Knowing your purpose when everything stops.
In Ephesians 2:10 the apostle Paul writes, “We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God calls you to a purpose to do good works—“tailor-made” just for you.
The times we are in now can be confusing and certainly uncertain, to say the least. They are challenging and stretching. A time where our whole world is under a pandemic can bring out fears in us and in our community that we didn’t even know were there. Literally everything in our lives has changed or stopped, some I know personally have even lost their job. We can start to question things like; Is God still in control? Is God still on the throne? Am I still answering my call? So many questions. But don't worry, it's okay to ask questions. You aren’t going to be struck down, the Lord invited our questions, doubts, and concerns. Let me be the first person to tell you it’s okay to acknowledge your feelings.
Whether its doubt, fear or both, you are not alone. But one thing we can be certain of, God is still on the throne. We know the ending to this story, He has won. Coronavirus virus isn't the apocalypse that ends the world, although I will be the first to admit I feel that way sometimes too. During this time I have observed from a number of people, especially those in the church, a “foundational shaking” of what they are called to do. Some people have begun to question their purpose, feeling as if they don't have one because their everyday lives have stopped. My heart goes out to my friends who are in this position.
In some ways, I can relate. I remember the Lord bringing me to a place where everything stopped for me causing me to feel the same way. It didn't take a pandemic. But it did take a reflection of myself, looking in to find where my identity and value came from. I am what you would call a “go-getter”, a visionary of sorts, whatever I put my mind to I am going to do it. I am going to do it all, it was a common thought running through my head. But the Lord showed me very quickly that I was trying to find my value in the things I was doing and not in him when he called me to stay home with my children and stop working. I had to dive back into knowing a savior who redefined me and showed me he is enough. Repeat that wherever you are at right now. HE IS ENOUGH!
(1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!)
Many times we can direct and define our purpose into a work we do rather than who we actually are. Too often, people base their identities on what they do (from their jobs to their roles in relationships), defining themselves by those pursuits. By doing this, they significantly limit their lives to things of this world. The truth is that God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ.
If you’re a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God.
In these trying times, I want to try and open your eyes to the great potential of getting to know who God is. Knowing who he says you are and truly understanding his purpose for your life. If you had a large platform or spoke all over your community, you could quickly find yourself being challenged, constantly trying to fill your idle time. If you’re in a challenging time like that I encourage you to take on your challenge head-on, receive from Him that you still have a purpose, pandemic won’t change your purpose but it may redirect it a bit for a short time. The Lord is still in control of the map.
When you bring these question fears and doubts to God it’s now your turn to let him speak and you listen. Put yourself in a position to worship, receive and keep on walking. Your right you don't get this, you don’t have all the answers. But He does. Like my son said, “our Purpose is to simply love Jesus”. What does that look like right now for you?
Loving Jesus can be serving your family. Taking this time to get to know your spouse again. Learning to work as a team in the household or learning to laugh with each other again. This time can grow your relationship, teaching you to appreciate each other, as you can truly see what the other brings to the table.
Loving Jesus can be loving your kids. Play with your children! Let's be real, playing the same game with your toddler 100 times isn’t always the greatest, but it is a great chance to reconnect with the ones that truly matter. These are the ones you are shaping to follow God, helping them to learn their purpose, take advantage of this time.
Loving Jesus can be taking care of your castle. My friends have always asked me why I keep my house so clean all the time, mopping my floors almost every day. I tell them because God has trusted me with the little and I will take care of it so he can't trust me with bigger. I have taken this truth with me everywhere I go. Clean the house friends, mow the grass and get all those projects done while you can.
Loving Jesus can be being still. Maybe relaxing is the last thing you want to do with everything going on, maybe it's an unnatural thing for you. But that's exactly the spot God has brought you. He put you in a position to be still. Do your best to be okay with it. This will strengthen you for when this season ends. Maybe this is the exact thing you need to do to learn to, allowing you to realize; Jesus is Enough!
Maybe you’re the opposite and loving Jesus can be getting a workout in or calling a friend. You aren't ready to get out of the house, personally I have become more of an introvert in recent years. Trust me, I Get it! Zoom and facetime are great tools that we can take advantage of this time. Don't sit in isolation, this can be a pattern some go to when feeling you aren't enough. Go for a walk, call a friend or workout.
Colossians 1:11-13 says “being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you still have a purpose and Jesus is still in control.