Keep Your Eye on the Call

I'm reposting this as a reminder to myself to acquire and maintain focus. What has God asked me to do? Countless opportunity and distraction offer to derail my efforts to follow what I think He's asked me to do... 

What pleases the Lord? What has he asked ME to do? Am I doing it? Where's my focus? This post reminds me when I start to get distracted ... 

“Send me!” I pleaded, eager to serve Jesus. “Whatever it is, please use me!” I imagined He might send me across the country, maybe into the mission field, maybe into business … surely somewhere exciting. I could hardly wait. 

Each time I asked, He would point me back to my kids. I continued to crane my neck, straining to see greener pastures on the other side of the fence. He continued to patiently point me back to my little ones. There is no denying it; I’m called to be a mother right now. No business, no real estate, but focused on my children. 
It is here in the mission field I’m confronted with my false beliefs and unrealistic expectations of what ministry looks like. Apparently I’ve believed that mission work is glamorous – meant for those who are mature in their walk with Christ, and that mission workers are showered daily in peace, joy, a deep sense of purpose, continuous success and general ease. This false picture I had, for some reason, also includes fanfare – the respect and admiration of many people who see and recognize my work. 

Ha! Get out of here, lies! If mine is any indication, the picture of mission work is quite different. While I do have the daily assurance of hope and peace, I’m also confronted with temptation, sin, my own resistance and the resistance of others. The enemy is ‘prowling, looking for someone to devour’, and is battling against me with powerful schemes and lies trying to defeat me and those in my care. Mission work is not the warm, fuzzy peaceful endeavor I thought it was. It is, instead, heart searching, mind blowing, vigorous spiritual work that requires my absolute dedication to Christ and His call. And, all of this while enduring persecution, judgment and invisibility. 

Nowhere in God’s word does it say we will have a life of ease. In fact, we’re promised the opposite. “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you” (John 15:20) If we’re in God’s will, following Christ’s leading, we will suffer and will have difficulties. This life of following Christ is hardly glamorous or easy. It is work. 

Thankfully, the One Wise God knows me and what I can handle. He knows my need to be humble and has wisely assigned me a place of giving and humble service. My God knows how to train me and will teach me what I need to know. Now to the work of trusting His plan, obeying, and holding strong to my purpose in Him. When I focus on Jesus and His call for my life, the selfish dreams and ambitions I once had begin to fade. Trouble, persecution and difficulty also seem unimportant when I’m looking only at Jesus. It’s true that “all things that surround become shadows in the light of (Jesus)” I just need to keep my eye on the call.

Helpful Verses:
“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:9
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.
He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”
1 Peter 5:8
“Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’
Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.” John 15:20



MTJ said...

Hi Kim,

I wish I could say, "Lord, I will never lose my focus of You again." -- It is certainly my heart's desire to maintain my focus and live a life that glorifies and pleases God.

Having recently come from a desert experience, I have chosen to listen rather than speak. I find this to be difficult for me since listening has not been my strength but I'm thankful that I'm resting in the strength of our Lord.

One thing you said (of many) that rings so very true to me is, " This life of following Christ is hardly glamorous or easy. It is work."

This reminded me of the words of Christ, "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work."

I pray that I remain committed to the work of following our Lord.

Blessings and peace.


Family, Money and Stuff said...

Thanks for that. Did you post about this desert experience? I'd love to read about it - seeing others go through the 'work' is encouraging when we face our own desert experiences. :)

MTJ said...

Hi Kim,

I did recently write a three-part post (Coming After Christ but it does not specifically address my desert experience. I do hope to write about it at a later time, Lord willing.

Blessings and peace.


From The Heart Online said...

Look forward to reading it (both the one to come, and the 'Coming After Christ' piece)