So I was mildly familiar with Elevation Church founder and Pastor, Steven Furtick but on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I heard him speak at The Potter’s House in Dallas, the flagship church of spiritual giant Bishop T.D. Jakes. The message was titled, “Winning the Battle Between” and was slotted as one of the messages in their young adult conference, Running Reckless 2015. Now I admitted earlier that I was only mildly familiar with Pastor Furtick before that Sunday, but I can honestly say that post-Sunday I have now added him to my list of thinkers to follow. Let’s start with the most obvious endorsement, Bishop Jakes. Any time a man as gifted and prolific as The Bishop extends the Sunday space to someone I perk up and listen. Let me pause to say that there is a lesson in this ushering into the spotlight that I find so lovely. The truth is that there are areas of influence and spheres of recognition that are invitation only. Your abilities, gifts, and talents may make you eligible, but it is your humble connectedness to the Gatekeeper that allows you to be invited in. I often silently cheer on those who, through their faithfulness (and not brutish climb to the top) are rewarded with an enlargement of their territory. So anyway, I tuned in to watch Sunday’s service (#thankful for eChurch) and was swept up in a message that was as relevant as any message I have heard lately.
I won’t get into every aspect of the message because you should hear it for yourself while you can. However, there was one portion of his sermon that was precisely cut to the specificity of my personality. I heard him say, “You’re not weird, you’re a weapon!” My “weird” little ears perked up because this is a subject that I have been turning over in my writings and heart for some time. This call of ours as believers to be a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2: 9-10; 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.) is one that I think speaks to the heart of the Modern Church. A church that is filled with a mish-mash of artists, techies, writers, and more. A kaleidoscope of oddly packaged disciples who throw tattooed arms up in praise and evangelize at vegan coffeehouses and end Bible Studies with spoken word meetups, flowing poetry peppered with scripture, prophecy, and insight. Raised on MTV and TBN this new generation of evangelists are as market savvy as any Hollywood representative and as committed to a new move of God as any church mother. This weirdness that Pastor Furtick spoke of is a human way of explaining how God in His infinite wisdom created the very nuances of your personality and giftedness down to every quirky, sometimes odd, always intentional aspect of you. I love this part of God’s wisdom. Whenever I think about this, I always think about Moses. The pioneer of the purposeful misfit of God’s chosen. Too Jewish to be Egyptian, too Egyptian to be Jewish; part slave, part master; a some of all but whole unto none, he just didn’t quite fit. His Jewish blood called out to his people of heritage, but everything about his upbringing and nurture reeked of “The Establishment.” This conflict would eventually make him a fugitive hiding from the law for forty years and entering into an interracial marriage to an Ethiopian woman (of which his brother and sister-in-law did NOT approve of, Numbers 12:1-16) and ending up right back at Pharoah’s house for a “miracle fight” that included snakes and a rod…I mean I love it. I just love that everything that Moses, I’m sure, fretted over in the identity crisis he found himself in was everything that God was developing in him to be used (mightily I might add) in the future. Just enough like the Egyptians to stand toe to toe with them just enough like the Children of Israel to fight for them. God used every part of his seemingly hodgepodge makeup to create the leader he needed to be to fulfill his destiny.
I like how Pastor Furtick emphatically said (as he spoke about Jonathon and his armor bearer’s half-acre victory in 1 Samuel) God had to make you just a little weird, just a little “saucy” to custom fit you for the destiny your were called to. If that’s not an encouragement, I don’t know what is. Now this is going to be a weird leap but follow my train of thought. I watch the #AskGaryVee show on YouTube, and I’m obsessed with it. An entrepreneur and multi-millionaire he answers (typically) business questions and offers his very unique brand of straight talk. One of his best (in my humble opinion) rants was the idea that society has duped us into focusing much of our time on fixing or building up the skills in which we are lacking or, at the very least, less proficient in. His antidote to a life spent fixing and not doing is to “go all in on your strengths” and quit obsessing about your weaknesses (this is by radio edit of this rant, by the way.) The correlation to Pastor Furtick’s decree of “You’re not weird, you’re a weapon” is this. The more you continue to lament the very things that make you different, a misfit, an oddity amongst the masses the more you will resist stepping into the fullness of what you are called to do. Every part of you is intentional; nothing left to chance. Instead of wishing to be like the others why not lean in fully to the peculiarity of your design. When you do, you will open the door to a fuller experience of being in the will of God.
Every nuanced aspect of you is another customized part of the weapon you were created to be to declare war on the ills and evils of this world. I believe with every fiber of my being that each one of us was created as a solution to a problem. That problem can be as expansive as poverty or as targeted as a lack of transportation for single mothers. The good news is that God cares about what you care about, in fact, He created you to care about it because, more than likely, you will be a part of the solution. So, for God, embrace your oddities, quirks, and weirdness. Pray that it is aligned to the will of the Father for you and fine-tuned with the character and tenacity you will need to implement that which you are intended to do. When you do so, God will, in His infinite loving-kindness, show you why you are the way you are and why He would not rest until you were brought into the earth. Because, just like any loving Father, He loves His weird and crazy kids and wouldn’t have them any other way.