Category Archives: Calling

Why I stopped doing things for Jesus. (And you should too.)

stopdoingthingsforJesusI’m not doing things for Jesus anymore.

And I don’t think you should either.

Before you shout “heresy,” let me ask you a question: do you have a song that is “that song” for you? Like, when it comes on, you’re compelled to stop whatever you’re doing and just let the song wash over you? Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), by Hillsong United, is that song for me.

Oceans

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My heart longs for borderless trust, a “water-walking” life, deeper faith. I hear or read those words and I imagine doing brave, important things. Reaching people. Helping people. Overcoming my fear and selfishness, and doing something great for Jesus.

But this morning it was like Jesus took that song and whisper-yelled at me:

“…my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

Not by being brave. Not even by helping others.

My faith is not made stronger by doing things for Jesus.

My faith is made stronger by doing things WITH Jesus.

Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water because JESUS WAS OUT THERE. Peter didn’t walk on the water FOR Jesus. He walked on the water TO Jesus; WITH Jesus.

So, let’s stop doing things for Jesus. Let’s turn our hearts toward Him and live our lives with Him – and surely our faith will grow.


Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), by Hillsong United

Then I put on my Big Girl Panties. Inside-out.

Are you trying to pull yourself together so God can use you? We all want to make an impact, but what if we're a little rough around the edges? Coming from a one-eyed-mascara, inside-out underwear girl, don’t miss this encouragement for your messy day.I brought a generous dose of insecurity with me to the She Speaks conference this weekend. (So much that I didn’t leave room for my toothbrush, apparently.) (Free hotel toothbrush for the win.)

Despite my insecurity, I tried to practice what I had just “preached” last week – “our sure footing, peace, and purpose is found not in the calling, but in the ONE WHO CALLS.” I preached it to myself, put on my big girl panties, and walked into the conference with my head held high.

I kept on preaching it to myself through the sea of very-well-put-together-I-wish-I-knew-how-to-dress-like-that-OMG-HAIR-ENVY-can-you-tell-I’m-so-intimidated-by-you women.

And I just plain tried to set my heart on Jesus.

Before long, my inner dialogue shifted. It sounded more like, “Maybe God will show me there’s not really anything to feel insecure about. That I’m just like the rest of the women here. That I have things more ‘together’ than I give myself credit for.”

But – spoiler alert – He promptly nipped all that in the bud. What He ACTUALLY showed me went more like this:

“I have it even LESS together than I thought. But He’s going to use me anyway.”

I mean really, you guys. Take early Saturday morning:

After nearly leaving my room with mascara on just one eye and my underwear inside-out, I squeezed onto a packed elevator for a ride down to the lobby. We descended. The doors opened, and I strode from the elevator. Three confident steps later, I halted, confused. I realized my mistake, spun around, and found the elevator still full. Of pitying expressions.

Sheepishly: “We’re not on the first floor yet are we…”

“No, honey.” A merciful woman was already holding the elevator for my return.

Still CalledWhat could I do but laugh? It was so clear – from forgetting my toothbrush the day before, to pouring coffee down my front just an hour after The Elevator Incident – I do not have it all together. Not even a little bit.

It was freeing, actually. Kind of like God gave me permission to feel like a mess – AND STILL BE CALLED.

I wasn’t there to find out I have what it takes to fulfill this calling. I was there to be reminded that God will call me to do things I CAN’T POSSIBLY FINISH.

And the verse rushes back again, the last phrase now beating like a drum:

The one who calls you is faithful, and HE. WILL. DO. IT.

What are you trusting God to do through you? Create something beautiful? Raise brave, kind children? Have a thriving marriage? Juggle a full-time job and a full-time family?

Today, if when it feels too massive (and you feel too messy) to even make a dent, remember who called you. Remember who is faithful. Remember who will do it.

He doesn’t call you because you have it all together.

He calls you because He loves you.

Tell me, where do YOU dream of making an impact?

I think God is calling me (to have a bagel?)

It’s Day 4 of the Whole30 and dang, I’m emotional. Maybe I need a bagel…

Or maybe it’s because I’m about to do something crazy.

Before I say what, let me ask you a question. Have you ever felt called by God to do or be something? Pulled toward a particular cause, vocation, relationship, fill-in-the-blank? Have you ever felt like a dream was placed in your heart? Perhaps by something or someone bigger than you?

Next question: How confident did you, or do you, feel about it? (Whatever “it” is.) Do you go through seasons of certainty followed by serious doubt and discouragement? Questions, wondering, worrying if you’re wasting your time, if you mis-heard God, or if He even had anything to do with this to begin with…

I’m going to the She Speaks conference. Tomorrow.

That may not sound crazy to you, but as I gather my things, I’m riding an emotional roller coaster. The excitement and even intimidation are not surprising. But other thoughts have snuck up on me. Accusations, really. Like “presumptuous,” “self-indulgent,” and even, “delusional.”

You see, this is a conference for women who feel called to write and/or speak.

And who am I, exactly?

Surely if I am REALLY called to this (to be a writer OR to attend the conference), I should feel more confident. Right?

But I don’t feel confident right now. Of anything.

(Again, maybe I just need a bagel?)

So back to you. Have you been there? Are you there now?

Allow me to share these words I read this morning:

“For years I wrestled terribly with insecurity over my calling. I panicked, fretted, and prayed as if God’s call was as fragile as a glass Christmas ornament – as fragile as I felt… I’ve come to believe that very little of this is as fragile as it feels… God is ever at the helm, patient and foreknowing. HE is the furthest thing from fragile.” – Beth Moore, Children of the Day, pp 75,76 (emphasis mine)

Will you try something with me? When your heart struggles to discern a calling – or stay faithful to a calling (or figure out what a calling even looks like)… let’s help remind each other that our sure footing, our peace, and our purpose is found not in the calling, but in THE ONE WHO CALLS.

1thess524

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PS. Please take a minute and check out the Beth Moore Bible study I quoted above. Children of the Day is a nine-week journey through 1 & 2 Thessalonians. I’m only on week 3, but you guys, If you’re looking for an exciting guide to the richness of God’s Word, this is a great one! And if you’ve already done it – or are currently going through this study – please let me know! I’d love to hear from you! (Click here to check out the study.)
*Update: a few people have asked about the videos that go with the study. I only have the workbook – there ARE video teaching sessions you can order, but if you don’t have room in your budget (or schedule) for that right now, the workbook has been extraordinary all on its own!