Faith-Full Friday, passion, Stephanie

Faith-Full Friday Bucking the Call

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit(1 Peter 3:18, English Standard Version).

24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24, ESV).

I believe I have passion action, and that I have acted in ways that show my greatest passion beginning with when I surrendered myself to God and asked him to be the guiding force in my life 4 ½ years ago.

Since the passion action catalyst, I have had an intense desire to know God more deeply and to be open to whatever changes He wants to make in me and in my life so that I can become the woman He created me to be.

I have been attending Celebrate Recovery (CR) on Wednesdays and sometimes Fridays; I have completed one CR step study and have begun another; I have been attending Sunday church services regularly; I have been trying to be more Jesus-minded instead of what-about-me? minded; I have been praying more and asking God to reveal my struggles and character defects; I have been reaching out to my accountability partners when I’m struggling; I have been asking people to pray for me; I have been reading scripture and making a conscious effort to understand it, apply it, and live it out in my day-to-day life; I have been reading biblically-based motivational and inspirational books; I overcame fear to bring Share His Peace to fruition and have been vulnerably writing in spite of some hiccups along the way; I have been trying to surrender people and situations knowing that I can’t control people or most situations; I have been trying to take my thoughts that don’t reflect God’s Word captive and replace them with God’s Truths; I have been trying to not rely and act on my feelings as much in making decisions and assumptions about myself or others and have instead been seeking and asking God about decisions and assumptions; I have been trying to remind myself daily that my worth is in God and God alone, that I am completely and utterly loved by him, that I am forgiven, and that He is enough; I have been trying to show my faith and trust in God and his plan for my life by opening and surrendering my heart to be used by him in whatever way he leads.

I’m passionate about being a fluorescent yellow highlighter in a dark world. I’m passionate about sharing my Jesus and how He has shown up and shown off in my life with other believers and nonbelievers. I’m passionate about teaching others that the Bible is not outdated. That in it lies the treasure map for navigating what is often a difficult life full of struggles and pains and heartbreaks and that the treasure we’re rewarded (eternal life with Jesus) is well worth the struggles, pains, and heartbreaks of this life. I’m passionate about teaching others that in the Bible lay freedom and the only living hope. I’m passionate about being obedient to God, and I’m passionate about showing my obedience by living out what God has called me to do.

To sum it all up, my greatest passion in life is to know God intimately, to allow him to be the one and only God in my life, to share what I know about God with others in both word and deed, and to submit to him by embracing the purpose He has given me for my life here on earth.

So….

Why am I desperately struggling to embrace God’s most recent call on my life? Why am I trying to convince him that I’m not the right girl for this call? Why have I been vehemently telling him all the ways I’m not qualified, ready, or equipped for this calling? Why am I arguing that I can’t do this because I’m too weak, too prideful, too insecure, too fearful to live out this calling? Why am I drudging up old hurts and reexamining old scars and using them to try to prove to God that I’m just too damaged, too wounded, too broken to fulfill this calling? Why am I angrily bucking this call?

More than once in the Bible Jesus gives the answer to all of these questions:

In the Garden of Gethsemane right before his arrest, Jesus told his disciple Peter that “…[t]he spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41, ESV). 

Later in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says, “…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23, ESV).

We know that Jesus endured incomparable pain and sorrow that ended in the most agonizing death, crucifixion, to save us from our sins. His passion was to suffer (the original usage of the word passion) in order to save. The Passion of Christ literally means the suffering of Christ.

Friends, it doesn’t matter that my greatest passion is to love God, to share him with others, and to be obedient to him by embracing and living out his purpose for me. The fact is that walking out my greatest passion is not taking a dip in an 85 degree pool on a 95 degree day, and it’s not strolling through the Garden of Eden in all my naked glory prior to the Fall. Taking up my cross daily requires some suffering because it means I have to die to myself and my sinful desires and dying is painful. To die to myself I have to nail my flesh, that part of me that is weak and full of pride and wants to rebel against God and his calling— and that part that Satan loves to exploit to cause distraction, confusion, doubt and a whole lot of other negativity— to the cross. And I have to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the strength and will to do it.

Unfortunately right now I just can’t seem to hit the hammer on the head.  BUT….God isn’t surprised by my resistance and rebellion just like Jesus wasn’t surprised to find his disciples sleeping.

And do you know what else? In the pauses of my overwhelming emotional battle to fully and wholeheartedly embrace this new calling and chance to walk out my greatest passion, I have heard God whisper, “You are fully known. You are exactly who I want you to be right now. You are exactly who I need you to be right now. And you have a purpose right now.”

Are you bucking a call from God?

He wants you to know that he fully knows you. You are exactly where he wants you to be and who he needs you to be right now. And you have a purpose right now.

Pray with me.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen

Matthew 6:9-13, King James Version, bold mine

Scandal of Grace by Hillsong United

Share His Peace
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