“We all have a great cloud of witnesses, and that cloud consists of anybody and everybody who has influenced our lives. . . . To believe that any of those people are in our lives by happenstance is to grossly underestimate the sovereignty of God.”- Mark Batterson
“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us.”- Hebrews 12:1
In Chapter 9 (“Hidden Figures”) of Whisper, Mark Batterson covers the fifth love language – people. For as the English poet John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself.” Furthermore, the primary reason C. S. Lewis attended church revolved around his belief that failing to go would result in something he called solitary conceit.
Therefore, Pastor Batterson asserts, God puts people in our lives to:
- overcome solitary conceit
- overcome solitary confinement
- keep us humble
- draw out our potential
Through our relational encounters, God gets us where He wants us to go. Hence, people constitute the fifth love language. For example, God used a spiritual father, the apostle Paul, to encourage Timothy. In 2 timothy 1:7, Paul wrote that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (NASB)
Most noteworthy, the word timidity comes from the Greek word deilia, meaning “cowardice.” It’s the only time that the word occurs in the New Testament. However, according to church tradition, Mark notes, Timothy was dragged through the streets and eventually stoned. His crime? – trying to stop a pagan parade.
In conclusion, Pastor Batterson states, when you use your personality as an excuse, your personality controls you. As Mark exhorts:
“You tell me your excuse, and I’ll tell you where God wants to use you. That’s how He puts His grace and glory on display.”
Today’s question: What great cloud of witnesses most impacts your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Two options – alter ego or altar ego?”