You Know You Are

It was a few weeks back now. I had just gotten off work (right now I work at a landfill picking up the litter that blows off the main dump area – yep, it’s as illustrious as it sounds).

Anyway, I hadn’t even got back out onto the highway yet when the song Revolution by Jars of Clay came on from the album The Eleventh Hour – yep, I can be a little old-school sometimes. Here’re the lyrics:

Peace takes a taxi
To the underground
I wanna love the world
But I don’t know how
Blame it on the d.j.
Playin’ all the fast songs
Ain’t spinnin’ anything
That I can sing along

[chorus]
So if you know the words
Then try to sing along
And when you get the beat
Grab a hammer, bang a gong
Cause you don’t got to fight
Or make yourself belong
To be a revolution, yeah
To be a revolution

[verse]
If you wanna learn
To play the rock guitar
Then thrown down your guns
And come be a star
You got to begin
With who you know you are
To be a revolution

[bridge]
Cause the time is right
To cross that line
To let love find a way

And it was just background music. Until I heard the line, “You got to begin / with who you know you are / to be a revolution” and it stood out so much I had to go back and hear it again so I could write it down.

See the thing is I’ve been studying in Daniel (more to come about that) and this line stood out to me there, too in Daniel 10:

In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.

I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.  – Daniel 10:2-10

This guy shows up and starts speaking, nobody but Daniel sees him but everyone else just turn to jelly and hide, and Daniel just goes comatose on the ground faster than you can say “King of Glory.” But what really caught my attention was what this man said when he touched Daniel:

11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. – Daniel 10:11-12

A man greatly beloved. I don’t know about you but if that’d been me I probably would’ve just been like, “Buck up Dan, it’s only me,” but no, he says, “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved,” he doesn’t say, “Fear not,” till the next sentence.

Which leads me to a side-note. I’ve heard people often point out that “Fear not,” is a command given ‘so-many’ times in the Bible and that we shouldn’t be afraid–buck up! But this heavenly man doesn’t say “Fear not,” he says, “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved,” he starts with an identity. You have to begin with who you know you are.

Back to Jars of Clay.

Three years ago a revolution started in my life. I had a revelation of what love means, and it changed how I saw God, the Bible, and the rest of my world. I say a revolution started in my life, and from that revolution grew the desire to spread the revolution in the world and to be the revolution in the world. It was a real thing to me and it became even more real a year later when the first casualty of that revolution came (but that’s another story).

It’s fizzled a lot since – the road has been primarily a desolate place for me in the last two years. But it all began with who I learned I was – my identity in Christ – a man greatly beloved, consumed and indwelt by the King of Glory. And that’s where it has to begin, and where it has to continue, and end. And maybe the lesson for me in this is further along in Daniel:

15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,

19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. – Daniel 10:15-19

Daniel just couldn’t lay there and listen to those heavenly voices under his own strength, and how was he strengthened? “Oh man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.”

Oh man (or woman) greatly beloved! There is fearlessness, peace and strength in knowing who you are and whose you are. And that’s where you begin.

I’ve got one final thought to add that came to me as I read over the lyrics:

Peace takes a taxi
To the underground
I wanna love the world
But I don’t know how
Blame it on the d.j.
Playin’ all the fast songs
Ain’t spinnin’ anything
That I can sing along

I can relate to that; my struggle has been, how do I love the world? How do I meet the world where the world is? And my common excuse especially before the revolution was, ‘Well they’re just going to have to meet me where am and ask me the right questions.’ Say it’s the DJ’s fault because he’s going a different pace. He’s going to have to slow down for me.

No. It starts with who you know you are. You learn to love the world by knowing who you are and whose you are. You learn to love the world by learning how Father loves you. And I have. And I am. Slowly. And I’m not done yet. But you have to start by starting, and when you get the beat? Make it big. Because love is all-or-nothing.