Throughout human history, from the earliest myths to the most modern novels or narratives for screen and stage, civilizations and systems have been upheld, and others, brought to heel or even toppled through the power of a well-told tale.
While humans love discussing ideas, what they love more is to have those ideas embedded in a much more digestible and relatable story.
In ancient times and pre-literate societies, history is handed down orally, requiring the use of stories, song and poetry to allow those entrusted with safeguarding that history to more easily commit it to memory and share it with the people.
In the Gospels, Jesus used parables to help convey the truths He wished to deliver to those following Him.
In more modern times, certain well-written novels, movies and stage plays have shaped people’s perceptions of the world around them, for good and ill, at levels mostly unattainable through other methods of delivering information, such as news reports or textbooks.
Even social media carries a bit of that power, as much of its lure arises from a desire among people to keep up with the unfolding stories of the lives of family members, friends and acquaintances.
Here there is truth, and power. Every one of us has a story to tell. Each of us have experiences that can inform, entertain and perhaps even alter the course of the lives of the eternal souls that surround us.
And for those of us who call Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we all have a wonderful story to tell. Perhaps your story is of a radical transformation, from an existence filled with darkness, pain and bondage, to a life of freedom, life and light in Christ. Or perhaps your story involves a great miracle, as our Creator stepped into your situation to bring healing or remarkable provision in some fashion. Or perhaps your story highlights the faithfulness and grace of a God who has never abandoned you or forsaken you through the entirety of your life’s journey.
But no matter what your story, God has called you to share it with those around you.
This may involve talking with coworkers or classmates about what God has done for you. Or it may involve following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and sharing your story with someone you’ve never met.
But for most of us, it will begin with sharing our stories with those closest to us, those who know us best: Our family and friends.
As Pastor Bryan shared this past Sunday, shortly after Jesus cast out a Legion of demons from a man, the man in gratitude asked Jesus if he might follow Him. Instead, Jesus have him a different command: Go home and tell those there how much God has done for you.
That same command has been passed through the ages to each of us. Have your children heard the story of what God has done for you? Have your parents? Your siblings? Cousins? Friends? Those are all great starting points.
This week, be encouraged: Your story is important. It is filled with power, pointing to Jesus, offering those around us a taste of what He can do, and inviting them to see for themselves.
Ask God to lead you to opportunities to share that story of grace and redemption with those He will move upon to listen – and then be willing to talk about it. Watch, then, if God does not move in power in the minds and hearts of those who hear, to draw them to Himself. And all you had to do was tell the tale of what God has done for you, as you follow after Him, in the God-First Life.