Regardless of what you’re actually doing, where you work, what your talents are, or what you enjoy, the only thing you were made for is to worship God. When you finally come to the end of yourself and begin to simply worship God, seek Him first, and make Him all that matters, everything else can fall into its proper place.
Your talents only make sense when you use them for Christ.
The things you enjoy are so much richer in the context of Christ.
Your job doesn’t define you, Christ does.
It can be scary to let Jesus be all that definies us. But it is so worth it.
It takes faith to believe that Jesus is enough, so that you can put Him first and trust in Him, not yourself.
I think people in restricted and hostile nations get this so much more than we do here in America, the land of prosperity and comfort and religion. We are experts at sectioning off parts of our lives to different things and not letting them meet. This is my family / this is my job / this is my church / this is my entertainment. People who are suffering intense persecution see their lives a little more like “This is Christ.” That’s it. He is all and everything. This is how Christ is in my family. This is how Christ is in my job. This is how Christ is in my entertainment.
It is a dangerous thing to fall into the trap of thinking Jesus is for Sundays, or for home, but not letting Him touch any other part of your life. He wants everything.
That takes faith.
Because it means He has to root out our lust of the flesh and desire for self-indulgence – and that means self-discipline and self-control. Do I believe Jesus is more satisfying?
It means He severs our lust of the eyes and our constant grabbing for all the pretty things in life – and He will make us content and thankful, regardless of how much we actually have. Do I believe Jesus is enough?
Perhaps the most painful and the most scary, it means He has to pull out our disgusting, inflamed, and poisonous pride. And the only way He can do that is through humiliation. That terrifies us. Because we’re proud. And we live in a culture that promotes pride. But Jesus calls for humility. Can I rest in what Jesus has done, or do I need to be the one who is glorified?
The world (and even some other religions) calls for self-indulgence.
- “If it feels good, do it.”
- “It’s love. It’s right.”
- “Follow your heart.”
- “It’s legal. It’s not really a drug.”
- “God is going to give you streets of gold.”
- “If you follow Jesus, your finances and marriage and job will increase.”
The world calls for materialism.
- Black Friday
- Always upgrading – phones, clothes, women, homes, cars.
- Keeping up with the Jones’s
The world calls for pride.
- “Show the world what you can do.”
- “You deserve better. Get rid of him.”
- “Love yourself.”
- “Follow these rules and you’re in.”
- Identity is found what we are successful at – work, sports, hobbies.
Jesus says, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me,” and silly people that we are, we think that he’s referring to bearing trials. He’s not. The cross was an instrument of death.
It was a call to die.
To forsake our selfish desires (even the ones that still make us feel good.)
To forsake our materialism and constant grasping for more (even if other people might look down on us).
To forsake our pride, our trusting in ourselves and our accomplishments. Our work, our talents, our strength — trading all of it in for Christ’s work, Christ’s talents, Christ’s strength.
If you can surrender all these things, and you begin to put all your energy into worshiping God with your life, you’ll be amazed.
What comfort and satisfaction is found when I stop living for pleasure!
What joy and peace I discover when I choose gratitude!
What freedom is found when my work is not my identity, Christ is.
I am finally able to rest.
It’s not about how I feel, what I want, or what I’ve accomplished. It’s not about my job or what I’m good at. My purpose, my identity, must be in Christ – if it’s not, I crash and burn, which is the inevitable result of trusting in ourselves.
Do you have the faith?
Can you truly let your identity only be in Christ?
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.