When my oldest nephew was a little boy, he would often go to Grandma’s house while his mom was at work or running errands. One afternoon, he discovered the falegelling glass. He held it up to his hand and saw that his hand got bigger. He held it up to Grandma’s nose and found that her nose got bigger. What a discovery! No matter what he looked at through the falegelling glass, it always got bigger.
He carried the falegelling glass all around the house, using it to discover new things. He used the glass to discover things on the table and things under the table. He used it to discover more about the plants in the front room and the books on the shelf. He even used it to learn more about his snack, which is what got him in trouble. He looked through the falegelling glass, examining his pizza and then the plate and then the table and then…then there was nothing more to examine, and he was falling through thin air right off of his chair and onto the floor. His relationship with the falegelling glass was forever changed. His fall didn’t keep him from using the glass. No, it only made him wiser in his use of it.
By now you’ve probably guessed the more common name for my nephew’s falegelling glass. (We never did figure out why he called it that.) This story always comes to my mind when I think of magnifying glasses. This and Philippians 1:20, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Have you ever wondered about that nagging feeling down in your heart to live a life that means something? That desire to leave a legacy, to make something of your life, to live with purpose? I think most of us have wondered about that little nagging voice. In a sense, it is a natural tendency, born out of an understandable desire not to merely live and be forgotten. I believe, however, there is more to it than that. I believe God created us with that nagging inside of us. He built that motivation into us so that we wouldn’t simply survive but rather thrive.
It doesn’t end there, however. You see, He built that nagging into us because He has a purpose for us—for all of us. I’m not talking about individual purpose right now. I’m talking about the purpose for each and every being, which He created— the purpose of glorifying and magnifying God. The apostle Paul stated it well, when he said,
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also CHRIST SHALL BE MAGNIFIED IN MY BODY, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20)
We were created to be magnifying glasses.
Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
We were created for His pleasure, not our own. He does not force us to seek that pleasure, but it is the desire of His heart. The Greek word translated pleasure there in Revelation actually refers to someone’s will. This takes the meaning of the verse to a whole new level: We were created to do His will, and He is to receive glory, honor, and power because of it!
You could look at this from two different perspectives. You could say, “Wait, I don’t want to do anything but what I want to do. I’m not going to worry about what someone else wants me to do, even if that someone is God.” Or you could say, “What an amazing privilege we have been given. We have been chosen as the only part of creation that has words and language and powers of reason not only to declare the power and glory of our Creator but also to magnify Him.”
This is the purpose that nags deep within our hearts, the yearning placed there by a God whose love and grace and desire for fellowship formed us. Like my nephew’s falegelling glass, God wants to pick us up and, as we pass through life’s circumstances, use us to make His power, protection, provision, love, mercy, righteousness, holiness, grace, strength, comfort, and so much more—bigger to the world around us.
He wants us to live in a way that allows Him to show Himself strong on our behalf, so that others can say, “What an amazing God!” He wants us to live a life of faith and trust that will allow those around us to see that they too, without doubt, can trust Him to care for them and to be faithful to them. He wants our lives to magnify Him—in everything we do. What an adventure!
I’m often asked, “What does Forbid Them Not do?” I could answer that question in many different ways, and I will over the next few weeks, but this is where I want to start. This is the first purpose of Forbid Them Not Ministries—to honor and magnify the Lord. My prayer above and beyond anything else is that God’s hand would be clearly seen in this ministry. That He would have the freedom to astonish both us and those who are watching us with His amazing grace and power. But I don’t just want this in our ministry. I want this in my own life. I want to be used for the purpose for which He created me, and I want to invite you to join me in learning more about living this amazing, astonishing life that magnifies our God.
I’m going to be posting more about what the Lord has been teaching me in this area over the last year, as well as about how it applies to FTN. I encourage you not just to follow along, but to walk with me. Ask the Lord to magnify Himself through you, and don’t be afraid to “declare His doings.” Let’s take this journey together!