Today, I want to have a real and open talk about obedience to God’s calling. Because when I’m being completely honest, I realize that I have been hesitant and fearful to do so, especially with this blog. I mentioned in my last post that I have felt unqualified to be writing devotionals and encouragement, and God has been showing me lately how much I allowed that to control me. I hesitated to write posts, or try to encourage people, because I felt like I had no experience, or I wasn’t spiritually mature enough. I have felt like I have been stuck the past few months, like I’m unable to grow in my faith, and because of that, I shrank away from blogging in fear that I would be a hypocrite. In my mind, it wasn’t right to be posting devotional content when I was struggling so much myself. When I was being honest with myself, I knew that this was what God wanted me to do, but I refused to do it for fear of what others would think of me if they knew I was struggling.
But here’s the thing that God showed me: I am not ever going to be “good enough” or “experienced enough” to do this, especially if I am trying to operate on my own strength. I have realized that I had been waiting for perfection, and that is never going to come. I don’t have to feel ready. I don’t have to have it all together. I need to walk in obedience, in the purpose and calling that God has given me, knowing that it is through His power alone that I can do anything at all. He will provide exactly what I need, when I need it, and He will be the one speaking through my messy words. I don’t want these to be my ideas. I don’t want this blog to be about me. This needs to be about Him, and He has given me all I need to walk in His calling.
Here’s what I want to encourage you with: God never calls us to do something, then abandons us to figure it out. He calls us, He empowers us, He gifts us uniquely, and He guides and directs us the entire way. And the thing is? You aren’t going to feel ready. If you wait on the feelings, they won’t come. Speak the truth to yourself, remember that He goes behind and before you, He will never leave you or forsake you, HE is your refuge and your strength, His power works in you, and in Him you are never, ever alone. Don’t let fear keep you from walking in obedience. Take that first step, that first plunge, knowing that He is there to catch you and carry you through whatever it is He is nudging you towards. Don’t let Satan convince you that you have to be good enough or reach a certain level of knowledge and spiritual expertise. This Christian walk is a journey..all that we are called to do is live in obedience to Him right now, right here. God has called you, gifted you, and strengthened you to do His will, and if you are His, no weapon formed against you will prosper. God is faithful.
And one day, you are going to look back and realize that none of it was you. None of it was because you gathered up the courage, because you suddenly became ready, or because you learned to love yourself and know your strength. We are weak, HE is strong. Apart from God, we can do NOTHING. Pray for his guidance, and always be seeking to grow, but don’t wait for perfection, or you will never start.
The time to walk in your purpose and your calling is NOW. What are you waiting for?
Have you ever been doing a task, and suddenly you realize that somebody is watching you? You then become very careful to do everything properly, and you may even go above and beyond to make sure you impress them, right? I have found myself doing this often. Recently, some pretty official people showed up where I work, and they were watching to make sure we were doing things properly. Needless to say, I showed extra caution to make sure I did everything right, because I didn’t want to get the store or myself in trouble! But as I was working, I realized something: Why is it that we tend to only go above and beyond when we are being watched by an authority? Why not all the time?
I feel like as humans, we tend to put in only as much effort as we believe the importance of the task to be. If it seems like a small, menial task, we only put in a small amount of effort. However, that is far from the right attitude. We are supposed to do everything for the Lord, work heartily, and be diligent in all we do. The truth is, we are always being watched by an authority, and one that is far more important and in charge than our bosses or parents. God sees everything. He knows everything. He knows our motives, our attitudes, our feelings, and everything we do because of it. So why wouldn’t we be going above and beyond and putting our whole selves into our work all the time?
No matter how small the task may seem, or how easily we could get by, let’s commit to putting all of ourselves into our work. Let’s choose to glorify God, and work wholeheartedly for Him instead of trying to impress other people.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. –Colossians 3:23-24
Read my last post here: Wait Patiently
I am not a patient person. I can remember so many times when I was excited about something as a kid, and I believed that I would go crazy if I had to wait much longer. As I’ve gotten older, the things that make me excited have changed, but my mindset hasn’t changed much. I still struggle to patiently wait for the things I want.
God has really been convicting me of my need to wait patiently for Him. In Psalm 130:5 it says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Our heart, our attitude, our desires, our everything is to be waiting on God. This doesn’t mean that we kick back and relax while we hope to hear something soon. We are not told to sit and do nothing until we feel like we are moving forward again. We are called to pursue His heart and serve Him in the day-to-day moments while we seek His guidance. We are to be actively seeking Him and patiently trusting his timing on our lives, knowing that He has us right here, right now, for a purpose that is beyond what we can imagine. Times of waiting are the perfect opportunity to draw near to the heart of God and be fully present where He has us. As His children, we are called to live a life of surrender and obedience to God’s will and direction, and even if we feel like we are not moving forward, it is never backwards to draw closer to Him. In this season of waiting, we should want nothing more than to seek an even deeper relationship with our Father.
We are called to wait patiently on God, and we are also called to be content in every circumstance. I believe the two go hand in hand. This is the part that is really hard for me. How do we stay content when things seem to be going all wrong? Contentment isn’t being happy when things are going right. Contentment is the conscious choice to focus on God, praise Him for His provision, and decide every day that we will be completely satisfied in Him, no matter what. We are not told to question his goodness, mope around until things get better, or take matters into our own hands when they don’t go how we think they should. We are told to seek Him now, and choose to rejoice in Him in this exact place that He has us, completely surrendered and content with His guidance and direction.
We have been given so many beautiful promises from God to carry with us through tough situations in our lives. He has promised to provide for our needs (Philippians 4:19), cover us with his protection (Psalm 91:4), never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), give us wisdom (James 1:5), and fulfill His perfect plan for our lives (Philippians 1:6). Something I have come to realize is that God is the only one who can both make those promises and follow through. There are plenty of things in this world that offer happiness and satisfaction, but they always, always fall short. One of the beautiful things about God is that not only does he make promises, he fulfills those promises. He has fulfilled them all, time and time again. As his children, it is our responsibility to rest in those promises and to wait on Him in obedience and faith, knowing full well that He has begun a good work and He will bring it to completion.
Maybe you are in a season of waiting as well. Maybe you feel stuck in a cycle of discontentment with where you are and maybe you fear what could happen in the future. But if you take anything away from this, know that God is completely in control and completely good. No matter what you may be feeling, that will never change. Let’s rest in that promise today, and wait on God with confidence in His sovereignty and His love.