“I’m not who you think I am.” It was a surprise to hear this in prayer as I’ve spent much of my adult life seeking to know God. Graduate school, life’s school, personal study, and experience all have led me to conclusions hard-won and proved in the quest to know God more. And now, I hear God saying, “I’m not who you think I am.” It gave me pause.
Does he mean I don’t know him at all? Is he referring to filters I see him through? Or is it that there is so much more to him than I can grasp that the little bit I’ve seen, the conclusions I’ve drawn are limited…excessively?
“Throw your nets on the other side of the boat,” said Jesus to the disciples. How telling that they did it immediately. I think they were already grasping what the Lord was speaking to me. That with Jesus, things aren’t necessarily what they seem. Apparently, fish do congregate in massive numbers on “the other side” of the boat. They learned (as I am learning) that sometimes the regular consequences just don’t apply. Thousands really can be fed with just five loaves and two fish if the right person is serving them. They came to understand that economics works differently in Jesus’ kingdom. The first person in line doesn’t actually win…that honor might go to the one coming in last.
“I’m not who you think I am.”
Maybe that’s why this little saying, “rise and rise again ‘til lambs become lions,” caught my attention. Immediately I imagine Revelation 5 when the lion of Judah comes into the great throne room to unroll the scroll no one else could open. But no, that’s not it. That might be the picture in my head, but it’s not the image in my heart.
I think it’s more like this: If there’s more to Jesus than I think, then that means there is more to me as well. And if that is true, then what is the more? Who is the Jesus I have not yet seen, and who is the girl inside me I’ve not yet met? Romans 12 and other passages speak about transformation. What does it look like on me? Where do I see transformation in my life?
I think what Jesus is inviting me to is “more.” More wonder, more mystery, more trouble, more grace, more peace, more strength, and more mind-bending revelations than I can even see right now – in me, those I love, and in the world. I don’t know about you, but that excites me and fills me with some trepidation all at the same time. I long to see God as he is…I long to love him more. I’m realizing that to do that I must let go of even more than I thought.
But that is the way lambs become lions. A lamb does not become a lion, it is transformed into one.
Jesus’ invitation is to transformation. Oh, that we will rise and rise again ‘til we and all that walk with us are changed from lambs to lions.