And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
~ Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
I am brought back to this verse time and time again by my Lord. Sometimes, it is a refreshing reminder that I do not belong to myself. Sometimes, it is flat-out humbling to be reminded that I do not belong to myself.
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19a & 20a (NIV)
That price? The very lifeblood of Jesus Christ. His trial, torture, and death were the price God Himself paid for my piddly little soul. And it is piddly. I have so many planks in my own eyes, that it’s a wonder anyone ever glimpses even a sliver of the grace of God in me.
I do not say this to abase myself, or to exact pity. I do it to tell you the Truth. And that Truth is that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“All,” in the original Greek, means “all.” In case you were wondering. 🙂 And, that includes me: Your standard-issue, raised-in-church, goodie-two-shoes, Jesus Freak. Just to be clear. So, anything I say after this you must understand is coming from someone who knows her position in Christ. I am a sinner, saved by grace, and not by anything I have done.
And I am loved.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~ Romans 5:8 (NIV – emphasis mine)
I have never come anywhere near to meeting the standard of perfection set forth by God’s very nature. Ever. And, I never will. At least, not until that glorious day when I will look into His very eyes, and really see. Sigh…
Back to what I intended to write. About working for the Lord, and not for men. You remember, way back at the beginning of this post, right? Okay. Good.
That verse about doing everything as if it were a direct service to the Lord is one that seems to be a recurring theme for me. I’ve always taken it as encouragement – that every dish I wash, diaper I change, and offense I forgive is an act of worship. While that is definitely true, I have limited God.
He has not only been trying to tell me that everything I do has the potential to bring Him glory, but that everything I do in my life is my calling. He has called me to be a wife and a mother. A woman who glories in keeping a home, raising children, and loving her husband.
There are other things He has called me to as well, but my primary calling in this life is to be Tiffany – wife of Levi, mother of four, daughter, sister, and friend.
And my eyes have been on other things. I have shifted my focus. Though my intentions, I believe, were honest, they were misplaced. Yes, God wants me to continue pursuing my doula and childbirth education certifications. Yes, God wants me to use my voice to glorify Him and minister to others. Yes, He wants me to be creative and expand my skills as an artist of sorts. And yes, He wants me to use my “gifting with words” 😉 to bless those around me.
But…not at the loss of that high and primary Calling on my life. Those secondary callings should fit neatly underneath the umbrella of my first and highest Calling.
This Calling is the “everything” I am to do unto the Lord. It’s not that the other things aren’t part of that “everything”, but on His priority list, being a wife of noble character is what He wants to see from me. All the others will get in line, if I am obedient in that one area.
I have neglected my Calling. I’m not entirely sure for how long it’s been going on, but obviously, it’s been long enough.
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
~ Proverbs 31:27 (NIV)
No wonder this verse has come to mind so often of late. I have eaten and enjoyed the bread of idleness, and just dealt with the spiritual indigestion later. It’s never pleasant, but it has taught me to appreciate again the meat & potatoes God offers through His Word.
I’m hungry enough.
Will I eat?
Yes. Yes, Lord, I will eat. I’ve been starving myself, and am now paying the price.
“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”
~ Psalm 42:1-6 (NIV)
This is the post I’ve been wanting to write. Apparently, the Lord prevented me because it took me until today finally get it through my thick skull that He wanted to teach me these things, and apparently I needed a strong lesson, because it stung like the dickens. And, I had to realize that He did not teach me this lesson so I could bestow upon the masses (that’s you) the great and glorious truths Almighty God sees fit to bestow upon one so worthy as I!
In case you didn’t get it, that last sentence was meant for you to laugh at, and to show you exactly how my mind naturally runs if I let it have its way. 🙂 (Told ya “all have sinned!”)
I am just so grateful to have a God who isn’t a mystery. Well, in some ways, He has to be. He is God, after all. But, for the most part, He seems to be pretty open about what He wants from me. I just need to open my eyes, my ears, and my heart, and everything just falls into place.
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
~ Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NIV – emphasis mine)
So. What is it God is calling you to do? Will you answer? I know I will. I know I will still stumble and fall, but He will be there to catch me, set me upright, and nudge me forward again. I won’t be alone.
I want to leave you with a verse or two which are like cold water to wilting lettuce – they’ll perk you right up!
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
~ Isaiah 40:30, 31 (NIV)
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
~ Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)
I could go on…but I encourage you to search the Bible for yourself. Drink deeply of its heady wine, undiluted by the water of this world. Be warmed and filled by its bread and meat. Be satisfied…
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
~ Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
QUICK NOTE: I just want you all to know that this particular calling is God’s calling on MY life. I don’t presume that His calling on yours will be the same, or even similar to mine. We each have our own, unique calling, suited to the gifts given us by Him. Seek yours out. Be open. But – please don’t assume that I think that my calling should be everyone else’s.