Let It Happen

Comfortable people don’t need Jesus, desperate people do.
— Bob Goff

I’ve been hearing this question lately, “Why do you keep watering it down?”

“Watering what down?” I ask.

The Holy Spirit whispers, “Your passion. Your longings. That voice that keeps telling you that you were meant for more. You turn to lesser things for comfort when you’re called to feel the discomfort of “not yet” or “not quite”. It’s worth the investment right now.”

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The lesser things just deaden the voice a little bit; they take away the edge. Rather than requiring me to trust God, I make it manageable by making it quieter.

Not too close. Not too hard. Not too much.
That’s how it feels. Like it’s just too much. Deep down I don’t know if I can handle being fully alive so I self-medicate.

I want to protect myself from the pain of disappointment because the dreams are bigger than anything I could do on my own. You know the saying, “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough”? Well, they scare me, so I shut them away and act like I don’t care. If it happens it happens, but while I’m waiting I’ll be over here watching Netflix.

There’s a song that goes, “Your full of life now, full of passion, that’s how He made you. Just let it happen.” I just got it. I just realized I wasn’t letting it happen. I was letting the voices of others in my head influence me. I was letting my own desire for comfort influence me. I was avoiding the pain that I know comes with “letting it happen”. Because it is painful. There’s another song with a line that says, “coming alive feels a lot like dying”. And it does. I’ve been comfortable. Not satisfied. Comfortable. I work for a church, I serve, I lead a small group...but I’m comfortable.

We require the right problem to expose our need for Jesus. What’s my problem? Laying my head on the pillow every night knowing that I might not be ready for an opportunity that could present itself tomorrow because my desire for comfort won. Isn’t it interesting how pain reminds us that we’re alive? We find ourselves stuck in the cycle of settling for lesser things until we wake up to the conviction that each day is a day we won’t get back. Because God is merciful He allows me to feel the pain of “what if” and then I wake up.

Sinking deep into who God created you to be can be scary because you’re not sure who can come with you to that place. But if God is calling you there, then it’s because you’re supposed to lead the way for others. The longer you put it off, the more frustrated you’ll become over the time that you’ve lost. But know this: God is the redeemer and He can redeem the time if you hand it over to Him. There is a facet of who God is that we will miss out on if we don’t trust Him with the opportunities we believe we’ve lost.

Watering down your calling is just a temporary solution for an eternal problem. It will never lead to the satisfaction and true rest that we all long for. At the end of the day, I know that if I don’t trust Him with this I’ve denied myself abundant life. Jesus said that’s what He came to bring us, and just as He challenged the rich young ruler, He also challenges us to leave our comfort behind.

What He’s placed inside us isn’t just for us. God’s purposes will be accomplished with or without us. Are you okay with that? I don’t think so. Although, my actions make me feel as if I am betraying myself, since they seem so contrary to who I know I am—to who I’m called to be.

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
— Colossians 1:28-29

When Paul says, “for this I toil, struggling,” he's saying that he's exhausting himself for the sake of the call, for the good fight of faith. He acknowledges the powerful work of the Spirit within and responds accordingly. Know this: Paul is not working for the sake of achievement or earning recognition. He is working and toiling in response to the reality of a dying world and the corresponding power of the Holy Spirit within; the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

When we water down the call we relegate the powerful work of the Holy Spirit to the sidelines of our lives. The power that raised Christ is the same power that is available for you to spend yourself completely on the gospel (beyond what you thought possible). And in the very midst, the Holy Spirit invites us to rest in His sovereign care. He wants us to know that if we pour out our lives, abundant life awaits us.

You may be asking the same question I’ve used as an excuse many times to keep from being “all in." How is it possible to give beyond what you imagined and then to rest? Both are the result of utter dependence and yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t work in submission to the Holy Spirit and not rest AND you can’t rest in submission to the Holy Spirit and not work.

When we try to preserve our comfort we deny ourselves true rest.

But Jesus invites us into a “glorious ‘yes.' " A yes that requires every part of us and gives us abundant life in return.

So give it all.

Give it everything you’ve got.

Do it scared if you have to.

Because it will be worth it.

It always is.

You’re full of life now, full of passion. That’s how He made you. Just let it happen.
— United Pursuit
 

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Other Good Reads

Fragile

Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth, so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,

“All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the field;the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

And this is the word that was proclaimed to you.
— 1 Peter 1:22-25
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It hits me like a wave. That feeling of weightiness that goes something like this: 

This is your life. Don’t waste it. 

Your life on this earth has a beginning and it has an end and if you’re reading this right now you’re right smack in the middle of it. 

There was a point this week where I felt like I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be. Not because I was breaking any rules or using stealthy ninja skills that we all know I don’t have. But because I, in and of myself, did not feel like I deserved it.

It was one of those moments that was bigger than me. Has that ever happened to you? Where you find yourself in the middle of a situation you know only the grace of God achieved. I just keep thinking, "Why, God? Why?" 

Why would He do this for me? Why would He choose me for this? And then, why would He choose me for what's to come? Because if this moment is blowing me away I can't even fathom what He's got up His sleeve for me next. 

There are always two things I feel in moments like those: fragility and gratitude. 

Fragility because life is a vapor and sometimes we get glimpses of how exposed we really are. 

Gratitude because I know that I am fragile but I am also deeply and intimately cared for by a sovereign Father God who holds me together by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).

The same eternal word that stands forever is the same word that holds together my fragile life. 

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want to encourage you to do things that feel risky for a cause that is bigger than you. You know why you can? Because you are loved. You are completely loved by the Creator of the Universe. Everything that’s of worth is found in Him and guess where we, as Christ followers, reside? In Him. (Colossians 2:10

I don’t fully understand the nuances of this union. What I know is that it is so, and it is beautiful. And realizing that we belong to Him releases within us a freedom to feel the weight of our fragility and the immense gratitude that comes along with it. 

Our only other option is fear.

But ultimately, aren't most of our fears just our excuses? Let’s just admit that when we say we're afraid what we're really saying is we value whatever we’re afraid of losing over whatever God has called us to do. Be it status, title, or material possessions, if our identity is not secure in who we are loved by and found in, then our identity will be wrapped up in lesser, more fallible things. 

My prayer lately has been, “Let my life have a far greater impact for your glory than it ever could by living on my own terms”. 

God can exponentially increase the impact of our lives for His Kingdom. But we can’t do it ruled by fear. 

We are complete and secure in Him and we have to live from that place, because then and only then will we experience the freedom to LOVE with authenticity and SERVE with sincerity - not preoccupied by who sees us or what anyone thinks of us. 

That’s the kind of thing that draws people to Jesus. And that's why we're here. 

 

 

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It's the Little Choices

Little choices. I know that noticeable change comes with the little choices. 

Nothing big. Just keep going. Keep working. Do the little things and do them well. Even if it takes months or years. 

Because I will forget and you’ll forget, even if it’s just for a moment or a season of busyness. There are times where life will feel consumed with routine. Go to the park. Go to the store. Go to church. Go, go, go. 

Then one day while I’m getting the girls breakfast and sitting down for a moment of respite, I wonder if I’ve left something out. And all the dreams that were at one time so fresh, come flooding back – God-ordained, God-breathed. And, no matter how much my reasoning or the Enemy might try to convince me otherwise, it is not too late.

I have crossed the “thirties threshold”. But I feel like I’m just getting started. I still have something to say. Or maybe, it’s that I feel like there’s something God wants to say through me.

In the midst of struggling with anxiety and some incredibly dark moments over the past year, I’ve remembered a few things: one of the realities that seems to be more prevalent than ever before is that my time here is limited. In fact, Paul writes to the church at Ephesus that we need to be redeeming what time we have, and I intend to do just that. But first, I want to acknowledge a few time wasters that I know we are all susceptible to.

 

1. I don’t have time for insecurity.

What other people think about me (or what I imagine other people are thinking about me) cannot be the deciding factor regarding the things I love to do and am passionate about. 

2. I don’t have time to be consumed with “how."

We can get so distracted with how things are going to happen that it completely paralyzes us from doing anything at all. Instead, I have to take little steps of obedience. Write the blog, the song, the email. Doing something small to move you forward is better than doing nothing at all. Before you know it, you’ll be doing things you never thought possible. 

3. I don’t have time for comparison.

I can learn from other people’s journey. But mine is not going to look like theirs. And theirs won’t look like mine.  

4. I don’t have time for “pet sins." 

You know, the ones that we don’t think are a big deal. The little white lies, talking down to family, or choosing time on social media before time with God. Whatever it may be, it may not look like much at the time, but it’s sabotaging my effectiveness, and yours.  

5. I don’t have time to do things just because everyone else is.

The things that keep many of us bound to mediocrity often times present themselves in culturally acceptable packages with built-in excuses. 

 

As you’ve been reading this list you’ve probably thought of a few time-wasters yourself. Hold them up to the light of God’s Word and listen to the Spirit of God inside you.

What is He saying? How should you move forward? 

Well, let me share with you how I’m moving forward. 

There have been so many songs written that are sitting in notebooks and on random pieces of paper around my house. A couple years ago, (has it really been that long?!) a few friends and I shared some of those songs outside a coffee shop on a hot summer evening when I was about 6 months pregnant. It was a dream come true. A sweaty, uncomfortable dream come true. 

But I want those songs to last for more than just a moment. I want them to last beyond me. Because I don’t believe they are just for me. Even if they are for one other person, aren’t they worth sharing? Aren’t they worth the vulnerability that comes with creating?

A few months ago, I recorded my first song although, I wrote it close to 10 years ago. TEN years. 

So to you I say, never, never give up.

If it sticks with you, it’s for a reason. Maybe it’s not for the reason you might think. God has a purpose for that thing He’s placed in your heart, so give it back to Him. Yes, you have to take the steps. You have to move forward. But He will bring it full circle. Just because your dream may seem dormant does not mean it’s dead.

Abraham’s Song, in a way, walks hand-in-hand with this theme. God promised Abraham a son. But not just a son, He promised to make him a great nation. God was going to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that Abraham could ask or think. But then, He asked Abraham to give it all up and take his promised son up a mountain to be sacrificed. And Abraham complied, knowing that God would somehow provide. 

It seems like a contradiction. Why would God fulfill a promise only to ask Abraham to give it up? Was He being cruel? Nope. Not even close. God was foreshadowing the sacrifice of His own Son but He was also asking Abraham to obey beyond natural inclination. To lay everything down, simply because He asked. 

And so it is with our callings. We think, “God wouldn’t ask me to do that!” 

If what you believe God has called you to do is an idol, meaning you’ve prioritized it above Him, He absolutely would, and He is. He desires the obedience that is born out of unwavering trust for us more than anything He’s promised. Because from this place of trust He can do ANYTHING. He can do things that reach far beyond us into history, into eternity. 

This song was written from that perspective of unwavering trust. And I think it’s appropriate that it’s the first I’m sharing with you all. 

You can download Abraham’s song for free [[here]] (but also feel free to leave me a fat tip. Or not, whatevs.)

 

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