hanging?

A hero is defined as “one admired for his/her achievements and noble qualities.” Who is your hero? Is there a person who makes you a tiny bit “12-year-old-girl-giddy” when you think about hearing them in concert, seeing them speak live, or getting a front-row seat to watch them play their sport?

The most recent time I can remember being THAT giddy (in my heart, of course–no squealing was involved), is when I was at Passion Twenty-Ten. I had a front row, center seat for Chris Tomlin‘s soundcheck (what I like to call “my own personal concert!”). I was the usher of the VIP section where John Piper and his family were sitting during a session. I smiled and said a quick “hey” to Christy Nockels in one of the backstage hallways, as we passed by each other. I took a picture with Charlie Hall as he was walking through one of the main areas. I was about forty feet away from Louie Giglio and Andy Stanley as they were discussing program logistics for the next session when Andy would speak.

However, I was praying for an opportunity to meet one of my heroes, Beth Moore, who was also speaking at the event. I was so excited at even the prospect of talking with her, that I had “rehearsed” our conversation in my head. (Don’t make fun–you know you’ve done it.) I went through all the questions I would ask. I would make sure to tell her all of her books that I’ve read and Bible Studies that I’ve completed–and my favorite parts of each–so she would know what a devoted fan I was. I would gush about how much God has blessed me through her teaching. I would make sure to ask her to lay hands on me and pray for me. I was TOTALLY ready…

Then, God stopped me and I felt him say, “No. You would shut your mouth. You would just want to hear her talk. You would use all the time with which you were graced, to hear from her. You would savor and listen to every word she spoke.” Lord, thank you for our godly heroes. Bless them today, in Jesus’ Name.

How would you react to meeting your hero? Would you be scared speechless? Would you be totally star-struck? Would you talk their ear off? Have you already had that conversation in your head many times, too? Come on, be honest…

I believe the people in Luke 19:47-48 had the perfect response:

And he [Jesus] was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

I love how the author, Luke, is specific to say that Jesus was teaching daily in the temple. The apostle Paul says that under the new covenant, believers in Christ are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). We are the temple. It is no longer a building. Jesus is teaching each of us DAILY through His Holy Spirit who lives in us. He speaks to our heart through His gentle, leading voice. He teaches us more about Himself through Scripture. He has absolutely every intention and desire to “teach in the temple daily,” just as He did when He walked the earth two-thousand years ago. So incredible.

“Hanging on His words.” I love that phrase. This is an exact English translation from the Greek word Luke used. We have all seen a picture of someone hanging from the side of a building or dangling from a jagged cliff. There is desperation on his face, but determination in his fingertips. Everything depends on hanging on, otherwise death is imminent. In that moment, NOTHING else matters. There is nothing else that takes precedence. I believe that is specifically what Luke was trying to communicate in verse 48: those people had figured out that life was in this man Jesus’ words. They needed Him. Hanging onto His words was a matter of life and death.

Is anything distracting you right now from Jesus and the words that He’s speaking to you? Has anything else become more important? Has the enemy “stepped on your fingertips” as you’ve tried to hang on? Do you feel like you fell a long time ago and there’s no hope to get back up? Are you simply afraid of what Jesus might say? No matter what the Lord allows or brings into your life, His Word never changes–hang on it with desperation and determination. Ask Jesus for help–He has nothing but perfect love for you.

As much as I would love to have a conversation with Beth Moore, I can make it through life just fine without doing so. However, I promise you, if I never had another conversation with Jesus, it would be the death of me. I need every word He whispers to my heart. I hang onto them for dear life.

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10 thoughts on “hanging?

  1. Good stuff! Reminds me of a time in my life when I was totally broken and literally was “hanging on” and the Lord gave me a vision of me doing just that!!! Too long of a story to go into now, but when people would try to comfort me by saying, “just hang in there”, I would laugh and say, “no hanging IN there for me, I’m hanging ON (to Jesus) with everything i have!! I was hanging by the ends of my fingertips just like the picture you included (only for me, I was hanging on to the bumper of a car). Again, long story……..I’ll share it with you some day! love ya

  2. I’ve known you since you were 8 or 9. I know how you were raised. So none of your words ring false. All I can say is wow. You are a genuine gift to us Courtney. I am awed.

    PS…I majored in English Lit and find your writing style to be a joy to read. YOU are one of MY heroes.

  3. Let’s be honest.

    Jesus teaching daily in the temple, teaching you and me, by the Spirit living inside us.

    So cool.

  4. I think Beth would be proud of you because you get it! It’s not about her, Louie Giglio, Andy Stanley, Christy Nichols, John Piper or anyone else… it’s all about Jesus and what He is teaching us right now.

    Thanks friend! Miss you!
    ~H

  5. courtney. i love reading your blog. Jesus and the Holy Spirit use you to speak truth into my life sooo much. and i really needed the reminder tonight about how desperately i need Christ and His words in my life. i need to be thirsting for His teaching in His word and through His Spirit. that’s such an awesome truth! and i am convicted of how often i forget how privileged i am to have Him inside of me. but now that the Holy Spirit reminded me of His truth through you, i am super excited about it. 🙂 it reminds me of psalm 63:1. so.. all this to say – thank you. 🙂 love you.

  6. I love the idea of hanging on. There is so much to hang on to such as your purse when someone is robbing you, family/ friend, or your life partner so that you feel secure, but this means something deeper. Hanging onto God is so much better than anything else. He will never let go of you, get distracted, or get tired of holding you. I think this is such a great analogy to keep people moving forward in their spiritual life. In my opinion, if you don’t hang on to God, there is nothing worth hanging onto because at the end of the day you have to face Him and ONLY HIM!

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