Joshua served alongside Moses, invisible for years, during which, he developed faith and faithfulness that would lead a generation into The Promised Land. – Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove.
I read ferociously through the book before stopping dead in my tracks. It was as if the line had jumped right off my page. I knew it was for me… not in an egotistical, I’m special kind of way, but a quiet knowing.
Since I was a child, I’ve known I was a healer- always drawn to helping people emotionally and seeking out Truth, wherever I could find it. I’ve been hungry my whole life, always learning, wanting more; my appetite cannot be satisfied.
I would dance in front of large auditoriums and theatres, feeling at home and like my truest self on stage. And I still feel that way- only now, I feel it when I’m sharing Jesus in front of crowds. I know I was born to do this. It makes me feel, alive at the centre of being and connected to my creator. It feels like worship.
I do it naturally because I want to, not because I have to. Whatever the season,wherever God has me, I will serve with my gifts, to the best of my ability.
Have my motives been questionable at times? Sure! All of ours have and I won’t pretend otherwise. But in the quiet of my closet, barefaced and broken before God, I know with every fibre of my being that I seek to serve from a genuine place – in response to His love and in recognition of His calling.
While not everyone is convinced, I am certain this is how God wired me:
To write, to teach, to speak, all for the purpose of healing – of leading people to His heart, through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
For me, it’s not about quantity, but quality.
I want to profoundly touch another soul, in ways that feel like a lovers stare from across the room.
I want to arrest people’s hearts to Jesus.
And yet, I struggle hard…
I feel the need to prove myself.
I want the world to know what I know about myself, as if their understanding and recognition will set me free to do the Fathers will.
It’s a lie and yet, I’ve believed it for years, unknowingly.
7 1-2 Later Jesus was going about his business in Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because the Jews there were looking for a chance to kill him. It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews.
3-5 His brothers said, “Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you are doing, come out in the open and show the world.” His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either.
6-8 Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.”
9-11 He said this and stayed on in Galilee. But later, after his family had gone up to the Feast, he also went. But he kept out of the way, careful not to draw attention to himself. – John 7: 1-9 (The Message)
Like the veil was finally lifted and the lie could no longer deceive me, I saw the Truth in the light of day.
Jesus’s own brothers doubted The Father’s Will for him- Jesus’ calling. They didn’t believe in Him and they masqueraded it as care and encouragement!
Behind their carefully crafted words and sly smile, lies a silent waiting to expose Him as a fraud- their unspoken thoughts lurking in the dark corners: “See, I knew it. It’s all in your head. Stop trying- stop trying to exalt yourself or prove your someone special.”
How often do I sense this in the hearts of those around me?
If I’m honest, a lot.
I sense it when I’m around them, in my resolve to be quiet and contentment not to share. In the way I avoid what’s going on with me or what I’m doing with my life right now.
I hide…. I want to leave, because I don’t feel safe.
Like Jesus, I sense their desire to crucify me.
And yet Jesus responds, without defense, without apology or even, agreement! Because He knows…. and that’s enough!
Oh, how I need to adopt this perspective – to accept what God has shown me and stop apologizing or trying to prove myself.
How I need to stop fearing the unknown thoughts and silent assumptions about me; particularly the ones masquerading doubt, as care and encouragement.
What I love most, is Jesus’ response: “I’m not ready. It’s not my time.”
The world will tell us that time is ours to seize! That if we’re serious about what we want to do, then we need to stop playing small… We need to GO PUBLIC, make it official and show the world what we’re made of. Then, they’ll see and believe! Like it’s our job to make that happen- to prove ourselves… for God’s sake though, right? And for His glory, of course!
Jesus, in one line, debunks that lie with Truth.
Timing is in the Father’s hands- a sacred tool to be used discriminately by Him, for His purposes.
While the world perceives time as an opportunity to seize at our discretion, Jesus invites us to see time as an opportunity to shed light on our hearts desires. – Beth Moore
If our desire is to do God’s will, we will wait for His timing, even when the wait feels forever- even when ridicule and rejection feels unbearably painful and our circumstances uncomfortable – even when the world doubts or disdains us, including those closest to us!
Because our faith affects our view of time.
If we really believe God, if we trust that He knows best, then we will also believe God knows when is best.
We won’t clamour to prove ourselves in our calling. We won’t fight for public approval or recognition.We will show up and quietly go about our business, careful not to draw attention to ourselves.
Because in the wait, God is still using us- we are still walking in our calling then, too! He is preparing us for the appointed hour. And when that time comes, we will know it!
God will get us there, God will make it happen – we can be sure of it! We cannot miss our callings….
God made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but A SURE THING thing determined by HIS DECISION, flowing steadily from HIS INITIATIVE. – Romans 9:11 (The Message)
Friend, do you see THE GOOD NEWS IN THIS?
WE CAN STOP TRYING!
…stop clamouring our way to our calling
… stop grasping for our position
… stop proving ourselves to others
… stop gaining acceptance and the world’s stamp of approval
We can fully let go and simply go about our business as usual, trusting God with the results and their timing.
If you feel the weight of God’s calling on your life, I want to say, I get it … I understand the grief that comes with God given burdens – I know what it’s like! They’re heavy- far too heavy for us to carry! And learning to walk with them, without letting them buckle us- allowing God to carry the yoke– is a process and a wrestle. It’s a constant tension, that takes daily dependency and intimacy with the Lord. And that too, takes commitment and discipline! Sometimes, I feel like my faith is a full-time job!
But I want to affirm what you know down deep- what God made you for. I don’t believe you know this by accident. I believe, it’s God’s gift of mercy and hope- something to hold onto when life feels hard and our circumstances scream otherwise. Don’t let the world cloud your inner counsel with doubt and fear. God has called you on purpose and for a purpose.
But friend, the timing is His.
Let’s walk out this tension together, shall we?
The good news is we’re not alone, anymore. You have me and I have you.
I’m praying for us both, because that’s the only thing I can do- it’s also the BEST thing.
Will you pray with me?
Lord God, Jesus, you so lavishly provide us with your presence, Holy Spirit, working things in us and in our lives, that we could never do on our own. You do it not by our striving, but because we choose, in our free will, to trust you to do it for us.
Like Jesus, we believe you God. Help us take you at your word. By that act of faith, make our life right with you. Bless us as we live by faith, trusting, believing and hoping for things yet unseen. Help us daily, to choose not to live by our own effort but depending on you. Sustain our relationship with you, as we embrace what you have planned for us.
Above all else, let our relationship with you remain our first priority and desire. Don’t let anything distract us, including our callings, or take us away from spending time with you. Doing things for you, is not the same as spending time with you. We want to enter into what you are doing, not the other way around!
Protect us and keep us from choosing religion, rather than relationship . Rule keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith. In fact, it only perpetuates more rule keeping! Christ has freed us from the self-defeating life of living by the law. It leads only to despair and death.
Remind us, again and again, that the purpose of the law was to make it obvious that on our own and in our strength, we are out of relationship with you, God. We cannot possibly will ourselves right! We can only do that by waiting in faith for you to complete your promises in us and through us. For if any rule keeping had the power to perfect, we for certain would have gotten there by now!! You know we’ve tried!
By faith alone, you have brought us into first hand encounters with you, The living God. You didn’t just give us a fresh start, you’re dressing us in adult faith. You’re maturing us, so eventually, we will be complete- Christ’s resurrected life in us- lacking no good thing – the fulfillment of your original promise.
May it be so. We give ourselves to you wholly and completely. May your will be done in us. Amen.”