You Were Created For....
I was recently brought to a place of repentance. I had my thinking a little backward regarding my life and the things the weren't happening. Living our lives for the Lord is actually quite simple. Love God. Love people. The end. We complicate it with our ideas or how it should be, could be, would've been if, and so on. Life for me has felt like this balancing act of dreaming big and letting go of all those dreams. It seems counterintuitive, doesn't it? That God would ask us to dream of and believe for great things and yet ask us surrender our lives to Him. He's been so patient with me as I learn this balance.
Are you a dreamer? I am. My whole life I've lived mostly in the headspace of what could be. As a child, I would imagine my grandiose and adventure-filled life. I wanted to be a singer up until I was about 15. Then I wanted to be a missionary. Then I wanted to be a singer again. As a singer, I dreamt of traveling the world inspiring young people through music. As a missionary, I dreamt of seeing nations saved and miracles breaking out in the unreached places of the earth. I dream about the details, always have.
So back to me repenting. I was listening to a teaching by this particular teacher who evokes emotion in me and stirs my spirit man in a way that is impossible to describe. Every time this person teaches something literally shifts in me. Side note: I believe there's an anointing on certain teachers to speak into our lives in specific seasons. I urge you to pay attention to that. Anyway, he said this and at that moment something shifted in me, "Our job is to work ourselves out of job. Our job wouldn't exist if people did what we were teaching and pastoring them in." I'd been so backwards in my thinking. Here I was trying to work myself into a job thats ultimate purpose was actually to no longer be needed. When we are in Heaven someday there will be no more need for any jobs that point to the Lord which is any job we do unto the Lord on this earth. We can so badly want to be in greater places of influence than we are now for reasons that aren't actually what we were created for. Our role & title on earth is simple---lovers of God and lovers of people. That's our ultimate title. It's what we will be doing for all eternity. The truth is we don't need more influence. We need more intimacy with God and people. Influence is actually a by-product of intimacy. You can't healthily influence what you don't love. If you are growing in love then you are unintentionally growing in influence. Before hearing this teaching, I had my focus on influence so that I could love people but God was trying to get my focus back on love so I could influence people.
So why does God gives us big dreams? Why does He even let us dream if He simply wants us to love Him and love people? Well, let's talk about influence again. While on this earth our lives are meant to point people to God. If we don't have influence (defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone) then people don't get to see, know, understand or experience Him. He designed us to be His body on the earth (1 Corinthians 12:27). The issue is that we prioritize influence over love. Loving God looks like laying our lives down to follow His lead. Loving people looks like laying our lives down to lead them to follow His lead. God wants to expand our influence to ultimately reach more people. It's not our job to expand our own influence. It's His. Our job is to love deeply, authentically, selflessly and exuberantly. As we do, He will expand and enlarge our influence (Deuteronomy 19:8-9) because it will be from a place we were created to operate from which is love and not influence or power.