It is fitting that I am writing an entry entitled "Camouflage" on a morning started by a very early call from a very excited hunter: my youngest son. I am not a hunter, so the school-girl-giddy sounds coming through the phone at 6 am would have been more appreciated by the mama a little later on in the day. (I'll have some fallout from the school-girl comment, but I speak the truth.)
We all know the hunter, as well as the soldier, rely on camouflage to help them remain unseen. Your typical Christian in the 21st Century, on the other hand, loves to be noticed. And herein lies one of our biggest problems.
I grew up in life - and in God - thinking that the better I was, the smarter I was, the funnier I was, the wittier I was, the sharper I was...well, the better people magnet I would be. For the Lord, of course.
Please don't think I'm tapping into false humility or self-depreciation here, I'm just being honest when I say I'm slow when it comes to grasping the true nature of God. Real slow.
We would do well to take our cues form the hunter and the soldier. We would do well to cover ourselves in the best camo we can muster.
You see, when life happens to us...sickness, death of a loved one, betrayal, injury, discouragement, disappointment...we think our edge is blown-up. We can't be any good for Christ now. Who would want to be like us? We're weak. We're done.
As we are prone to do as humans, we habitually ask the wrong questions. "Why, God?" "Did God really say that? "Am I still of any use to God?"
It's not you. It's not me. It's not your favorite Christian singer or TV preacher. It never has been. Never will be.
It's Jesus. Always has been. Always will be. "To them God has chosen to make known...the riches of this mystery...CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY." Colossians 1:27. Those of you who have known me or my writing for a while know that I'm all about this: Christians aren't better. They're not just forgiven (can I say I hate those bumper stickers?!)...they're just like non-Christians, except for the fact that THEY HAVE HOPE. They...we...I...have Christ in me.
So in the woods of this dark and uncharted world, on the battlefields of this life, I need to make sure I can't be seen. That I'm undercover. That the only thing anyone can see when they hear a twig snap in my life, or the enemy firing on me, is Jesus. There may be a frustrated hunter or wounded soldier in their vicinity, but the hope of Christ should be so prevalent that all else fades from view.
I am going to borrow from my favorite of devotionalists today...the late Oswald Chambers:
"When we say, 'What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person,
and what wonderful insight!' then what opportunity does the gospel of
God have through all of that? It cannot get through, because the
attraction is to the messenger and not the message."
Be encouraged to know that it isn't, never has been and never will be you who shines for Christ. It's Christ Who shines for Christ...in you.
"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord..." II Corinthians 4:5.
Aren't you glad? Camo-up!