Within the course of one year, I lost my grandmother to cancer, our beloved 18 year old cat Sheba, and our guinea pig Meep who died in my arms last night after many bouts with asthma. Dealing with my own grief and seeing the tear-filled eyes of my children I knew that God wanted to use this for His glory and that I could not remain silent. I had planned a different blog post for today, but He abruptly re-directed my path to write this article instead.
I believe that what He wanted to me to address is the fact that far too many people today go through their days as if they were sleepwalking, as if they are always guaranteed another day, as if the future were under their complete control (Psalm 39:4). They go about making their plans, following (mis)leaders who tell them that they can “manifest their own future”, pay no attention to the fact that God may have a different plan and that it may all be snatched from their mortal hands in mere seconds. It is the enemy’s best lie yet to make us believe we are in charge of life or even death and it is this exact mindset that got us here in the first place – Adam and Eve thinking they could control their own destiny.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all throw our hands up and stop making plans for the future. What I am saying is that we need to surrender our plans and will to Him who OWNS the future (James 14:13-14). If our plans are not aligned with His will and greater plan for His kingdom, we are planning amiss. We need to remind ourselves that we were created for a very specific purpose that we are called to find and fulfill as our primary objective in life. I know I will receive criticism from the new age thinkers out there who are busy creating their own future via visualization, denying the existence of evil, reciting affirmations and manifesting by creating the “feeling” of already having what they want. But the time has time come for me to find the courage to speak up and not care about who gets offended in the process.
You see, I used to be one of them and thus I not only understand the process, I faithfully practiced it for many years…that is until I fell in love with Jesus. Funny thing is, most people actually go about this process in reverse – they are hurt by dogma, religion, the church or other believers and they abandon it all to find a new home in the comfort of people who tell them they can have it all and control their own fate. I however did the opposite – I spent many years studying every religion under the sun, including new thought, metaphysical theories, alchemy and trying to manipulate the universe into giving me a happy life. I am not ashamed to admit this, as in the end, Christ rescued me, washed me clean and took the scales from my eyes so that I may serve Him and speak my testimony for His glory.
The truth is, the “universe” doesn’t give a rats tail about you – Jesus does. Yet His will for our lives is not that we may use our days to gratify our own selfish desires but that we may pour our lives out to serve others. Yes, He will be our provision and will never leave our side, but our riches are not to be found in material wealth but in the execution of His will. We are to spend our days in worship of His majesty and in loving and helping others, not on focusing on how we can profit from manipulating others. There is nothing inherently evil about wealth and I believe God wants us to live well and prosper, but when it becomes our only focus, we have missed the purpose of life in its entirety. None of our resources are ours to keep or give – we are merely entrusted with a portion of God’s riches to steward on His behalf. Our first and foremost consideration must be for how God would have us utilize our blessings to bless others and further His kingdom.
The limited time He has given us is precious and our lives are but a fleeting shadow (Psalm 144:4). How will you use this gift of time? If today was your last day on earth, would you spend it indulging in selfish pleasures or would you spend it pointing others to our Lord? My friends, it is time to wake up and liberate yourself – stop hiding your faith in the closet and start sharing it with the world. Find courage and strength in His promises and stand strong in your convictions. If we as believers were to spread the good news of Jesus Christ as courageously as others spread their false truths, and if each of us boldly stepped into our gifts and calling, we would be unstoppable. Stop being so afraid of what others might think – all that matters is what He thinks.
Promise me that you will take some time this week and reflect on how you are using the precious life God has blessed you with. Are you withering away in a cubicle somewhere putting up with a bully of a boss and living for the weekend? Are you being asked to compromise your values, engage in unethical work practices and threatened if you speak up about it? Has your job become a higher priority than your family and spending time with God? It is time to stand up and grab a hold of God’s plan for your life instead (Jer. 29:11) – won’t you allow Him to show you what it is?
You don’t have to live with the regret of never having stepped into your full potential! It is never too late and you can do all things through Christ who is your victory and strength. Do not be afraid of following His call – unlike man, he will never mislead you (2 Tim. 1:7) – all you need is to trust Him. He has created you with the most exquisite craftsmanship, He loves you beyond compare and you stand second to no one. It is time to stop listening to others who try to tell you that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, the wrong gender, race, age or nationality, and that your past determines your future. Take a stand today and recognize how valuable you are to Him and that you need not let anyone shame you into thinking that you are bound by man’s limitations.
Do you know God is calling you to something greater but have been afraid to step into your purpose? Allow me to encourage you to take the first step – it is the hardest one but once you make a commitment to changing your life, God steps in to assist and you will find that it is not nearly as hard as you thought it would be. Surround yourself with others who believe in your dreams and will support you and hire a good coach to help take you from where you are to where you are called to be. If your dream is to start your own business, I invite you to schedule a free strategy session with me and together we will shape your corporate exit plan and send you on your way to becoming a kingdom entrepreneur.