Saturday, May 28, 2016

More Than a Mask

Last Thursday, May 19, 2016, Candace Payne, a wife and mother of two, went shopping for yoga pants.  Being somewhat disappointed that she couldn’t find the pants she wanted for exercising, she decided to go to the toy section to purchase something for her kids.  She had seen the Star Wars Chewbacca mask, but didn’t consider it, until her shoulder accidentally hit the box and she heard the character growl.  Then and there, Candace decided that the kids could play with the mask, but ultimately it would be hers to keep. 

After the purchase, Candace went to her car and excitedly Facebooked her friends so they could see her new purchase.  She proceeded to take the Chewbacca mask out of the box and put it over her face.  As the mask began to growl, Candace caught a glimpse of her face in the rearview mirror, and began to laugh hysterically.  As her friends reacted, the uncontrolled laughter continued and also brought tears to her eyes. 

Later that afternoon, Candace posted the video to Facebook; and as they say…the rest is history.  Within three days, the video had gone viral with over 140 million hits, breaking all kinds of records as the most viewed video.  People from all over the world have responded.  Candace was interviewed on the radio, and also appeared on several television programs.  Mark Zuckerberg even invited her to the Facebook Headquarters and made arrangements for her to visit with the “Real” Chewbacca.  Wherever she went, Candace seemed to be a spreader of joy.  Even when she didn’t have the mask on, at the time of the interview, Candace exuded joy to the interviewers and other spectators.

And for more of the story…Candace Payne credits the source of her joy to God. She is a natural spreader of joy because as a believer she knows the true Source of joy.   Candace is a worship leader and volunteer at The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak Texas.  She is also using her platform to spread the joyous news about Jesus.  Two days after the video was posted, Candace spoke to young creatives at the Regional Fine Arts Conference in Texas.  Instead of focusing on her recently discovered fame, she spoke to the students about the importance of God in her life.  At the age of 16, she had a dream and vision from the Lord that her life was going to be used for His glory.  Now at 37 she said that she’s not sure what all that means, “But that dream has never left my heart, nor my mind, nor the way that I walk and follow Jesus.”

She continued.  “It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things God has called you to do…And that is spiritually fit.  The thing that will take you further and farther in the Kingdom of God is three things:  diligence, patience, and obedience.

1  Diligence - Be diligent in the work of the Lord.
2  Patience – Have those moments where you stop and you wait upon the Lord.  Don’t rush into ministry or a good opportunity because it looks shiny.  Wait for the voice of God to direct you.
3  Obedience – Have obedience.  When He tells you ‘Move’ – move.  When He tells you ‘Stop’ – stop.  When He tells you ‘Indulge in the delights of My table’ – indulge.  But when He tells you, ‘That’s not yours; you can’t have it.’ – step away.  Do not try to make a name for yourself.  His name will always out shadow yours.”

She concluded her message with Romans 15:13:  “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

In the not too near future, the fame and interviews will slow down and stop, the mask may eventually stop working or break, but because Candace’s source of joy is dependent on  the Lord, and not the Chewbacca mask, it will continue.  Along with Candace Payne, may we accept the assignment to be God’s bearers of joy to a world who needs to know His gift of salvation, peace, love, and joy.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Job 8:21

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
Psalm 68:3

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:9-11

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Rejoice always,
I Thessalonians 5:16

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