Demand VS. Obligation: The Struggle That Made Me (almost) Miss purpose.
I almost missed it. I had spent all of my adult life at the onset of twenty years old pursuing what I believed was the “highest calling.” I had lived a life serving Jesus. My occupation, my education, my time investment was one hundred percent focused on building the local church. I worked in the church building. I put together the church services. I created church programs. I spoke on the church stage, and I invited everyone I came in contact with to my church. This was my path, my passion until I was asked to make a pivot. Not by my church or it’s people, but by God himself.
I had started a business to support our endeavors to begin a new church. Four years into this new adventure, and my business was booming. One day, I stood out on the back patio of my new home that my earnings had enabled us to buy, and the Lord spoke clearly. Let go of your identity in church ministry and pivot your focus solely on your business. But wait, what? I’ve spent the last twenty-five years building this work. It’s been my passion since I was twenty years old. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. I think I’m actually pretty good at it.
True. But what was also true was my fire was dimming for the church work. I was enjoying the marketplace. The connections I had made and the community I was building brought so much life to my heart and our home. I was using my gifts and my impact was expanding but my tendency was to separate the miraculous from the menial. I almost missed it. I almost missed seeing the story of God at work. I almost missed the opportunity to partner with Him in a way that was new to me.
If you are a Christian or have experience in church it can be common to divide work into sacred and secular. God invited me on my back patio to rethink everything. He invited me into the process of knowing who I am and who I’m not. I am a carrier of the light and hope of Christ, a Kingdom carrier. Kingdom carriers are business owners, bakers, doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers and designers. And if we are to fulfill our biblical mandate to go into all the world, share openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire race, then we have to shift our perspective. Kingdom work does not only happen in church services, on stages or street corners. Kingdom work is happening when I open my mind and surrender my heart, releasing personal identity to join God in reshaping the world through ordinary places like homes and school pick up lines, fitness centers and social media, Target stores, neighborhood gatherings and all the places I have connected with the thousands of people that now make up the business I began.
Don’t miss it. If you have considered making a shift in your occupation, I urge you to consider. God ordains your ordinary, and He is scattering His beloved servants all over the workplace. Hold loosely the identity you gained when you received that degree as you walked across that stage. Don’t cling too hard to the path that got you where you are today. The road may curve to get you where God wants to lead you for your tomorrow. I encourage you to get your soul clear on who you are and who you are not. Otherwise you might find yourself living a life God has not called you to in this season.