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Don's Latest Teaching:

Being Fitted or Fitting In
By Don Potter

All Scripture references are New International version unless otherwise indicated.

I was invited to a Christian businessman’s lunch meeting, and while I was eating, a message came that the main speaker would be delayed until the next day. There were about thirty people waiting for this inspired Christian to download ways to walk in business and walk with God. I was there strictly as a lunch guest.

Then the meeting administrator asked if I would fill in and teach one of the sessions. I answered, “I don't have any business skills, and I am a poor money manager.”

“You could share your testimony,” he said, while I pondered if this was a good idea or not. I agreed a little apprehensively.

A young ministry school student was beginning to lead the group in praise. I took this time to look over those in the room. Praise will identify a lot of things in people. Are they interested in praising God? Are they looking for the meeting to start and get this praise interruption out of the way? Are they just flatterers or do they truly love God? They all seemed more like crazy lovers of Jesus than business people, so I settled down with a sigh of relief as I watched my Master being praised.

After some tears and raised hands fixed on heaven, the announcement came that the main speaker would not be coming today but tomorrow. I could feel people’s disappointment, and when I got up to speak, I decided to borrow the guitar the worship leader was using. I wanted to recapture the spirit of praise that was just there and hope to move into testimony without too much of a jolt. I had a hard time playing this borrowed guitar which was already being borrowed by the worship leader.

The session went well and, at the end, a young couple came to me saying, “I believe the Lord is instructing us to buy you a guitar.” I quickly answered, “Oh, this isn’t my guitar. I borrowed it. I have some really great acoustic guitars at home.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” the young man continued. “I still believe the Lord is wanting us to buy you a new guitar.” Again I insisted I didn't need a guitar, as I have too many now.

Has God ever tried to give you something you didn’t think you needed? This is what was happening to me. As they continued to insist, I was persistent with reluctance. I couldn’t imagine the kind of guitar they might be talking about. I know that any quality acoustic guitar starts at $1,500 and quickly progresses to $3,000 to $5,000. I didn’t really want just another acoustic guitar.

Then the young man said, “I want to buy you a McPherson guitar.” I had seen a McPherson but had no idea of the quality or price, as I was already satisfied with my own acoustic guitar. I went online and discovered McPhersons are all handmade to order, and you can get whatever you want in an acoustic guitar.

However, they are expensive and that really set me off on my second round of resistance. I wrote an email to them and said, “These guitars are very expensive. Are you sure you want to buy one for me?” Once again they insisted and recommended I order what I wanted soon, as it takes six months to receive one.

For years I had been on a vigil to find one guitar that could do everything I wanted. I decided that my original handmade acoustic guitars were too delicate and old to take on the road. That is a nice way of saying this guitar has been played a lot, and it’s time to let it rest from its labors. However, I wanted an acoustic sound that was perfect and an electric sound that was great as well. No small task to accomplish in one guitar.

I wanted all that in one guitar, but there are problems with that idea. I would be constantly compromising something. And compromise is exactly what I have been living with for at least fifteen years, as I play fine guitars but just not fitted to me. I have been fitting them and “shape-shifting” to compensate for the little issues each one has.

To sum up this parable of life, I have been trying to fit into a life that was not made for me. I have had some success along the way, to be sure, but that was from reshaping myself to fit the situation.

Of course, this seems to be in violation with the Apostle Paul’s statement.
“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (see I Corinthians 9:22). Paul is not talking about compromise, but relating to people on all levels as to not cause a feeling of condescension when he presented the gospel. In verse 24 of I Corinthians 9 Paul goes on to say, “So run [your race] so that you may lay hold [of the prize]” (Amplified). This means there are a lot of ways to run a race to win, but compromise is not one of them.

There are many names for God Almighty: Elohim, Adonai, Jehovah, Yahweh, Maccaddeshem, Rapha, and many more. Why? Because the God of healing is not the God you call on when you need sanctification. The God of divine salvation (Yahweh) is different from the God of recompense (Gmolah). This means God Almighty meets our needs with a perfect fit, if we are wise enough to call on that God. I believe the same applies to what life God has designed for those who trust in Jesus. It should fit you perfectly without you striving to fit it.

I placed the McPherson guitar order with details I wanted to have in a guitar such as neck size, body style, body depth, certain woods for the top, and specific woods on the back and sides etc. All these things were different from the first “custom made” guitar I bought over forty years ago, and though it is still a wonderful guitar, I had changed in that time. Now my older guitars didn’t really fit me anymore, but I was trying to fit them.

When the new guitar arrived and I began to play, it was so much more than I expected. The workmanship was impeccable. The shape fit my body. The sound was smooth, almost creamy. I was more and more surprised, as I thought I had already owned the best of the best.

The neck fit my hands perfectly. I could close my eyes and play without consciously watching the neck to be sure my fingers landed in the right place during chord changes. I also noticed that I wasn’t clenching my jaw when I played. After playing it for a week, my teeth didn’t hurt anymore, and my jaw was not set in pain as I played.

Previously, I had been to the dentist with broken and chipped teeth from setting my jaw tight when I played. I had to have three teeth capped and a wisdom tooth pulled because of this.

Teeth spiritually represent relationships and with a twice-infected wisdom tooth, my wisdom was now infecting my relationships. I was no longer running in a way as to win the race, but to compete instead.

By trying to fit into what we were not meant to be, we begin to compromise or find ways to hide our incompetence in that area. Others sense something is wrong but may not be able to articulate it, so the situation ends in rejection.

For example, it can be like having a bad musician in the band. He gets rejected by the others, when all along he was just playing the wrong instrument. He hoped to fit in by fulfilling a need in the band, but because it was a bad fit, he ended up rejected instead.

This is not God’s best for those He loves. Though it took me several years to recognize that I was compromising with the idea of fitting into every situation presented, I finally got a hold on what fits me and what God can do with someone who is not striving to fit in.

If you are a worship leader or musician trying to fit into a situation not made for you, then you may have already damaged some relationships. Ask the Lord to reveal how you may have been doing this and watch how He will show you what fits you in ministry, church, and life itself.

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