The MISFIT: A Charge to (NOT) Fit

“So Father, I thank You and bless You. You are sovereign Lord, and Your precepts, decrees, and Word never change nor fail. You are constant, and You desire for our consistency. I thank You for being so loving, and so forgiving. Right now, Lord I repent for myself and all my brothers and sisters over the world: I repent on the basis of compromise; for greatly this generation of Your children, we’ve been very slack. We’ve accepted many laws; we’ve accepted many decrees; we’ve accepted foolishness; we’ve accepted statements made by our unbelieving counterparts that have become realities to us. God, we’ve claimed Your name and calling, yet have shamed Your Word, through our actions and acceptance of actions of unbelievers. You desire truth and mercy in the secret place, yet it’s often only when we repent for ourselves to You, do we present truth and mercy. God teach us to be like You.  Teach us not to withhold truth and mercy. Teach us how to truly follow Your Word, and be like You Christ Jesus. Amen.”

 

I’m hoping you meant that ‘amen.’ If not now, then I hope by the end of this letter you would. I’m sure you caught the message for this piece already from that prayer and title, but if not, this is clearly and simply about not fitting in—and being very okay with not fitting in.

I’ve told my testimony a number of times, actually, not as much as I probably should though (you can find it in our archives). The thing with my testimony, and who I’ve come to be is: I’ve never actually fit in. I think throughout my pre-college career, I’ve touched with about every social group (cue ‘Stick to the Status Quo’): the ‘nerds,’ the ‘jocks,’ the ‘popular,’ the ‘Africans,’ etc. But I’ve never really found my niche with them. It was because I was not crafted to fit in. From my formation in my mother’s womb, I was created to be a misfit.


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

Consecrate(d) [v]: to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity.


The thing with Bible verses, if anyone is in doubt the validity of their relevance today, is that God’s Word remains the same; it remains available; and it remains effective forever.[1] Psalm 33:9 says, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” So God’s Word remains, and is effective for us today. I believe that, if it’s in the Word, no matter to whom it’s directed at, or for, it has relevance to us as individuals, as a group, and as the entire body, today.

We were made and created to be consecrated. In my interpretation, we were made to be misfits. This requires of us a number of things; might even require a lot of ‘no’s’ for us, but in contrast the innumerable amount of ‘yes’s’ outweigh those ‘no’s.’ In fact, the ‘yes’s’ are so much greater in opposition to the ‘no’s’ that if we observe one ‘yes’ to its opposing ‘no,’ we’ll see that for whoever chooses to do that ‘no,’ WILL SUFFER opposed to the WILL REJOICE that comes with choosing that ‘yes.’

Here’s an example: say you’re faced with the ‘yes’ of attending a night of evangelism or attending a friend’s birthday celebration (which is likely to dabble in ungodliness, a clear ‘no’); you being a believer, can actually probably attend either one, refrain from doing any ungodliness, if you attend the party, and that’d be it.

However, you being a believer with the call to lead others to Christ (that’s not optional, but mandated)[2]  are much better off going evangelizing, simply because your focus is leading others to Jesus. While, it’s very possible you can lead the party attendees to Christ, that’s likely not central in your mind frame, nor anyone else’s there.

It’s also very possible that you being at the party positions you into ungodliness, clearly more so than evangelizing, where people knowing of your choice to follow God, can begin questioning whom your loyalty relies on: Jesus or friends. (And trust me, everyone wants to be loyal to their friends, and wants reciprocated loyalty…even JESUS!)  These person(s) might begin to wager salvation as a matter that still condones ungodly living, regardless of you not partaking in ungodly actions.

I mean, going evangelizing, can have its negatives as well, right? You might not win a single soul for Christ; you might get cursed out; worst of all, you might even die. But you’ll be straight because you did your job and didn’t assume a position of compromise and for this, God is proud of you. And you’re now due for some type of reward, according to His Word [3] (we did just accept and establish His Word is true, right?).

Shoot, we’re often even given a third option, and that’s to do nothing. This last option tends to favour one of the previous options, in that it requires for the time spent doing the “yes” or “no” to be occupied with something else. And we all know, “what a man reaps, so he sows” (Galatians 6:7).

The point of that example, hopefully I was clear enough, is that the “yes” benefits will always outweigh the “no” benefits, if there are any. What made it a “no” in the first place was the fact that it conflicted with God’s word that says “what fellowship has light to do with darkness(2 Corinthians 6:14).

The following verse says, “or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” If not examined properly, the verse might seem a little hypocritical. I mean, how can we evangelize to unbelievers, if we’re not around them? Easy, be around them; just don’t accustom yourself to their ways, and their doings. [4] Be set apart. Don’t fit in. Be a MISFIT.

We can save a dying world by being in it, but not doing what it does. We can save our country by being in it, serving in it, but not doing it the way of our fellow countrymen. We can save our schools by being in them, excelling in them, serving in them, but not doing it the way of our peers. We can enjoy ourselves and have the time of our lives by not doing what everyone else does, but doing what we do, with all creativity, inspiration, and grace given to us from God, as to the Lord and not to man.

While recently at IHOP-KC OneThing 2015, in passing, I heard a worship leader say something along the lines of, “We want the world to be sampling and using our songs, not the other way around.” And I couldn’t agree with the individual more. It might even sound cliché, but there’s an abundance of truth there.

All over the Bible, we are charged with being set apart, being different, and having those who’re in the world look unto us and then get directed to the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.

We see this when Job is highlighted as a perfect man, one blameless and upright, who feared God and turned away from evil[5]; when God gives the Israelites, through Moses, the 10 commandments and all those laws in Leviticus to remain set apart from the Canaanites[6]; and we see this when God thoroughly urges and instruct us to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven; Keep your conduct among the unbelievers honorable, so that…they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12)

There’s an evident call to be different, and be different so others may see it, and eventually turn to the Lord because of your difference. Once again, we walk this Christian walk not just for ourselves, but for others to also come to know Jesus. If that’s not what you’re about, my brother, my sister, please evaluate yourself. If your mindset is not about living your life out as an example of Christ while following Christ's’ example, my friend, this Christianity thing you’re doing, isn’t really it.

My simple definition of Christianity is “following Christ.” The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch [7] for simply “following Christ.” Following Christ obviously isn’t just a matter of saying, “Oh, I follow Christ,” but actually doing it—that looks like being a disciple.

And that, I earnestly and prayerfully believe, according to the Word, requires us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and truly follow Jesus [8]. We are also required to deny ungodliness, flee from any appearance of evil, do that which is good in the Lord's sight, walk wisely, and do it all for the glory of the Lord [9].

Doing an ounce of any this will indefinitely require us to say “NO” to so many things, such as particular outings, some meetings, specific type of shows, songs, and even dances, maybe even some manners of dressing, and most significantly, some pleasures [10]. But the rewards of that resounding “YES” that raises from declaring these “NO’s,” I assure you, on account of the Word, are far too glorious and too fulfilling for our minds to grasp.

So, I urge you, I earnestly urge you and myself: Let’s please agree with an ‘AMEN’, that at the very dawn of this year, and for the rest of our lives preceding eternity, to say “NO” to these things that akin to ungodliness, or can even hint to any sense of unrighteousness; but in return, let’s develop the eager habit of saying “YES” to every promise, whether conditional or unconditional that God has in store for His children. I’m positive that by His grace and lovingkindness we won’t regret it [11]. Yes, be a MISFIT! Please do. It’ll benefit you, those around you, and the world so much that you are.


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9


Shout out to the guys at Social Club for truly carrying and living out this Misfit lifestyle. Also, here’s a shout out to three sisters for allowing me to experience the joy of being a misfit; you know yourselves’.

 

With love and a glorious Amen,

Jum the Beloved (1:5)

 

(Note: Under this are footnotes to all the verses I alluded to, please check them out and hold me accountable.)

[1] Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 33:4-9

[2] Matthew 28:19

[3]1 Corinthians 3:7-8; Luke 10:3-11

[4] Romans 12:2

[5] Job 1:1

[6] Exodus 20; Leviticus

[7] Acts 11:26

[8] Matthew 16:24

[9] Titus 2:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, Deuteronomy 6:18, Ephesians 5:15, 1 Corinthians 10:31

[10] Isaiah 58:11

[11] Romans 8:18