Sipping my well-doctored Chick-Fil-A coffee, I listened as a new friend shared her current season of life and her desire to be used by God to minister to the hearts of women. Though a generation apart, her heart could have very well been mine, and we began to forge a friendship on a rainy Wednesday morning.
I couldn’t help but be drawn to her beautiful heart and her passion for making a difference with her life. Free from personal ambition, her one desire was to follow God’s leading and minister to others in any way God led her.
She began to share different ideas that this stage of life could afford her, everything from writing her story to opening a business. But in the midst of these differing ideas, one theme stood out. Each idea was birthed out of a purpose of reaching people for Christ and ministering to the hurting. Her personal fulfillment took a back seat–well, let me rephrase that. Her personal fulfillment was so intertwined in the greater mission that the two could not be separated.
How I want that for my life. So often I tend to pursue my own desires and then tack on a kingdom purpose at the end to justify it.
Our Dream Home
For instance. My husband and I built our dream home six years ago. Eight years ago we began drawing up plans for this 3 acre piece of paradise. We both had worked hard to obtain college degrees, and we both were working hard in our careers. We deserved the American Dream lifestyle, of course. At least that was our mindset at the time.
My perspective and heart have changed over the years, so much so that I’ve felt much guilt over our home. Not a mansion by any stretch, it is still more than we need. Through the guilt, I confessed my lack of prayer in the planning of our home, my longing to just get what I wanted before my whole heart would be available to God.
Oh, how I wish we had prayed that prayer before the plans were drawn, before we cleared the land, before we secured the home loan. Perhaps God would have directed us in the same direction, who knows.
Now my hope is that I’ve learned a thing or two and my decisions – small and large – can be made with a prayerful heart asking, “How can I use this decision for your glory? To build your kingdom and not my temporary one here on this temporary earth?”
That’s what was so beautiful about my friend’s heart. What she was to do with her life in the years she has to come was completely wrapped up in God’s greater kingdom work. Not a trace of personal ambition could be seen.
Jesus, Lord of My Heart
In Sunday School recently, we discussed what it really meant to say “Jesus is Lord.” I realized it is more than Jesus is THE Lord, but Jesus is MY Lord. And what does that mean? That every decision – small and large – would be made with eternal treasures in mind. Where thieves don’t break in and steal and moth and rust won’t destroy.
How much land we purchased or how big of a house we built was never the issue. My heart was the issue. Do I truly understand that everything I have is God’s anyway? Do I understand that being a good steward is more than tithing? Am I willing to let decisions I make or ambitions I entertain pass through the filter of “Is this serving God’s kingdom?” Or “How can I use what I’ve been given to serve God’s kingdom?”
What have I been given? What resources do I already have? You see, many times I think we look at what we wish we could do if we only had this or that. But I think when our hearts are surrendered to God’s kingdom purpose, our first step is to see how we can use what we’ve already been given–such as:
- financial resources
- able body
- gifts and talents
- specific expertise
- life experiences – good, bad, and in between
Next, let’s look at each resource God has given us – and you may be able to add to my list – and ask ourselves, “How can I use ____ for the benefit of the kingdom of God?” Let’s take it a little further.
“How can I use my _______
- to share the life found in Jesus Christ”
- to minister to someone who is hurting emotionally”
- to meet physical needs of another”
- to assist in someone else’s ministry”
- to bear another’s burden”
A Changed Mindset
You see, the resources we’ve been given as followers of Christ are given for us to use for the greater kingdom purpose. My new friend understands that, and I look so forward to seeing how God will be using her.
What might God be calling you to do with your resources? Do you, like me, need to evaluate your motivations? Do you tend to think of your own wants and comfort before the mission appointed for you? Once that is settled, what has God already given you that you can use to make a difference for someone else in the name of Jesus?
And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15
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