What's true about authenticiy

We all want it-this life of authenticity. You'll hear it a thousand times in our society. It's a word that this generation has adopted as it's very favorite, it would seem.

Perhaps it's the fact that the idea holds a sort of beauty, and that beauty charms us, enthralls us, captivates our full attention. 

Our Instagram feeds give us away in this whole pursuit. They show what our hearts are after, and what it is that we crave. We're after authentic-there's no doubt about it. But what is it, I wonder, that authentic really means?

Learning how to build a life

It's been a few months now, since those words woke me up to a deeper perspective on life-a deeper perspective on dreaming and doing. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." (Psalm 127:1) These words are hidden somewhere deep within, and always seem to surface when they know they're needed yet again to remind my wandering heart.

What is it that they're really saying? I've got ideas and dreams with the very best of them, and a heart that just simply wants to do something. Is this some sort of plan to stifle, until I'm found doing nothing of purpose at all?

Are we going to recognize Him?

When you and I take those first steps over the threshold of time, when our days have all been wrapped up in some sort of ending chapter, and we're headed straight to the meeting of our Maker, will we recognize Him? 

Will we together look upon the face of that great and glorious One and cry out words such as "My Jesus" in a flood of overjoyed recognition.

You might be thinking that of course that's going to be you-staring up into the face of the One you've followed for so long. And if that is you, than friend, I'm straight up glad to hear it, because I've got the feeling that that will be the single greatest moment of your own, whole existence.

Those who choose to look beneath

It seems to me that what we all have a great need of is for a group of people who will choose to see beneath.

You see, our eyes are naturally drawn to what's right in front of our face. We look first to the things that seem to be the grandest and the greatest. Yet the greatest of all isn't always shown at a simple first glance.

Whenever there's treasure to be found, you can guarantee that you're going to have to dig for it. It's just the way that these things go. No jewel gained without some sort of strain. There's always going to be a strain. A strain on our hearts, a strain on our schedule, a strain on our easily tired-out bodies. With our human weakness there's always an inconvenience involved. And yet, treasures of Heaven are always going to be worth a lifetime of strain in earthly measures.

There's a Man who modeled this whole idea of looking beneath, and He did it remarkably well.

Jesus lived His life looking beneath the surface. You know that verse about how Man looks at the outward, but God looks at the heart? Yeah, the heart is one of those treasure that are found beneath. This is the sort of thing that we're all really needing.

You've probably got a whole heap of your own troubles and sorrows buried underneath. And maybe life's not all that difficult at the moment, but I bet there's still going to be a whole pile of wonderings and a whole, heaping lot of questions in your mind.

Of course, these aren't the things that you're going to go ahead and put up front in life. You might just be an expert at hiding all of the less than pretty pieces of life deep beneath the surface. Some of it was never meant to be seen by the entire world, after all. But still, they are there. Those questions don't always go away, and the wonderings can be enough to turn our hearts into a sort of crazy.

I'm asking you now to look at your very own hidden world. I'm asking you to realize that you're far from the only one that's an expert at hiding things beneath.

When Jesus walked along His earth, He had a way of looking at people, and instantly seeing all that was beneath.

In the woman who lay in the dirt, accused by the masses, He saw underneath to her broken and repentant heart. (John 8:2-11)

In the children who ran after him and were told to be gone, He saw that they would be the next generation of Christ-followers. (Matthew 19:13-15)

In the masses of people who continuously and inconveniently followed after Him, He saw the hungry hearts, looking for relief. (Matthew 9:36)

In the soldiers who mocked and beat Him, He saw underneath to their hearts so desperate for a Savior. (Luke 23:34)

In the great terror that was taking place, and the enemies seeming win, He saw beneath to the victory that was coming-ready to burst right through every war that this lying serpent thought He had won. (Luke 18:33)

There's always a freeing and raw beauty that's found just beneath the surface in the true realities.

When you look a person in the eye, don't ever let yourself forget that there's more than just what the surface reveals. Ask for the vision of Christ, that every human heart that passes you by, might sense that they are known and loved. Loved in a way that only comes from the One who knows every bit of what's been built up in their hearts.

When that family member hurts you, or the close friend up and deserts you, choose to let the grace of God give sight to your hurting eyes, to see their own hurting that's hidden there beneath.

When this crazy world gets the best of you and you're wondering why the storms are needed, go ahead and take a look beneath. You're going to see the mighty pillars of a Faithful God holding you straight up. You're going to see the never ending wells of His promises that will never let you down.

Choose to always look beneath the surface to the truth that lies below, and you'll find you're looking at this whole world from Heavens clearer view.

Taking little steps when all you want to do is run

Do you ever get the urge to take a giant leap forward to the next paragraph in this life story of yours? Do you ever wish you could skip all of these small, seemingly insignificant steps that are barely moving you forward, and wish instead you could move on to the point when all of the clarity is brought, like some grand, overdue gift?

Maybe your little corner of the world seems slow and unclear, or maybe it's gone and turned upside down on you. You feel like a jump forward would be the best solution to your little dilemma of confusion. 

And yet, you and I are going to find that our Father is often more in favor of the daily, little steps forward, rather than asking us to go and take a leap ahead.

There's no need to hide the fact that we are weak

There was a time when I had embraced it. There wasn't any trying to deny it. I knew deep within myself there was only someone who was weak.

Too weak to live well on my own. Too weak to go ahead and sum up enough strength. Too weak to try and take any of the praise or glory.

I'd come to love that verse in the Bible. You know, the one about God using the foolish things to shame the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:27) I'd full out come to love the fact that I was a part of this upside down Kingdom of God's own choosing-this place where weak things were the only things that were chosen to be used.