For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
At one point or another, we’ve wrestled with the questions of “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?.” We all want our life to count. We all desire to make a difference and leave our mark on this world. Yet, the pressure to find “our thing” can overwhelm us. Rather than launching us into action, we hesitate and collapse under the weight of our calling. Terrified of not measuring up or, even worse, going down the wrong path, we remain inactive and paralyzed. We reason that it is better to do nothing than expend energy doing the wrong thing.
With this mindset, curiosity is not allowed. In fact, it can be viewed as very dangerous. But, God calls us to freedom.
This freedom isn’t just experienced through the forgiveness of our sins, but also a freedom to serve and for our lives to stand as a reflection of His love. God is far less concerned about the specifics of our activity than He is about our authenticity, availability and access. He desires to uses us in unique and different ways. This statement shouldn’t create more pressure, but lessen the burden to have everything figured out. All God is asking from us is to start somewhere and lean in.
We are hardwired to serve others and look outside ourselves. This is true for everyone, believer or skeptic, follower of Christ or individual who wants nothing to do with God. During those moments where we give ourselves away, we are living out how we were made. They point to something deep within us that wants nothing more than to express God’s heart.
As people who have encountered the love of Christ personally, we get the opportunity to be His ambassadors in this world. God is reconciling the world to Himself and He is using us to do it. Our life should be an expression – not a power grab. We should be looking for ways to give rather than take. The challenge is to turn our attention off ourselves and fix our eyes on the needs of others.
It involves looking at the things that make our hearts come alive and devoting our time and energy towards these ventures. It requires taking the time to notice what our gifts, talents, interests and passions are and figuring out ways they can be used to advance His Kingdom rather than our agenda. It entails looking around us and recognizing places where we’ve been given influence and a platform and leveraging them to make His name known. It is understanding how “our thing” contributes to the overall impact of the church we call home. And, it is trusting that the depth we crave in our walk with God is found when we are willing to step into opportunities to serve others.
- How much stress and angst do you feel (or have felt) about finding “your thing”? Where does this pressure come from?
- Where have you grown curious and decided to “lean in” to the issues you see all around you?
God, You don’t want me to wait until I care. Instead, You want me to jump into Your work with open arms. You welcome my curiosity. You invite me to explore my gifts, talents and passions. You encourage me to lean in to the problems of the world. You call me to love boldly and forgive generously. Today, give me the courage to do so. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.