I think everyone in the world likes stories. The greatest Story Teller (God) has wired our hearts to resonate with stories.
When our daughter Joeli was 4 years old, she constantly requested, “Please tell me a story.” One day, I told her how before she was born, her dad and I had spent thirty days in prayer asking God to guide us in how to engage with Jesus in the world. I shared, “Some days we went to Signal Point and looked over the mountains and valleys of Chattanooga. We would then shout as loudly as we could the name of Jesus. We would listen to the Name of Jesus echo back to us over and over. The echo reminded us how we wanted Jesus’ Name to go everywhere on earth.” She innocently asked, “Well, mommy, what is an echo?”
A few days later, Joeli asked her daddy to share a story. He shared with her a story of how we once fasted, went without food, so that we could pray about something important. He shared how God spoke to us and directed us. We asked, “Do you think you will ever fast?” She smiled and said a long drawn out “NOOOOO!” I asked her, “Someday are you going to hear God give you direction for life?” She again smiled and said no. I responded, “Oh, I think you will someday fast and someday pray for direction because you were named after a prophet in the Bible (Joel).”
Joeli asked, “Well, what’s a prophet?” I explained that a prophet was someone who prayed and then shared with people God’s plans, standards, or heart. She excitedly jumped up and down and said, “Ohhhhhh! A prophet is like an echo!”
C and I looked at each other and said, “Wow, Joeli, yes. A prophet is like an echo.” We had never before heard a better description of a prophet or a better indication of how God wants his people to live.
Am I living as God’s echo? When the world sees me and hears me, do they catch a glimpse of Jesus? Do I reflect God’s heart, voice, and actions in a broken world? How about you?
Here are five key ways I seek to live as an echo every day.
- Agree to represent God.Like it or not, if I acknowledge affiliation with Jesus, I represent him. My life points people either away from God or to him. My life, words, and actions either enhance the reputation of Jesus or defame him. When I wake up, I tell Jesus, “I want to represent you well today. I agree I need your help to do that. Please help others see you through me today.”
- Pray God’s heart for the worldIn today’s world, I would have to underwater to not know I am living in accelerated evil times. Though tempted to turn my head away from the brokenness of the earth, as an echo I believe I must turn towards it. I must turn my face to Jesus and intercede where I see human tears. Rather than simply shake my head in disbelief, I must say bold prayers.
- Share God’s truth with someone else.As God’s representative, I must consistently look for people around me and notice opportunities when I might speak about Jesus to someone else. As light and salt, God can help me offer both warmth (encouragement) and truth (God’s word) in just the right dosage!
- Serve someone else in love.As God’s echo, my hands and feet need to engage the world God’s way. I just don’t think God would have all the echoes always around other echoes. How can I allow interruptions to move me into circles where I serve someone else? How can I purposefully engage in the world every day with love for others?
- Make a sound both near and far.When we shouted Jesus’ name on Signal Point, we heard Jesus’ Name repeated five or six times. It gave us chills. We learned the powerful effect of echoes. I have determined in my heart to live my life so that my life impacts both those around me and those far, far away with little opportunity to hear His name. I then ask God to bless that focus and action one hundred times over.This list is far from exhaustive. I am far from being the echo on earth I want to be. But I am on the journey! Can you imagine the radiance of light and the holy sound echoing throughout the earth if all God’s people daily tried to live as His echo? Give it a try.
Be an echo.Question: What ways have you discovered that you can live as an echo – reflecting God’s love on the earth? You can leave a comment by clicking here .