God. What an amazing privilege!

Of course, doing so may mean that we never see our names in bright lights. The Bible gives many examples of faithful servants without ever giving their names. The widow who gave her last mite. The woman at the well, who shamelessly proclaimed she had met the Messiah who knew her past. The boy with the fish and the loaves, who gave his meal that others might eat.

"Would you be willing to remain nameless, offering up your meager portion to your Savior, with no promise of return or guarantee of notoriety, but in complete obedience to allow God to work His miracle through your small 'lunch'?" (p. 13)

As I think about this question, I find myself wondering how much of my service to the Lord has been a thinly disguised effort to gain praise and recognition for myself. Jesus calls us to just the opposite (Matthew 6:1-18). In order to embrace obscurity, I must seek to serve Him without expectation, without making a fuss to call attention to myself, and with a heart that is passionate to make His Name - and His Name alone - great.

This Autumn I'm blogging through Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything. Find out why here.

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