To Be or Not to Be

“if we are spiritual at all, we have visions of what Jesus wants us to be.  It is important that I learn…not to doubt that it can be attained.” from 30 day My Utmost for His Highest on bible.com

 

We are called to be (not to do).  I feel like this is an important distinction. We are called to be (not to do).

 

I know for me it is easy to get caught up in a (well-intentioned) quest to fulfill “my calling.”

 

However, over the last few years, I’ve made the mistake of framing that as a specific job.  God doesn’t call us to a specific job.  

 

He calls us to be His, strive to be like Him in everything we do.  Calls us to be His loving hands on earth.  Calls us to let our being exist in adoration and obedience.

This is true of the every day and everything, not just some calling I want God to clarify and send my way. (However, if you still wanted to that God, that’d be great)

  • S
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Whispers to the Heart

The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us… – Deuteronomy 29:29

We aren’t promised knowledge of everything and, so, we are not responsible for what we could not possibly know.  However, we are accountable for those things God has made known to us; to those things He has called to us – for those things we know and God’s whisperings to our souls.

Sometimes, these callings seem like too much for me.  I doubt and try to convince myself that surely that is not what God is saying, but deep in my soul, my heart knows.  I still have the freewill to choose to ignore this, but I will ultimately be held accountable for that decision that I made under full revelation of His calling.

So, the question becomes, how will I run after God’s whispers?  The ones that are scary, intimidating, hard, seemingly impossible?

“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. – Deuteronomy 30: 11-14

It is on your lips and in your heart.  Let me obey whole heartedly when Your call seems frightening, just as when it seems easy.  Let me speak from my lips what you speak to my heart.

Big and Little Suitcases

Sometimes I can get so frustrated.  I want to know the plan.  I want to follow God’s will.  So, can’t He just tell me what that is already?  I feel like I’m ready for bigger ways to serve Him.  I’m ready to follow.  So, why can’t He just get to the point?

“Who does the Lord think we are?” they ask.

   “Why does he speak to us like this?

Are we little children,

   just recently weaned?

He tells us everything over and over—

one line at a time,

   one line at a time,

a little here,

   and a little there!”

Isaiah 28:9-10

The Israelites were feeling this way, too.  Just like me, a little over confident and a lot impatient.  However, they were forgetting a HUGE detail.  He was speaking to them.  They just were too busy looking for their answers in their way that they weren’t listening for His words.

God has told his people…

   But they would not listen.

So the Lord will spell out his message for them again,

one line at a time,

   one line at a time,

a little here,

   and a little there…

Isaiah 28:12-13

God is telling us constantly and consistently the ways we should go.  We have to be willing to listen to what He is saying and how He is saying it.

e8c20db5360a8ad2b5dbfd3ba3b4af9aWhen I was little, I would want to know things that I shouldn’t/couldn’t know.  My dad would always talk about suitcases at that point.  He would say something like, “Remember, when we went on vacation?  You helped carry bags.  I gave you a bag I knew you could carry.  I carried the bigger, heavier suitcases.  This is a big, heavy suitcase.  So, I’ll carry this one and you don’t have to worry about it.”

My dad’s wisdom is also applicable here.  God tells us things one line at a time, a little here, a little there for a reason.  We don’t necessarily know the reason, but we have to trust that he will tell us at the appropriate time.

We will be prepared for what He calls us to if we stop and listen.  However, we also have to trust His timing and His way of telling us.

-S

Take Up Your Cross

Dad, Mom, Chris, myself, Jessi, and Nici
Dad, Mom, Chris, myself, Jessi, and Nici

Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. – Matthew 10:37-39

This is one of the most challenging passages in the Bible for me personally.  Not that I have to love God more than others, but I have to love him so much more than others that I am willing to give up everything else.

I have to love him more than my dad.

I have to love him more than my mom.

DJ and I (since he's not in the other picture)
DJ and I (since he’s not in the other picture)

I have to love him more than DJ (my brother).

I have to love him more than Jessi.

I have to love him more than Chris (my brother).

I have to love him more than Nici (my nephew).

I have to love him more than Ainslee (my niece).

 

My life is the list of these people.  I pour out much of who I am and what I have for them – as they do for me.  God is calling me to give up my life?  So, does that mean I have to give them up?

Yes and no.  They will always be there, BUT I cannot choose them over God.  I cannot allow my devotion to them to limit God’s trajectory for me.

So, maybe God’s trajectory will allow me to remain geographically close.  Maybe it won’t.

Either way, I have to love Him enough to take up my cross and follow Him anywhere or stay anywhere.

-S

Show me the right path, O Lord;

   point out the road for me to follow.

Lead me by your truth and teach me,

   for you are the God who saves me.

   All day long I put my hope in you.

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,

   which you have shown from long ages past.

Psalm 25:4-6

Just Beating the Drum to Beat the Drum

Nici in mid march with a drum stick in his right hand.
Nici in mid march with a drum stick in his right hand.
Nici and I on a musical parade
Nici and I on a musical parade

My nephew loves playing the drum…or playing anything that might sound like a drum.  It is probably safe to say that at all of his 20 months, he has more rhythm than I do.  My response to my sister telling me I have no rhythm when playing with him? “I do.  It just isn’t consistent.”

I’ve never been good at timing.  I’m inconsistent.  I like to rush into action for some things and then I wait (sometimes bordering on procrastination) for others. I tend to do these for the opposite things I should.

I’m not great at waiting.  I like to jump to action/change.  I don’t like change, but if it’s going to happen, I like for it to happen now.  I think that is why the following spoke to me:

“The crazy thing is, is if calling really is a whisper of God, in order to have a calling you must have a caller—and I believe that’s God. If He’s the one who set this thing in motion, then He’s going to be the one who actually executes on the roll out.

There are times where we’ll hear something from God or confirmation and we’re really getting to process things on new levels. And yet I believe there’s still a season where He holds it off for a reason”  – from Finding Your Calling Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

by Norvz Austria
by Norvz Austria

God’s timing is different than ours.  I feel a sense of urgency for certain things, but it is becoming clear to me that it is because I am trying to work on my schedule/time frame instead of His.  One of the hardest things for me to obey is to be still and silent.  Don’t do anything.  Don’t fix anything.  Just be still in HIs presence and listen.

“Urgency, however, is less suited for reflection and rest. In many ways, it is at odds with waiting on the Lord, seeking God in silence and solitude, and meditating on Scripture. Urgency has a powerful magnetic pull that can keep us from hearing God.” from Want to Hear God?  Slow Down.

Truth be told, I hate silence. Just ask Jessi.  I like to fill the silence with noise.  So, this is a real challenge for me.  To slow down, stop, and spend enough time in silent reflection to actually allow Him to whisper to my heart.

Lord, I pray for patience. I pray for peace in the silence and waiting. I pray for a still, longing heart and feet that run towards You.  I pray for Your will in Your timing.  I pray for the ear and ability to beat my drum to Your beat.

-S