Tag Archives: fulfilling my purpose

You Are Qualified

One of the things I’m pretty good at is trying to disqualify myself from what God has called me to do. I find myself telling God why I can’t do something. “Sorry, God. My past disqualifies me from doing that. I don’t know how to do that. I’m not the right person for that. There are so many other people who would be better at it than me.” I can go on all day giving God excuses why i can’t do something. Part of it comes from a place where I’m fully aware of all my shortcomings. Another part comes from fear of the unknown. In either case, I believe God looks past those things. He sees our heart, and He bases His calling and qualifications on that instead of the things we think they should be based on.

If you find that your try to disqualify yourself when God calls, you’re in good company. Moses argued with Him for a while in Exodus 3-4. He tried to use his past, his lack of training, that no one would listen, that he had a speech impediment and more. God still kept pushing and ultimately he submitted. Jeremiah is another. The book starts off in the fifth verse of the first chapter with God calling him and qualifying him. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (NLT). However, Jeremiah didn’t agree with God’s assessment. He pushed back, “O Sovereign Lord, I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” These two, like so many of us, tell our creator why we can’t be used for the purpose He created us to fulfill. Thankfully God is patient with us and His purpose will prevail.

In Jeremiah 1:7, God replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young, (insert your excuse here)’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.” God is speaking that to us today too. God is greater than your shortcomings and the excuses you give. His Spirit in you is all the qualification you need. Obedience is what matters. He doesn’t have the wrong person to accomplish His will. Remember God knew you before you were born. He knew about all the things you point to as disqualifications, and He still set you apart, created you with purpose and called you. Quit giving Him excuses and try submitting. Pray, “Lord, I can think of a million reasons why you’ve got the wrong person, but because you are the one calling me, I submit to your will and calling for my life. Empower me to do all you’ve called me to do. Place people around me to help me accomplish all you need me to.” Remember, God doesn’t make mistakes, so neither you, nor your calling are one.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

Parentheses in the Bible verse are mine.

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Work Diligently

One of the moments I remember most from high school was being in a locker room in Waco, Texas before the basketball state championship. Everyone was nervous feeling the weight of the game we were about to play. Coach walked in with The Dallas Morning News newspaper folded up. He said, “I want y’all to hear this article. It says, ‘The State Championship is a mere formality for (our opponent). (Our school) lacks the height and the talent to keep up.’” Something happened in that moment. He said, “Go prove them wrong!” We started banging on the lockers and screaming. We came out of that locker room a force to be reckoned with and won the game. We were all of a sudden motivated to win, but it was the discipline we learned in practice that gave us the victory.

Motivation is a good thing, but it doesn’t keep you going. When we first accept Jesus, find our calling or discover our God given purpose, our motivation is high. When it comes down to working it out, getting things moving or bumping into roadblocks on the way, motivation does very little to keep us on the path. It’s the daily disciplines that do that. Motivation is emotional and depends on success to stick around. Discipline is willpower and depends on determination to move despite how you’re feeling. God gives us the mountain top, emotional experiences because we need the motivation from time to time, but He expects us to be disciplined to continue through the valleys of not being able to hear Him or sense His direction for our lives.

Proverbs 30:25 says, “The feeble ant has little strength, yet look how it diligently gathers its food in the summer to last throughout the winter” (TPT). He keeps working for the future despite the present, and is a good example for us. You may have lost your motivation along the way to doing what God called you to, but let me encourage you to begin small, disciplined steps to move you towards it. Find five things you can do daily that will keep you moving towards the place where God is calling you, and do them no matter what. The ant is considered wise and a hard worker in this Scripture because he does the necessary work before the winter arrives. So you and I need to be working while we can towards the place God is leading us. Motivation may give you momentum, but discipline will keep you going when you’re not feeling it.

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

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Revitalizing Your Passion

A while back, I lived in Cairo, Egypt. My mode of transportation was a bike and I lived about a mile from where I worked. I took the same route every day at about the same time. There were constant messages from the embassy to those of us living there that we should vary our routines and routes. I never really understood why, so I didn’t do it. Then one day, I was in the police station getting my permit to extend my visa, and the officer set a folder down on his desk. When he walked away, I opened it and saw photos of me on my bike on my way to work and on other routes I took. That woke me up and I started changing routes.

I tell you that story because most of us have a rhythm to our lives. We get up at the same time, go through the same processes each morning, take the same route to work, do the same thing every day at work, take the same path home, watch the same shows and go to bed at the same time. To me, that’s a recipe for burnout. You can lose your way, your purpose and your passion. When that happens, we can easily start to question God’s purpose for us and wonder if there’s something more. We can even grow tired in living how God commanded us to live.

Philippians 2:13 says, “God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him” (TPT). God knows that we need revitalization every now and then. We need a wake up call to remind us of our purpose and the reignite our passion. If you’re in that routine today and starting to get burned out, pray that God would revitalize you and restore your passion. Ask Him to plant in your heart the excitement you once had. I believe He’ll break you out of your routine so that you’re no longer just going through the motions. He’ll set you back on the path to accomplishing what you were made to do here on this earth.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

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Waiting On God

Have you ever felt ill equipped to do something? Maybe you did your part to get ready for it, but you didn’t have the right tools to be successful. I’ve had that happen before. I had to lead a meeting, but when I arrived to the location, there wasn’t a projector. If they couldn’t see my PowerPoint slides, they wouldn’t be able to understand what I was discussing. It was one of those moments where you have to get really creative or pray that someone had a spare projector somewhere. Thankfully that was the case and I was able to give them the info they needed.

When it comes to fulfilling your purpose, the same thing can happen. There’s only so much you can do before you need God to do what only He can do. The problems come when we stop being patient and start trying to get creative in doing God’s part. We try to equip ourselves for what He wants to accomplish through us, but like Saul’s armor on David, it doesn’t fit. I’ve found that moving forward before God has done His part often complicates things and can have long lasting consequences.

In Hebrews 13:21, the writer prays and reminds us, “May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do his will” (GNT). You have a part and God has a part. Learn to do your part and then have patience while God does His. He will give you what you need when you need it. I know it feels like you need it sooner or that you need to step in and help Him, but wait on Him. The Bible is full of people who didn’t wait and tried to do God’s part. Today, purpose in your heart that you will trust God to provide the thing you’re missing to accomplish His will and that you will wait until He gives it to you.

Photo by Ishan Gupta on Unsplash

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The Wrong Boat

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

In one of the classes I teach, I have people introduce themselves and tell me a hobby they have outside of work. It provides opportunities for connection early in the class as well as information I can tie back to throughout the day. Yesterday, while training this class, a guy answered that he liked to play music. I followed up with, “What kind?” He responded with, “Worship. I’ve felt called to lead worship since I was young, but I’ve been too scared to step out and do it.” He admitted in front of our group what so many of us Christians are afraid to say.

God’s call on our life can be scary. I think it’s supposed to be. If it were anything less than scary, we’d do it without hesitation. The problem with that is we would think it was done in our own ability. We need to understand that we are simply vessels to be used by Him. It is He who performs the work, we simply provide the channel. Our inability to do whatever He called us to is His greatest opportunity to do something amazing.

God sees in us what we cannot see. Peter was just another uneducated fisherman when Jesus called Him. He didn’t posses the ability to start the Church. He didn’t have the business acumen to take twelve men, start a worldwide movement and grow it. He didn’t have the boldness to stand in front of thousands to preach. He knew what fear was and it got the better of him from time to time. He denied Jesus and his calling in the same night.

The fear that he failed in his calling caused him to go back to fishing when he should have been preaching after the resurrection. He went back to what he knew instead of stepping out in faith to be the rock he was called to be. Jesus didn’t leave him in that boat though. He went to the waters edge in John 21, but they didn’t recognize Him. He called out to them, “Have you caught any fish?” They replied, “No.” Jesus called out, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll catch some.” As soon as they did, the net teemed with fish. Peter recognized the man as Jesus and swam to shore.

Jesus reaffirmed to Peter that day what his role was. He didn’t worry about his failures or inabilities. He worried about his love for Him. Jesus knew that if he truly loved Him, he would obey his calling. He didn’t leave Peter in the wrong boat catching the wrong kind of fish. He reiterated that he was to be a fisher of men from now on. I think that call goes out to you in whatever boat you’re sitting in today. Maybe you’re reading this in the place where you can accomplish things in your own strength. It’s the boat of what is familiar and easy to you. But God has more for you.

I encourage you today to recognize the fear that is paralyzing you and keeping you from your calling. If God called you to do something, it’s His strength and ability that will accomplish it, not yours. Release the fear that sent you back into the boat of the familiar and do what God has called you to do. Faith is about trusting God to do what He said He would do. It’s not about you doing things and giving Him credit. Don’t let fear hold you back another minute. Get out of the wrong boat, and step into the life you were called to lead.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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