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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Princess Spike”
Spike learned an important lesson about not only “pony nature” but human nature in this episode, even if he misapplied it. When faced with arguing and bickering ponies in need of guidance, he was able to get them to follow his advice and direct them in any way he wished simply by name-dropping Princess Twilight Sparkle before everything he told them. While this may seem like just a joke or gimmick for this episode, it actually illustrates a greater concept at large: people who speak with a sense of authority are often obeyed.
Allow me to illustrate with an example in real life. Back in my college days I was going with a group of people to see a limited-engagement movie playing in a downtown movie theater. It was such a popular event that a line was forming outside of the theater, and rather than wrap around the building it was stretching into the street. Subscribing to basic “group mentality”, anyone new who came along didn’t try to twist the line back but, seeing what everyone else was doing, simply attached to the end and kept lengthening it.
As we approached, however, one of the members of my group suddenly stepped forward, cupped his hands to his mouth and, speaking in a bold voice as if he had been an off duty police officer, told everyone in the street to move back and curl around the building. Now, a few people snorted and asked who he thought he was, more or less; but they, along with everyone else, did as they were told. They moved the line out of the street and against the building.Keep in mind this group member wasn’t wearing anything special, wasn’t big or tough looking, and pretty much just seemed like another college student, yet he still got a result. He informed me that all the crowd needed was a voice of direction.
I think that’s true in life. Many of us like being self-sufficient and capable, and most of us probably don’t like the idea of being under someone else’s direction. But the truth is there’s times in our lives where we do tend to wander aimlessly; sometimes out of genuinely being lost or confused, or sometimes out of simply not having any other direction to tell us otherwise. And when we’re at a point where we’re at a loss and don’t know what to do, we tend to gravitate to whoever can rise out and be a “leader” or “director”.
Imagine that you and a bunch of other people are on hike in the wilderness and suddenly you get separated from the guide and become lost. Wouldn’t you naturally incline your ear to the first person who says: “Everyone gather around! I know exactly what to do!”? In other words, when one speaks with authority, others will inevitably listen. Even if that authority is based on nothing more than one’s assessment of themselves or a projection of imaginary authority, it’s still enough for an individual to rally others around them; especially in situations where they are “lost” in some way.
Lord Jesus Himself is noted in the Bible as “speaking from authority”. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:28-29) The religious leaders of the day didn’t speak with authority because they only knew how to repeat the law as it had been given to them; never understanding the spirit behind it or the God who had declared it.By contrast, Jesus knew what He was about, what His Father was about, and what He wanted to accomplish. He knew He had the words of salvation and everlasting life, and He proclaimed them boldly. And because He spoke with this authority, not on His own but knowing He was proclaiming the words and divine plan of His Father, He made an impact.
Did you ever notice that, often, all Jesus had to do to get a new disciple was call out to them? The Bible directly states that there was no great physical feature about Jesus that made Him stand out or command attention (Isaiah 53:2). Therefore, one has to reason at least part of the reason people flocked to Him was the words He said and the authority He spoke with.
Not everyone can be a great leader, but everyone can lead. Success, after all, is when preparation meets opportunity. Sometimes all it takes is to be in a group that doesn’t know what they’re doing or looking for guidance, and then to be one who decides to speaks out and guide. That’s what happened when we went to see that movie, and that’s definitely what happened with Jesus Christ. After spending His earthly life never traveling farther than Egypt (and that was with His parents as a child), Jesus nevertheless left a legacy behind that spans the world and encompasses many of the people on Earth to this day.
For those of us that follow Christ, let us be aware that we are also on a great “authority” who has given us a spirit of power, might, and boldness in the face of everything the world throws at us when bringing the Good News to the world and all peoples. And let’s keep that in mind every time we find a person or group of people who are lost and in need of a voice to guide them in the right direction.
Finally, I remind everyone that when people are lost or feeling without direction they’ll turn to the first voice that offers them one; whether it leads them in a good direction or a bad direction. Let’s make sure we keep that in mind when “seeking the lost”, and be mindful that we don’t get called aside by the wrong voice when we ourselves are needing direction.
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you that you send help to us whenever we trust in you and commit ourselves to you, even in the most trying circumstances. When I find myself in a situation in which there are people in need of a ‘voice of authority’, please help me to remember the Spirit you have granted me and have the courage to act appropriately. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”