Get Out of Their Way
Have you ever wanted to show someone something that was so amazing but they couldn’t see it? Or has anyone ever wanted to show you something amazing, but you couldn’t see it? For example, have you ever wanted to see the moon, but you couldn’t because there were obstacles in the way leaving you dissatisfied? Like when the news reports there is going to be a full moon tonight, or a blood moon, or maybe an eclipse…you run outside, and you can’t see it the way they report it---either a cloud, a tree, a building, or other obstacles are in your way---and you feel disappointed, like you missed out on something awe striking and amazing. I have definitely felt that way on more than one occasion. Seeing it on TV is not as satisfying as when I could go see the moon myself.
Recently, this is the way I was feeling about sharing Jesus with my teenage kids, only I was the one trying to show them something, and I wasn’t sure they were getting the full picture. This is what the Lord revealed to me one day as I questioned Him as to if I had done enough to teach my teenage kids about Him. My conversation went something like this…
“Lord, my kids are teenagers and I feel like time is slipping away and I am not sure if they know you like I want them to know and love you. I want them to join a youth group, Bible study, something, and they are not interested, and I keep trying to point them to you and I am not sure it is working! Have I done enough? What else can I do?”
So, then the Lord shows me an image of myself. Jumping up and down, waving my arms frantically, as if signaling for help. Flagging and pointing, jumping up and down so that the passerby won’t miss what I am pointing to—like the Tasmanian Devil in a Looney Toons clip. Kind of a funny image of my desperation, but a great reflection of what was going on in my heart.
“Yes, Lord, that is me! See the desperation for my kids to see you? I keep flagging them down and pointing to you behind me.”
The image continues and I can see that the moon is behind me, and it is a full moon, beautiful in all its glory. My movements becomes more frantic as I stand in front of it jumping, flailing and pointing to it behind me, only now the moon is so big, you only see my silhouette covering different parts of it as my body moves in different ways.
“What you are doing wrong, my child, is that in all YOUR effort in getting your kids to see me, you are actually blocking me. When your kids will go to look for me, they will always be looking for someone to be standing in front of me, trying to get their attention instead of just seeing me in all my glory. The only way they will know me, is to see me for myself. Then they will not fall for a counterfeit or wait for someone to show me to them. If you want your kids to see me, you need to get out of their way.”
I will admit that this was very saddening to me. I felt disheartened that I could possibly be the one that would make my kids miss out on knowing God when I was so desperately trying to show them God. How could that be? I mean I guess I just thought that I have the Holy Spirit in me and my hope was that while I stood in front of the moon, that a heart shaped hole was letting the moonlight through. I mean, wouldn’t they see the Holy Spirit in me and through me and see Him. Wasn’t that enough? I didn’t understand at all and so I took a few days to chew on this image.
Do you ever do that? I think a lot of people do this without even realizing it. We feel like we have to be the interpreters of the Bible instead of leading others to the Bible and letting the Holy Spirit talk to them. As kids that is necessary to help them understand, especially before they have accepted Christ, but as they grow, perhaps our role does need to change with them. Have you ever thought that maybe at times you could be the obstacle? I didn't! The last thing I want is for my kids to fall for a false prophet, a counterfeit! A lot to think about…
So, few days later, I came back to the Lord and asked Him, “Lord, if I am not to jump in front of you to make sure my kids are even looking in the right direction, then what is my role? How do I do it?”
The Lord then gave me this image: me and my daughters, on a hillside with the moon in all its fullness and glory before us. From the back, all of us are silhouettes so in the front, His radiance is shining and reflecting on our faces. He shows me taking their hands in mine and standing beside them with all of us facing his Glory. My job was to be beside them and be in awe of Him. I point, but not in a way that would block their view or get in the way. I describe what I see and ask them what they see, but most of it was speechless, just letting the awe speak for itself.
My heart felt so at peace with this image, but then fear struck in and I asked the Lord, “But Lord, how will I know that they are not going to be looking to the right or the left and that the other lights won’t get their attention and distract you from them? How will I know?”
The Lord answered, “When they know me, they will not fall for a counterfeit. They will know to look for my light. In fact, they will seek me, when they know me. Your job is to sit beside them and revel in my glory and be in awe with them and grow with them. Talk to them and don’t get in between us. Let me speak for myself for I AM who I AM. No one can speak for me.”
And so this image lingers in my mind. My fanatic waving and jumping and pointing was really distracting. But more than that, it was very exhausting. It was also making me feel responsible for their salvation and walk, which was a humongous burden to carry. The more fearful I was getting, the more frantic I was feeling inside. As they grew up as kids, I did teach them; I did host Bible studies, take them to church and camp, and I have been a living example of my faith. I know they know the Lord, but now they are older and it is time for their faith to become their own but at times I can’t see it. My job is to pray for them and be in awe—bring back the wonder and amazement of what a mighty God we have--and remind them that He is there in a way that is beside them, looking from their point of view. Like the moon, sometimes we see him better than other times. Sometimes the clouds or obstacles cover his presence or sometimes the earth casts its shadow and we can’t see him at all. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. The moon is still there, we just can’t see it. Same with God, He still exists even if sometimes we can’t see Him. In those times, we will sit beside our kids and recount with them all that He is and has done. The most important part is that they know Him personally, trust Him in all times, and not follow counterfeits that look like him or try to reinterpret who He is to fit their needs.
Have you ever considered your role with your kids or others in this light? We are to share the good news indeed. If someone has never heard the good news, then we must teach them without making ourselves the center of the good news. We can share our testimonies, but it is to bring glory to God, not us. We do have a responsibility in sharing Jesus, but their actual walk and relationship is more about His work in them than our work outside of them.
Asking them what they see and discussing it is much more effective than just describing our experience and telling them what they should see. Questions like: Where do you see God in this? Describe what you see when you look upon God. How do you see this situation in the light of God? How does what you see match what scripture says about Him? What can you do to see Him better? How can I help you see Him better? What about Him makes your heart stop in awe of Him?
When their answer does not match yours, have a discussion about it. They are looking at God from a different perspective and their perspective might be just as valid as yours. Find out why they see that part of Him, in that way, at that time. Some things we fear they might say may have a deep root in an attribute of God that we never considered. If it lines up with scripture, it just might be that God is working on a different part of His story with them, using different gifts and different perspectives. You will have to trust God in their walk, while leaning on Him to know what to say and ask about Him. Our role needs to shift just enough that we get out of the way and allow God to do His work as the Great I AM. We need to have faith that God Himself is enough and trust Him to show us our part.
“Holy Father, I am so sorry for the times I forget that it is the Holy Spirit that reveals who you are and that my kids have the ability to see you with their own eyes. As much as I want to be in control of their spiritual lives, it is not me, but an interplay between you and them that ultimately has the final say. Help me to know my role and not get in the way of you. Thank you that my kids profess to know you. I know that not everyone has eyes to see You. I pray Lord that whoever is reading this that has people or kids in their life that are blind to you, that you would open their eyes to see your glory. Someone out there is reading this wondering if they did enough. Lord, take whatever part they did and multiply it for our glory. Take anything Satan means for shame and turn it into gold and add to it with your own strength and power. We lift that up to you. And Lord, don’t let us ever stand in your way, thinking our interpretation is better than actually knowing you. Help us to shine your light and radiate with your glory but then turn, so that others can see what we are looking at so they too can have that light in them. Help us to show and present you in a way that makes others stand in awe of you and want to know you more. You are the way, the truth and the light, Jesus, and we pray that our loved ones would see and worship you for all your glory and have a relationship with you that grows independent of us. May God have all the glory in this—not us. I pray this in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.”
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Written by Katina Wilkins, Morning by Morning Life Coach. Picture taken in Mexico June 2021.