What were you made to do? This is a question I’ve often wrestled with as my desires felt entangled with my apparent need to rely on God for wisdom in my calling. As Christ-followers, we are all called to go and make disciples (see Matthew 28:19). However, the outpouring of our gifts and talents and how God uses them for His glory will look different for each of us. Dare I say it will likely look different from season to season? Maybe you can relate.
I wonder how God might want to use the gifts and talents He’s given us in this season. How might He want you to go and make disciples in your everyday life? Take some time to pray and journal about what that could look like in your season. Jesus calls His disciples the light of the world in the sermon on the mount. If we are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden (see Matthew 5), we must gain an eternal perspective on what it looks like to pursue the assignment He’s placed before us with gumption and grace.
In the Old Testament, the Lord gave Moses instructions on how to care for the oil lamps in the tabernacle. The wicks had to be trimmed. It was crucial for the oil to be replenished (to read more, reference Leviticus 24:2-4). These very important tasks being completed regularly enabled the light source for the place that held the presence of God to be maintained. Why does this matter to us, on the other side of the life, death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus? We now carry the very presence of God within us, the Holy Spirit, as a follower of Christ. God enables us to shine our light for Him as we use our gifts and talents for His glory.
Maybe you struggle with feeling as if your work is all “on you” or all “up to you” to strive to achieve. I’ve been there, and remembering that we have a Helper in the Holy Spirit encourages my heart on hard days in my calling:
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26 (CSB)
We are never alone in our struggles, and we have the opportunity to partner with God in how He desires to use us for Kingdom purposes.
A few years ago, I ran the St. Jude Memphis Marathon and had a big goal in mind. I trained hard, and yet on race day, the weather was warmer than I could’ve anticipated for a December day in Tennessee. The first half of the marathon was relatively smooth, and I thought somehow maybe I could overcome the challenges that come with a hot day. I quickly learned that I was wrong. I experienced heat exhaustion symptoms, my arms started chilling, and every step brought a deeper level of exhaustion my body had not previously known. When I entered the last 10K of the race, I approached a bridge in downtown Memphis. A family was posted under the bridge, cheering for participants and as I approached them, I could hear the daughter cheering for me, “Go, Rebecca, go!” It was clear the daughter was a patient of St. Jude. With each step, I can more clearly read the poster she held in her hands. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is living inside of you. You can do this!
Through teary eyes, I nodded and gave her an air-high-five as I passed by. For the remaining 6.2 miles until I collapsed at the finish line, I repeated that promise from Scripture to myself. As I reflect on this experience, the way I felt late in the race was very symbolic of how we feel many days in our calling. Maybe you’re in a season that feels much like that moment.
We become weary, wonder if we have what it takes to cross the finish line, and we just know someone else could do it better than us. Therein lies a moment of choice to let our eternal perspective seep down from our head to our hearts. As a Christ-follower, we likely understand, on some level, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and what that means in our lives, but how does that change our response when we grow weary to know that we’re not alone in our struggles?
“For the death He died, He died to sin once for all time; but the life He lives, He lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:10-11 (CSB)
Knowing He is with us and that it’s not all “on us” or “up to us” to accomplish God’s will helps put us in our rightful place.
God is infinite in all of His ways. The troubling thing about this side of heaven is we are not. We have very real limits and it’s in our weakness that the power of Christ rests upon us:
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (CSB)
Take heart, my friend, as you experience weariness in your work this side of heaven. May it press us further into discovering an eternal perspective, so that we can begin to live in light of what we know to be true about God.
The same power that raised Jesus from the grave? It’s alive inside of you today, too.