Are you frustrated and feel as if God isn’t using you the way you think He should be? Is it not happening fast enough? Do you watch other ministries and find yourself envying their positions and wish you could be them?
I always thought that because God had called me to write and teach that I needed a growing audience to validate that calling. I was so driven to find myself a platform or audience worthy of my calling and found myself sorely frustrated that God wouldn’t bless my efforts the way I thought it was supposed to happen.
It just wasn’t fast enough.
It is exhausting promoting yourself.
Where do we draw the line in losing ourselves and our energy in self promoting, and just allowing Him to get our gifts and talents out where He purposed for them to go?
Here I am at the cusp of another book being birthed to the multitudes. “50 Ways to Meet Your Lover” is in proof stage now and in a few weeks will be ready to be presented to the world.
This is my 2nd book and I have to say I have learned a few things along the way.
I have given myself permission to breathe…. and trust Him to guide me to the next step.
These are some of the things I have learned in the last few years of trial and error in my writing and teaching. This is not an exhaustive list because I am certain there are still many things He will open my eyes to!
But allow me to share a few points that I have learned now:
1. Being seen as a celebrity in any sense of the word is a deceitful ploy of the enemy. We have been brought up to admire and envy people who have celebrity status. Many times celebrities in the church world perceive their value as a human as usually based on a need to be recognized as a person of value.
Jesus let His disciples know that His kingdom works very differently.
2. It is often true that those who make such big jumps into perceived celebrity often get twisted by them, and end up crushing others when their influence exceeds their personal character. Perhaps that’s what Paul meant when he warned us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, whether we aspire to a place of influence or already have it and think it gives us a place above others.
3. Whatever we do for God must be just that. For Him. What He does with our works or service or gifts is up to Him. We want our message out there, of course. But according to His purposes, not our own perceived purposes. When I wrote “Climbing Out of the Box”, I had to give it to Him. I still do. And even if my story sets one person free from a life of abuse and into freedom in Jesus then it will have been worth it. And, to date, it has set many more than just one free.
4. Instead of looking for what we don’t have, Luke 14 invites us into responding to God’s working right where we are in life.
Rather than having to make something happen by our own wisdom, the path to God’s life comes by loving the people He has already put before us, applying our gifts to their needs and trusting the rest to Him.
I’m convinced that will create opportunity enough for whatever God wants to give us and what He desires us to share with them. Yes, marketing a book is necessary so that people will see it and buy it and see their lives changed by it. But if it isn’t in His timing and it doesn’t sell fast enough, then I have to accept that He knows what He is doing. He will make it happen. Not me. I just do what He tells me to do.
5. Most of our questions to Him center around how to make ourselves known to the world and usually focuses on our abilities, wisdom, or connections. He works so differently than we do.
We try to find that one key to open big doors, rather than allowing ourselves to live freely in what God has already given.
It’s easy to miss His whispers when we’re more focused on our own desires for ministry. He knows how to draw us into relationship with Him and it’s not by following someone else’s steps. We are unique and what He does for one may not be what He does for me.
In the end, we are only asked to follow him, not to build an audience or to produce our own transformation.
Whenever you are frustrated at God for not opening better doors for you, that might be a sign that you’re focused at the wrong doors.
I am learning that growth of simple relationship with Him is more trustworthy than the substitutes of self-promotion, manipulation and begging favors from others.
So how do you find ministry, find fellowship, or live transformed as you seek Him?
Simply accept the invitation to live deeply in Jesus and love those around you the way you are coming to understand how He loves you. Listen when He nudges your heart. Step out in faith in what He whispers to you.
If you live in His space you will find His power transforming you, His Spirit connecting you to others and everything He wants to do in you will be fulfilled by Him.
If the disciples had set out to change the world outside of waiting on Him, don’t you think they would have failed miserably and become lost in their own reasoning and ideas to accomplish so large a task?
“We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.” -Matthew 10:41-42 (The Message)
Jesus knew the most amazing things could begin with a cup of cold water.