by Jon Potter | From Our Men’s Issue | Click Here For The Full Issue
“…how do we as men reclaim greatness in a society that has so many perversions…”
To every man reading this, I want to dissect the concept of reclaiming greatness; however, before I do, I want to provide a context for my thoughts. On January 2nd of this year, I awakened from a deep sleep with three words that suddenly leaped into my spirit. The first two were the words redeem and restoration, both of which were familiar to me. The third word was one that I had heard before, but had never used as part of my regular vocabulary. I was unfamiliar with its etymology and application. The word was “reclamation”. I felt a nudge by The Holy Spirit to study what reclamation meant and I was amazed to see its spiritual significance. In short, it means to reclaim what is useless and restore its productivity. I found it interesting that it is most often used in the realm of reclaiming land that has been flooded. I was reminded of the spiritual application where Isaiah 59:19 says, “when the enemy comes in like a flood, The Lord will raise a standard against him”. The question is, how do we as men reclaim greatness in a society that has so many perversions of the Word? How do we clear the proverbial landscape that has been flooded and reclaim it. Men, we have to redefine what we call “great” and adopt God’s definition.
Concerning greatness, it might surprise you that God has not called any of us to obtain it. What He has called us to, is to walk out this life in Humility, Obedience and Excellence. Regardless of our individual gifts, pedigree, and influence, the Lord wants us to implement these virtues as we cultivate the fields of our lives. I believe in this tool so confidently, that if you and I humbly obey the laws of any field or discipline, and do this with excellence—greatness is inevitable.
However, greatness in God’s eyes is not a destination, but a journey, and how well we serve the needs of others as we take each step is a reflection of who we believe God is in our lives. It is interesting that in the day of mega ministries and lofty five-fold aspirations, many people have lost touch with Jesus’ idea of being great. The desire to abandon self and serve others seems so distant from much of what is prevalent in today’s Church of the Sensation and Gratification. Even in many pulpits, there is a disparity between what Christ taught on servanthood and what is practiced by leadership. Today everyone wants the spotlight, but no one wants to change the bulb.
In John 13:3-5, the Apostle John gives us a portrait of how God would define greatness. It says: Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
If you examine it with a discerning heart, you may find in this verse, the single most liberating truth for God’s servants and the path to Kingdom greatness. This story tells us about the intimate Passover meal right before Jesus’ death. His time with the disciples was ending. They had seen Him minister in many different situations, but as He proceeded to wash their feet He was about to stun them.
Foot washing in that day was about as low on the social, much less ministry, totem pole as you could go. Usually this job was reserved for slaves, and let me explain why. Roads were unpaved. Animals had droppings. Rains came. Mud and other stuff would ooze between toes and…you get the picture.
Jesus moved into position to wash His disciples’ feet, as He is about to demonstrate the way and the attitude that should characterize their ministry from this point forward. Jesus’ actions so offended Peter, that he almost stopped his rabbi before he could begin. However, what is pertinent is not just what Jesus did, but the preamble to what He did. Let’s take a look at verse three. “…Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God…”
Here, we observe God the Son, who had no need to submit to servitude but did so anyway. In addition, the Holy Spirit gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ pedigree and maybe even more importantly, His eternal frame of reference.
Son of God, please understand this, Jesus knew exactly who He was!
Jesus was the One who by and through Him, ALL things are made. He is the One that upholds everything by the very power of His word. He made the dirty roads. He created the animals that would trudge over them and their digestive tracts that would produce droppings. He caused the rain to fall that would ultimately soil the feet of the disciples, which He also created. Friend, Jesus knew who He was, where He came from, and where He was going. He did not mind getting His hands a little dirty. If we will recall, He had done it once before back on a playground called creation. Oh how much I love and need a Savior and King who still stoops to wash what is filthy!
When Jesus bent down to begin His task, those 12 men had no clue of the Divine Dignitary that was cleaning dirt and dung off their feet…but He knew. They believed, but could in no way fully comprehend the fact that Jesus was on loan to earth and that His eternal throne sat right beside Yahweh’s…but He did. Jesus knew. He created all things and would soon ascend and return to His rightful place beside his Father. The crux of this verse and the take from all I have stated is this: Jesus’ had no identity crisis! His self-worth was not wrapped up in what He was doing in the moment. His identity was forever connected to who He was in the Father! Understanding this foundational truth is the beginning of reclaiming greatness.