Friday, July 17, 2009

From the vault

I used to write a weekly devotional called Daily Bread back in my Nashville days. From time to time I look back into those files for ideas and as reminders of things God has taught me. I came across this one, and thought it might speak to some of you blog readers today. So enjoy!


Take on your lions first

Sometimes I get way ahead of myself when taking this walk with Jesus we call Life. I see the potential, the possibilities and the BIG stuff all the while dismissing the small steps I need to take to get there. Let me explain more clearly, I know the calling God has on my life. I am called to impact the youth of our culture with the love of Christ. I have seen that opportunity through inner-city ministry, through working as a youth pastor, through working camps, through missions trips to orphanages etc.The places where this broad calling can be applied are endless. So right out of college I started aiming at all of these places. Am I working in any of these areas now? Nope. Right now I work with the Creative Ministries Team at the People's Church. Im not discounting the effect my job has on people, but its definitely not where I thought I was headed. In fact, in some ways it feels like a detour from my designated path. Although I am in a church, Im not doing what I know I will be doing with my life someday. Is that a bad thing? Should I be discouraged? Well whether or not I should be, sometimes I do feel discouraged by that. I begin to question my calling, or if I've heard God wrong the last 5 years. I start to think, "Im doing this wrong. Im suppose to be with youth. Not in an office doing powerpoint for worship services." After a while of sorting through those thoughts and feelings I am reminded by my husband that I am getting ahead of myself. Every time I vocalize my doubts about where I am at vocationally he always says, "You are in a good place." Sure honey, I love my job but its not what I feel called to. "Either way, you are in a good place," he repeats to me. It is then that I realize I am getting ahead of myself. I am, what I like to call, trying to kill my Goliath before killing my lion or bear.

In the story of David and Goliath we automatically jump to the exciting scene where the little guy makes the HUGE leap in his life and is granted everything he has ever dreamed of as a result of this act. But we fail to go back and see the smaller steps he had to take to get to that point. In 1 Samuel 17: 34-37 David says, " I have been taking care of my Father's sheep, when a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and take the lamb from it's mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I'll do it to this Philistine, too, for he has defiled the armies of the Living God. The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine." David had the experience necessary to take on this giant b/c God had trained him for this up and coming battle by putting lions and bears amongst his flock. He learned the skills and bravery necessary while working on his father's farm that made him fit to be a king.

What if he had never encountered any bears or lions? Or what if he didn't take on the bears and lions in the field and just let them steal away his lambs? He wouldn't have built up the muscles and faith that were pertinent to taking on Goliath. He saw that God was faithful in the bear and lion incidents and therefore was lead to believe that God would be faithful again to him taking on this beast as well. God used his shepherding job to teach him the necessary skills he would need to be a king. What if David spent his entire life trying to be a king? Running for office, campaigning, becoming a general in the army instead of being a farmer. Who knows if he would have become the "man after God's own heart" that he is referred to as being in the GREAT BIG BOOK OF EVERYTHING.

All that to say that if you are anything like me and you are questioning why you have to work this job instead of the one that seems more directly aligned with where you feel you're headed, know that "You are in a good place." Where I am is strengthening muscles that I will need when I do get around youth, go to the orphanages, and work the camps. Where you are is a training ground for your own personal Goliath. Don't miss the bear and lion moments simply b/c you think you are ready to kill your own giant. Trust that "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." Take the jobs on the farm- because you never know if that will end up being your training ground for kingship.

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