When Jesus calls us to follow after him, he calls us to be humble, gentle, patient, loving, and unified (Ephesians 4:2-3). Each believer shares this call and each believer answers this mutual call uniquely. No other member of the body of Christ can do what you were designed to do. Those dreams, passions, and causes you believed in before (or discovered after) you believed in Christ are meant to be fulfilled – brought to fruition – through Christ. He can perfect and project them beyond your highest or lowest expectations.
Have you neglected them? In the busyness of the days, weeks, and years have you forgotten what stirs your heart to live for Christ? I don’t mean that you’ve forgotten to be humble and gentle and Christ-like. But what about your interests and talents? Busyness robs us of even the chance to consider our strengths and how God can use them. Another enemy, perhaps more fatal than busyness, is fear. Fear can disillusion our hearts and eventually cause us to disbelieve our dreams and their worthiness. I’ll confess that fear dominates my heart.
When I was twelve, I knew I loved to write. I knew I wanted to be a novelist someday. And one night at youth group, God called me to dedicate my writing to Him. It was a powerful moment, the unexplainable kind. My youth pastor had preached from, of all things, I Kings 18:16-45. I felt alive and hopeful and wrote furiously. I mastered flowery description. If you needed a detailed description of the Swan Range during a snowstorm, I was your girl. Directing character 1 from point A to point B – and making it interesting – was an impossible challenge. Yet I pressed on and figured out the basics of plot and characterization. Then college happened. In my writing classes, I met writers more devoted and skilled than me. Fear paralyzed me. I felt worthless. I began to doubt my talent and my call. How does the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel relate to dedicating my writing to Christ anyway?
I came across this verse a few days ago and it stopped me in my tracks: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). This verse always reminds me that I, as a believer in Jesus Christ, have a worthy call – to follow him and live like him. But a few days ago, this verse humbled me. We are not urged to merely answer that worthy call, but to respond to it daily. Living in fear of our inability is not worthy of our call. We must be faithful to our dreams, passions, and causes for the sake of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ and trust that he will fulfill his unique, beautiful purposes for us (Psalm 138:8 ESV).
It’s easy to let busyness rule the day and to let fear paralyze us. Do not fret if you too have allowed fear, or any other sin, to rob you of your time and silence your dreams. For every high and low God has a purpose and he redeems all our “wasted” days. But choose this day to live a life worthy of your call.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for doubting you and your call on my life. To live in fear is not at all worthy of you and the call I have received. Please replace my fear, and any other sin that so easily entangles me, with strength and courage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.