Taking the Low Road

Bull Rider Trampled“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” -Philippians 2:17

Bull riding is pretty amazing and for me, it measures worldly manliness extremely well. I want to be that hard-nosed all American man who battles against a 1,000lbs of raw power with nothing but a pair of jeans as protection. For me, it’s a great image of a man:  tough to the bone, strong enough to ride and conquer the fiercest of problems, and able to achieve glory while doing it. No matter who you are, the occupation of bull riding is worth a tip of the hat and piece of respect.

As a person chasing the kingdom and Jesus, we can get sucked into the mindset of being a bull rider. We seek spiritual maturity so that we can stand firm in hard situations that we normally otherwise wouldn’t be able to (the proverbial “bulls” of our lives). We attempt to be a “vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy and useful to the master of the house” (2 Timothy 2:21) and we associate this holy use to grand and glorious things. We want glory. 

When we make the decision to let God be the Lord of our lives and to take complete control, we almost always expect big things. What Paul is saying to the Philippians is that he is willing to be used by God even if it means being a sacrifice so that others come to Christ.  We expect God to equip us to be the fearless bull rider that is the shining example that brings others to Christ, but what if he calls us to be trampled by the bull? 

It’s out of selfishness that this makes us uncomfortable, but I think it’s because of a part inside of us that still is holding onto control of our lives. We want to choose what our personal sacrifice will look like and who exactly will see it to commend us in that time. I often picture God asking me “are you ready to conquer the world and gain glory for me?” which leads to glory for me too. I think the real question is perfectly worded by Oswald Chambers:

“Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket– to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the person who’s life you served?” 

Are you ready to serve God like this if you were so called, and to be the trampled and not the conqueror?

I am constantly challenged by this questions. And it’s not to say that we won’t be used for amazing, world changing things. But if God calls for your life to be completely insignificant to the world but priceless to eternity, would you submit? Could you be the door mat?

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