Just Show Up

With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

There is something to be said about perseverance. Most meaningful and valuable things in life will cost us something and involve sacrifices of time, energy, finances, comfort/sleep/pleasure, personal pride, and the list goes on.

Quitting is easy. The ‘low road’ is the one more frequently traveled and water always takes the  path of least resistance. Our body weight is primarily attributed to …. you
guessed it – water. It is ingrained within our nature to always take the shortcut and to bypass the weight room.

What does all this mean? It means there comes a time when we have to face reality and know that a walk of faith in God and His word is not a trivial pursuit nor an undertaking that can be short-circuited with mediocrity.

There comes a time in our walk with God when we just simply ‘have to show up’ regardless of how we feel. Show up ‘where’ you might ask?

Show up and spend time with God. Seek Him and show up in a quiet time of prayer. Show up and meet with God’s people. Show up to read and study God’s Word. Just show up.

Don’t feel like facing frustrations with people and situations – Just show up.
Don’t feel like getting out of bed & going to church on Sunday – Just show up.
Don’t feel like going to work just to face another day of profanity, rumors, negativity, snickering, dirty jokes & innuendo – Just show up!

One thing is for certain – if YOU bother to show up HE WILL bother to show up.

Why Show Up?

There is an old saying and most people who claim to be a Christian for any length of time have heard it: “The only Bible people may ever read is the one they see in your life”. There is no doubt more truth in that phrase then we’d like to admit. And there are scriptures to even back it up. Here is one:

Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.(Isaiah 51:7)

Something mystical happens when one spends time in sincere prayer and in studying God’s word – they take on the nature of God and it eventually oozes out from the inside. After time, people “showing up” with God are noticed by those around them  (mostly subconsciously) and mark them as being cut from a different cloth or having a sparkle in their eyes that speaks of a grander place.

People are watching, they are observing and take note about those who confess to have a living relationship with God, of having an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ. People are generally not stupid. People can normally tell the difference between the fake and the genuine. Why? Because the human capacity to discern authenticity is ingrained within our fabric.

Why is this important to God? Simply because He needs us. He needs his people to be a  witness to a lost world so that he might do what he came to do – to heal and to restore the soul that it might live again. It is that simple. Jesus Christ came to this earth for one purpose – to heal the brokenhearted, the bruised and those beaten by the sins of this world:

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:11-12

And he needs his people to do it – he needs you.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.(Isaiah 43:10)


Everyone knows about and uses it in social media in response to a remark or comment – LOL (Laughing Out Loud).  Even cranking out those three letters on the keyboard with right ring finger nimbleness has a certain tingle to it.

However, there is a new ‘LOL’ being proposed here and it has nothing to do with laughter. Rather it deals with a subject having a weightier message – Love

LOL – Love On Location

That is right. Showing up and bringing LOL – the Love of God and Jesus into the situation.

When you show up people are going to see the law of the Lord resident in your heart and are going to read it. It is inevitable. They will perceive that it is something they need because they will feel its healing power and comfort:

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  (Psalms 107:20)

And as the opening scripture illustrates, people will “learn righteousness” through the reading of your life. But, you need to do one thing –

Just Show Up & bring your LOL!

Be Blessed.

The 80%

Eighty percent. What is significant about the number 80? It is said that 80% of all the athletes competing in any given Olympics  have absolutely no mathematical possibility of ever winning a medal. That is four out of every five athletes competing have no possible chance of ever winning against the one athlete who is far better trained or perhaps given the better opportunity for success because of the resources provided by his or her native country.

Olympic athletes may be all fairly comparable in talent and potential. But because of better training facilities and cash-enriched sports programs one athlete in five is given an advantage over the others who did not enjoy such “gold-gloved” treatment.

In the world of sports and in other competitive arenas participants are judged against the clock, the numbers “put up on the board” or from distant judges who tabulate performance metrics by what their eye can see.

But, God sees things differently. He sees things that go deeper than just surface skin, outward performance, scoreboards and scorecards. God sees the heart. The scales of judgement and scorekeeping in God’s kingdom are not based on what happens “to” us, “through” us, or “by” is, but rather what happens “in” us. These things are captured in agencies beyond the realm of the natural eye.

The gold medals awarded in His kingdom go to those who are maybe not the fastest, the most talented, the best looking, the most healthy, the most intelligent, the most resourceful, the most “connected” or the most charismatic.

God’s gold goes to those whose heart is right with Him, with their neighbor and with themselves. Those who have “made themselves ready”. Those who love the Lord with all the heart, mind soul and strength:

Galatians 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

What Motivates Me?

Being aware of this 80% phenomenon does not stop the athletes from less economically prosperous countries from proudly carrying their flag and marching into the opening Olympic ceremony in unison to represent their native country. Does it really matter to them that they are labeled amongst the 80%? Do they give up or put forth a half-hearted effort just because nothing short of a miracle will send them back home with a medal?

One overlooked fact is these athletes represent the best of their country and are the elite for their respective area of discipline. Without their representation their country would be forgotten, unnoticed, and forever undocumented as having participated in any given Olympic event.

Could it be that God’s method of judging is not based on performance but on motivation? God is a righteous judge. He sees everything. Nothing escapes Him. He sees who shows up or not (and the condition of our heart when we do!). He sees the opportunities we have been given and the degree to which those opportunities have been capitalized on. He also sees the stumbling blocks and hindrances and road-bumps hindering the journey and the opportunities squandered due to neglect or loss of passion.

What motivates my “going for the gold”? Is my motivation in “living for God” derived from family expectations? Is it to not let the program down (so to speak)? Or is it to escape from going to hell? Is that it, just to selfishly save my own hide from eternal banishment? Or maybe the motivation behind my Christian confession of faith is to soothe my conscience. My appearance on Sunday is the silver bullet to get me through another week of mulling over feelings of guilt, sins, failures or mistakes.

A writer who penned the following thought so succinctly describes the essence of the whole matter:

The motivation of a man’s life determines his worth“.

Motivation. It is all about motivation. Jesus stressed motivation. His apostles stressed motivation as being the determiner, the litmus test to make heaven’s award ceremony. Here are some examples:

1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:35-36, 40

Okay, I’m An Eighty-Percent’er, Now What Do I Do?

You have read the facts, heard the rumors and overheard the grapevine and it is confirmed you are definitely not in the 20% upper echelon. Now what? The question to ask is: What nation or what people group am I representing? Are you representing an ancestry peppered with broken marriages, drug addiction, criminal acts, alcoholism or eating disorders? Or maybe your lineage is laced with mental or physical hereditary illnesses/ diseases, infidels, unbelievers, anger issues, compulsive behavior, infidelity  or lust. What does Jesus have to say about it:

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

If so, keep walking for God. Hold the banner of faith, godliness, humility, truth and God’s love high and march on.

Show up at the opening ceremony of God’s grace and mercy awaiting you each and every morning and let God work out the details. You are standing in the gap for those who are depending not on your performance, but on your passion, on your pure motivation and not your accumulation of earthly medals.

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7

After a vexing day at work, school or the cares of managing a home and family it might take all of your strength to practice a musical instrument till midnight to the point of competence and near mastery. It consumes what remains of your stamina to pray and study scriptures to assemble a meaningful Bible or Sunday school lesson. The remaining embers of energy left at the day’s end may be exhausted by visiting a sick or needy family member or friend.

If it is all done for the glory of God then so what? He deserves the glory for it all anyway and it is God alone who will be handing out the medals for the Olympians of His kingdom:

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:6-7

Be Blessed