Is What I’m Doing Significant in God’s Kingdom?

Is What I’m Doing Significant in God’s Kingdom?

Does it ever feel like what you do doesn't matter? Like you're just marking time, checking boxes, and filling a seat?

I don't think it's supposed to be like that. Of course, sometimes it still seems that way. Maybe because we're growing in faithfulness or maybe because God is working in our lives to reveal the reality of how He sees things.

I suspect that many times, we just don't see things the way He does because of our preconceptions. That we think maybe if we're not doing [insert IMPORTANT thing here] like [some friend or famous person].

But that's just wrong.

We are all important. We all matter. And God's calling in our lives is high and holy, whether we think it is or not.

For some of us, the roots are in our childhood

I remember how church camps went when I was growing up. They were a great time to meet some people and set aside some time to meet with God in a special way.

I remember that there was almost always a call to recognize people who felt called into vocational ministry. And I see the value in this – after all, you want to remind people that there are important priorities other than money and fame.

But the unintended consequence is that those who see plumbing or homemaking or bus driving or analytics in their futures might feel like their path is somehow less important.

Of course, I know that the leaders didn't feel that way. They probably even said things to remind us that God has a calling – a vocation – for each of us.

But that doesn't mean that NONE of us walked away with misconceptions. After all, there is an enemy of our souls who wants to separate us from God. To mar the image of God. Or at least to diminish it in our eyes.

Check your heart and your thinking

When we feel like what we do doesn’t matter, we might need to check our hearts to see if we’re walking in obedience. But as we bring it to God, we may find that the truth is tied up more in our perspective than our actions.

Here’s the truth that Seth Brooks shared.

We often don’t feel like what we do matters but it’s about looking at the bigger picture.

– Seth Brooks

Easier said than done, right?

A two step framework to see value in your work

Try this out for size. Every morning, remind yourself (speak to your soul)

  1. I am deeply loved by God
  2. He has called me according to His purpose
  3. I am an ambassador for His Kingdom

Then ask God one question (and write down the answer)

If these things are true, what does that say to the day that’s in front of me?

Because if these things are true, they should impact everything that we think, say, and do.

  • What we think forms what we say.
  • What we say forms what we do.
  • What we do forms what we think.

And while this isn’t a “silver bullet” answer, over time, these reminders will more completely align us to God as He forms us into the image of Christ.

And as we’re more aligned with Christ, we see things more clearly the way He does. We see a different picture. We see the bigger picture. And then we can trust that what we do matters, even if we don’t see it.

Why not give it a try?

Try it for a week or two. Leave a comment about the results – whether good, bad, or indifferent.

We often don’t feel like what we do matters but it’s about looking at the bigger picture.

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
How to be More Effective Than You Actually Are

How to be More Effective Than You Actually Are

As Ambassadors for the Kingdom, we have a high and holy calling. Whether we are in the marketplace or full-time ministers, the job description is HUGE!

Sure, we can boil it down to a couple of basic things – love God, love people, go and make disciples.

But just because we can say it simply doesn't mean that we are adequate for the job. At least not in ourselves.

Maybe you're like me

I almost always think that I need to have more training or knowledge. That I'm completely inadequate. And sometimes this can serve me well. It can drive me to study harder, to go deeper, to try to care more.

But left to my own devices, this always ends up in one of two palces:

  • Pride
  • Paralysis

Each of these are bad. And, truthfully, both are actually pride because the paralysis also comes from valuing my opinion higher than God's.

Recently God reminded me of this

As I'm writing this, I'm coming up on one week since I taught a Wednesday night class on Ephesians 5. I won't go into all the details, but I felt ill-prepared. I was very pressed for time, even though I'd known about the class for several weeks (please don't throw any stones yet). So when I finally started preparing, I felt like I had very little time to go deep.

However, as I was preparing, I felt like God had given me a basic plan for how to go through the text and a couple of things to pull out of it.

So I prayed and prepared. And I trusted God.

God came through!

As you might have guessed, since I'm writing about this, God came through. The class went well. I had very good participation and I thought we discussed a few interesting and deep topics.

But here's the thing.

The class didn't play out like I'd expected. Instead, I started out and then God led the class in a different direction. And all-the-while, as we were talking, asking and answering questions, and looking at the text, I was surprised by the things that came out of my mouth. Especially when someone in the class raised an issue that I'd not considered and the Holy Spirit reminded me that the Bible already had an answer for that issue.

Because, even though I know that the Bible says the Holy Spirit will remind us of what Jesus said (John [14:26]), it's always a little disconcerting to be relying on God to come through.

But He does. He's true to His word!

This promise isn't just for me

If the same Spirit that lives in me also lives in YOU, then you can trust God to come through for you as well (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

I certainly can't suppose to tell you that God will work EXACTLY the same in your life that He did in mind. After all, it's God's pleasure to work in each of us the way He chooses. But I can tell you this.

You can trust the Holy Spirit.

Study. Prepare. Trust the Holy Spirit!

God's word doesn't return void. Rather, it accomplishes all that He wills it to do (Isaiah [55:11]). And if you lack wisdom, you can ask God (James 1:5).

So what are you waiting for?

Are you bound by fear? Are you concerned that you're not good enough.

Well, you're not.

But God is sufficient and you can trust Him in anything He's called you to do now.

Study. Prepare. And then trust the Holy Spirit.

study prepare trust the holy spirit

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
You can’t see God’s glory if you do this

You can’t see God’s glory if you do this

Do you want to see God's glory?

I'm know that I do and I bet you do too. After all, what would be more amazing than to see God in the same way that Moses did? Or like Paul?

Or what about when we see Him face-to-face for eternity?

That'll be pretty…indescribable.

But we also want to see God's glory NOW. Where we are. We want to see people come to faith. We want to see Him move in our lives.

But often we're held back by something. 

Ourselves. Our perspectives. We just don't see what God is doing – and there's a reason for that.

That's one of the many things that Tony Evans (not THAT Tony Evans – the Tony Evans from Mission Voice Network) shared a long time ago. He was sharing a story from when he was working as an engineer and a consultant.

So, here's what happened.

Tony was working and a customer called him up in a bit of a situation. They had a piece of equipment that was really important and wasn't working. They'd already had consultants in and had been working on it for a couple of days with nothing to show for it, so they asked Tony to drop everything and head down.

On the way, Tony remembered how James wrote that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God with faith and without doubting, so he did.

When he arrived, he walked into the conference room, sat down, and started listening to the problem.

Then he heard something that totally surprised him.

It was HIS voice giving the answer to the problem. He heard the words coming out of his mouth that helped that business get back up and running.

He was there less than 10 minutes and solved the problem that had sidelined the company for at least a couple of days.

Understandably, he was feeling pretty smart on the way home. Until God reminded him of something – he'd asked God for wisdom and God gave it.

And at that moment, Tony realized something.

We so quickly want to claim credit for what God’s given us.

– Tony Evans

And when we do, we won't see God's glory unless he stops us in our tracks to remind us of what He's done, just like He did for Tony.

Maybe you struggle with pride on a regular basis. Maybe it just peeks its head up from its hole every so often.

But if you let it, pride will try to steal God's glory and you'll miss out on it.

What to do about it?

Now, maybe all what Tony did will apply to you. Or maybe your situation will be different. But I know this much – Tony repented. And that's where it starts for all of us.

Repentance.

Tony also called up the engineer he was working with to make it clear that it was God's wisdom that gave the answer, not Tony's smarts.

To be sure, Tony is a smart guy. But God gave the intelligence and the wisdom.

Maybe you need to do something similar. Maybe not.

But I know this much: Our pride and God's glory can't coexist.

Choose God's glory!

We so quickly want to claim credit for what God’s given us.

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
One Key to an Intimate Relationship with God

One Key to an Intimate Relationship with God

I don't know if this has ever happened to you in your relationship with God. But if you're like me and many of my guests, you can probably point to a time when it did.

Because if you're like me, you want to have a deeply intimate relationship with God. You want to feel His joy in your work and your play. You want to feel His pleasure. But maybe it's just a bit “off” sometimes.

And you might be struggling with that right now. You might be trying to figure it out.

This misconception about your relationship with God can lead to that kind of struggle

Maybe you believed the myth that a deeply intimate relationship with God should be the natural byproduct of doing stuff for God.

It's a common misconception. It's one that I've held. It's one that Jesus even talked about when he had gone to visit Mary and Martha (you can read about it in Luke 10).

If you remember the story, they'd invited Jesus and his disciples over. Martha was busy getting everything ready – serving God. Mary was sitting on the floor just listening to Jesus, focusing on her relationship with God.

Martha got upset and made a bit of a scene and Jesus said “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.f Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I can't suppose to know Martha's motivation. But the way this played out is interesting:

  • Martha was working to serve Jesus
  • Mary was enjoying Jesus

And that brings me to what I think is the point of this whole thing: put Jesus first.

I don't know what that looks like for you.

Maybe it's having a time of worship early in the morning. Perhaps it's time in fellowship with other believers. Maybe it's stopping the stuff you're doing for a season.

Brent and Temple had an answer

I remember when I was talking to Brent and Temple Cundall. They were in the middle of raising funds to go overseas. They felt called into missions and realized they had to learn an entirely new job first – how to raise funds. It was challenging. I asked them what their final piece of advice was – and they had some very good advice coming from their experience.

I think it might even be a good answer for all of us.

Focus more on God in your daily, hourly life. Consider Him. Ask for His presence.

— Brent and Temple Cundall

That reminded me that just doing “God” stuff isn't enough. Doing is important. But it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll experience God's pleasure. In fact, if we're serving God the way we think we should, it will very likely get in the way of our intimacy with God.

And if we continue down that path, it can lead to the feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness that might just suck the joy out of our lives. But even in the middle of all this, God can remind us of the most important thing – just like He did for Martha.

What's next?

  • Are you looking for a place of deeper intimacy in your relationship with God?
  • Have you made space for it?

Take a minute or two to consider where you are and what's going on and then take it to God. Don't just try to figure it out. Listen to His answer and then do it.

focus on your relationship with god

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

Do you ever wonder if there's actually a place of peace for your life? A place where you can know that you're being and doing all God's created you for? That you're able to be incredibly effective in what you're doing and also rest in God?

Sometimes I do.

And I think that it's often because I feel like I have to “do” or “accomplish” something to be valuable. Because there are so many competing priorities. That I have to “earn” the right to rest.

If you're like me, that might describe you, too. And it's a common story. It affected Sean Steckbeck. And Paul Yoder talked about it too.

Paul, who founded DonorElf, shared a time when he was really pushing hard and became incredibly tired. He was working full time and also building and promoting DonorElf pretty heavily. And that began to take its toll. He was wondering and praying about what to do and God shared this with him:

When you get burnt out, take a Sabbath.

That might not seem like a remarkable truth. But if you're struggling to keep your feet under you. If you're feeling overwhelmed. If you've believed the lie that your value comes from what you've done rather than God…

Then it can take a moment of revelation to realize that you might just be worshiping an idol. Even if you think you're serving God.

Paul talked about that, too.

In Paul's case, he took a “Sabbath” or a partial sabbatical for a month. He was still working but he cut back his time with DonorElf to only basic support. And God grew his business anyway.

He now serves more missionaries than he ever did before.

And that brings us to the real challenge: will we trust God?

Will we recognize that our value comes from Him and He loves us because of who He is, not what we have accomplished? Will we recognize that God is more interested in faithful obedience than our perceptions of success? That His Kingdom is immeasurably more valuable than our fiefdoms.

Even if that obedience is simply resting and abiding. Maybe those are the sweetest times when we realign ourselves to His priority.

If you're in that place of overwhelm now, consider how God might be leading you to rest in Him. Maybe in quiet times. Maybe by taking a day off. Maybe by taking a season off.

Or if you're all good, consider whether there's someone who needs to hear this.

But in either case, start by asking God. Follow His leading. Obey Him. Love Him.

when you get burnt out take a sabbath

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

Does God ever speak to you in unexpected ways? At unexpected times?

Sometimes He does for me. LIke what happened this morning (as I'm writing this – you'll be reading it later).

This morning I was minding my own business. I had the coffee going, I was reading the Bible on my phone before I hopped in the shower, and the Verse of the Day caught my eye. As I pondered it, I had no idea that God was about to use my phone's autocorrect to show me something.

Sure, God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. Sure, He spoke to Balaam through a donkey. But speaking to me through an autocorrect error. That's new.

It was James 3, verse 16, which reads “Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.” (NCV)

As I pondered it, I wanted to share it on Facebook with a comment because I thought it was important. My comment was ultimately intended to look like this.

But when I typed out the word “culture” in my comment, my phone tried to correct it to “vulture.” And I had to go back to “fix” it.

I don't know why.

But that led me to think of this

Isn't that just like God?

To remind us of his amazing goodness in stark contrast to all of the things that could try to steal His abundant life from us. To mar the image of His creation on the earth!

Why am I sharing this?

Because now that God's shown this to me, I need to pause and consider whether what I think, say, and do brings His abundant life or preys on the injured or dead. Because that's one of the ways that He transforms us into His image, taking us from glory to glory.

And maybe He has another step for you – from where you are now, to where you're closer to Him.

a culture of vultures

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

Pin It on Pinterest

×
Weekly Encouragment
God stories delivered right into your inbox!