“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
We’ve been discussing over the past month through various blog posts how we can effectively use our influence and platform to bring the realities of heaven into our everyday lives. It’s an important topic, as we are all called as Christians to be kingdom minded people and bring heaven to earth.
Hearts with Him
When I think of platform, before any thoughts of earthly platforms or influence, my mind goes to our position – our ultimate platform – we have in Christ. Ephesians 2 explains that God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms. Why? So He could display His grace in us, through us, and invite us into His work. His heart is to pour out His kindness on us so that we in turn can bring kindness to the world. We can only give what we currently possess.
Our position and platform in Christ is the lynchpin to all effective kingdom-building ministry.
With Him we live and move and have our being. With Him we learn to discern the beat and passion of His heart. We learn patience, perseverance and even in the mundane moments of our lives we know that He is working all things together for our good because He has called and equipped us to not only influence those immediately around us and our communities, but also the world. We are called to disciple nations. It all begins from our platform of being well-loved children of the Most High God.
Father, help us to fully grasp that we are indeed seated in heavenly places with You and loved by You. Let us make our decisions from this perspective. Help us to tune into your voice, and tune out the clamoring voices of the world. Display Your grace in us and help us to not just hear You, but immediately obey You as well. Pour out Your kindness on us without measure so we can in turn pour out kindness into every situation you place us in. Give us the wisdom to build Your kingdom and not our own.
Hearts at Home
When I think back over the people who have touched my life in profound ways with the platform God gave them, I immediately think of my grandmother, Nelly McClary. All her grandkids called her “Granny,” but my brother and I were fortunate enough to be mothered by her. We were being raised by a single mom who worked long hours so Granny was the one who was there for us the most during our early, formative years. What I didn’t know about her until I became an adult was she never made it past the third grade. She was premature as a baby and her lungs were not healthy. She struggled all her life with asthma, and the doctors told her parents it was not good for her to be in school, so they took her out.
This is the same woman who made me sit down every day after school and do my homework. She made me write my times tables out by hand every summer day of my third grade year. She patiently looked at all my horse drawings and gently pointed out the head was still too small for the body. She cooked all our meals, made sure we had clean clothes and a tidy house and cut our butts when we got out of line. She had the prettiest yard in the whole neighborhood. She loved us well, and she sacrificed much to support her family. She may not have been recognized on earth as someone who had a significant platform, but as children she was our world. I believe her life of love and sacrifice brought great delight to our Father as well.
Father, we lift up the men and women who see the importance of establishing godly homes and raising godly offspring. Give us all the tools and resources they need to plant seeds of righteousness in the next generation. Help us to love as You love. Help us to raise children who run to Your Name and take refuge under the shadow of Your wing.
Hearts in Community
2020 is an election year and it has been remarkable seeing all the men and women whose hearts are being ignited by the Lord in this divisive season. He is calling so many of us to rise up and take our place and let our voices be heard on behalf of the fatherless, the unborn, the broken and abused. So many of us have a passion to see Godly values return to our nation. We are crying out for change, engaging in meaningful dialogue, praying for righteousness and a knowledge of the truth. It’s as if 1 Timothy 2:1-4 is burning like fire within us –
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
We long for peaceful and quiet lives, but we understand that peace has a price and it’s time for our many voices to be heard. God is giving His people a platform to bring righteousness and justice to our land, filling our mouths with truth, and aligning our hearts with His kingdom plans. Whether from the pulpit, in politics, or in the prayer closet, we must use our platform for His glory, and His alone.
Father, we lift up these burning ones to you – these men and women who are called and commissioned to go and bring the Kingdom of God into the arenas of church, community and government. Thank You for equipping them for every good work, for filling their mouths with Your words, and setting their faces like flint against the plans of the enemy. Give them a holy boldness and unwavering tenacity to hold on to You, raise the banner of truth, and see righteousness fill the land.
I am blessed to be a part of praying for a team who travels far to love precious souls on the other side of the world. This is the platform God has given them. We wrestle in prayer over crushing poverty, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. The team travels a couple of times a year to be the hands and feet of Christ, to bring hope to parents and children in a place ravished by despair. They feed the hungry, minister to the brokenhearted, educate, love, laugh, grieve and mourn. They do life with these precious people. They give from a place of abundance, but many times return with a fullness and joy they did not leave with. The people they serve have faith, and each other, and though they struggle they do have hope. They have Jesus. Even those the world would consider the “least of these” have a platform of significance with Christ in heaven. And if you have Jesus, you have everything you need.
Father, we lift up those You have called to the farthest reaches of our world to lift up Your Name. Give them all the grace, all the resources, all the passion they need to reach the world with the love of Christ. Their greatest prayer is that they would be found faithful in whatever You’ve called them to do. It is our prayer as well. Let us be found in You, obedient to You, spreading the love You gave us whether here at home, in our community or around the world. Help us to faithfully use our platform to make You proud Abba.
We pray all these things in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Lori Anderson-Bowen is the co-director for SC-C3 in Charleston and a publisher with Best Version Media. Her passion is to see the Church connect with the heart of God in practical, life-giving ways and to see generations impacted for Christ. She can be reached at LBowen@bestversionmedia.com.