Hebrews 11:1
Devotions, Purpose

Finding Purpose. (6) Courage

There are a whole lot of risks involved in discovering what God’s called you to do in your life. It can be scary. God has graciously given us many truths that help us pick up courage. Today, let me lend you some of that courage and share a few risks I’ve struggled with – and the answers God’s given me.

It’s a risk to believe that God has given me a calling, a purpose.

What if I misunderstood my God-given calling? What if I imagined it?

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9, NLT

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1: 5-6, ESV

Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21, NLT

It’s a risk to admit it to someone else.

What if they don’t agree? What if they think you’re arrogant? Why do we worry so much what others will think?

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10, NLT

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7, NLT

Hebrews 11:1Faith is simply making a choice to agree with God – walking in the confidence that He will do what He has promised.

So then, why is it so hard to acknowledge who God has made us to be? To agree that He made us unique? To risk sharing with someone trustworthy… to ask someone to hear us out as we talk about dreams God’s placed in our hearts. Even if we are misunderstood. (I’m thinking of Joseph telling his dreams to his brothers and father. Yeah. That was painful, but God worked out so much good – beyond what anyone could imagine!)

My journey to figuring out my purpose

God has convicted me to start being vulnerable more publicly. While I do love change and challenges, I do not like being vulnerable in unsafe places. Been burned too many times to count. But.

When God has proven Himself repeatedly to be my Strong Helper and Faithful Guide – always looking out for my best interest, and I am confident that He is telling me to take risks…

Here I am.

I’ve known pieces of my calling since I was in elementary school, but you probably know how the story goes. Distractions, destruction, lies, mocking, relational mistakes, impatience with God, and some long seasons of waiting. And more waiting.

Decades later, I wondered if the conviction I once had was a distant memory. Did it even happen at all? Was it a wish or a dream?

Like most people, I’ve endured some excruciating seasons. Decades of healing in every area. Wrestling matches with God, and a whole lot of surrendering to His ways… These scars are finally blossoming into something beautiful.

When it’s time, God helps us out of that nasty backpack that’s driven so deeply into our shoulders that we are bleeding. He puts salve on our wounds. He leads us to places of healing rest, quenches our thirst with grace, and introduces us to new community. He brings together all the resources and details.

The moment comes when the sense that “it is time” grows so strong that you don’t feel like you could stop it if you tried. It is real, and it is time to fully embrace it.

The only fear that is now left comes in a seething voice,
“Who are you, to think you are chosen or so important?”

It is written: “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NASB‬‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I’m called by God to serve through encouragement. To listen, to share my story, to walk in faith – agreeing with God that my seemingly unimportant role is somehow pivotal – that small actions can make a big difference in someone else’s life. It’s a supportive role to a precious community, often hidden behind-the-scenes.

Maybe you don’t see your contribution as important.

Whatever God has called you to do in this season, He has called good. His plans are good. His love for you is good. He made you to do good works that He planned for you long ago. So, let’s stop believing lies and start speaking – and receiving – the truth about who we are in Jesus Christ!

When you don’t feel like you have anything to offer, let me encourage you to be like the little boy who offered his lunch to Jesus. I often pray this way, especially when I’m exhausted and am scheduled to serve:

Father God, I only have little fish and bread crumbs, but what I have is YOURS to do something with. Every time I’ve offered You what I have, You show up doing something far better than I ever could have! In my weakness, You are holding me and You are always – always – always faithful to provide everything I need to do the good work You have called me to do. Have Your way in me. In Jesus’ name.

May I lend you some courage?

Is God nudging you to take a risk? To believe the dream He has given you?

After all, I need you to be who God has created you to be. We need you. You are valuable, because God has given you something unique – unlike anyone else – that can build up the Body of Christ to bring more goodness into each other’s lives and into this world! We need each other, you and me. We need you to be learning and growing in Jesus. We need you to discover who you are and get involved. We need you to be part of our community.

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NASB‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Father God, thank You for courage. It’s been too long that I’ve listened to the lies or waited for someone else to confirm what I knew to be true all along. Thanks for being patient with me and for being faithful to guide me. I love how You put plans together and work everything out. Help us all live out the best versions of ourselves with Your constant help. Thanks for assurance that You are with me – with us. In Jesus’ name.

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