In my last written entry I spoke about one way that I think we can discern the will of God for our lives: find out how He wired us. I’d like to expand on that a bit and demonstrate how Jesus actually lived this out.
Check out this excerpt from the story in Chapter 4 of the book of Matthew:
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them,“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Here, Jesus calls these ordinary tradesmen to join him on the adventure of a lifetime. They were fishermen. They were rugged, untamed, and they probably cursed like fishermen, too. What I found compelling about this is that Jesus spoke to them in a way they would understand. He said follow me and I will teach you to fish My way. In other words: STAY A FISHERMAN! But now you’re going to fish for something much more important than you could ever catch on the lake… you’re going to catch people and bring them into the Kingdom of God.
He calls fishermen to keep fishing but for something different. And I think that applies to more than just fishermen. I believe that He beckons us all to join Him on the journey of a lifetime using who we are to follow Him. He is calling talented businessmen to keep doing business, but now, with Jesus as the example, to be about the Father’s business instead (Luke 2:49). If you’re a runner (or used to be), He’s calling you to use the same tenacity and dedication that you used to use to outrun people to run the race marked out for you with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1-2). If God has made you a warrior at heart, or if he’s given you the competitiveness of an athlete, or if you love to farm or see things grow, check out 2 Timothy 2:3-7 because there are parallels for each of those types of people. And that’s exactly what these are, they are parallels. Think about how Jesus spoke, He spoke in parables. Parables are earthly stories that have a heavenly meaning. Your gifts and talents are earthly blessings with heavenly implications.
This doesn’t just have to do with your profession, it has to do with your calling. You could be in a profession that has nothing to with what God has placed inside of you. Whatever your passion and your gifting is, that is where you’re called. Another example of this is the pastor of the church I attend. He made the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame as a defensive end. His job was to go after quarterbacks and he played the game with passion. Now, he goes after the Kingdom of God instead of quarterbacks with the same zeal and relentless effort he brought to the playing field.
Recently, I met a man of God by the name of Solomon Davies. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this… Oh well, some say that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission! Haha just playing but I’m still going to share the story… ;) Anyway, he used to be a very talented nightclub promoter. One time when we were meeting, he spoke of his past with much remorse saying he couldn’t believe how he used to bring so many people into darkness through what he did. Immediately, I felt in my Spirit to tell him not to resent this gift but that in the past he had simply used it for the wrong team and the wrong purposes. The gift itself is not a bad thing, it’s the corruption of its original purpose that becomes a problem. He wasn’t a bad person. He was just making bad decisions. Now that Jesus is transforming his life, without even realizing it, he is still a promoter. Instead of the club, he’s promoting the Kingdom of God and testifying about God’s goodness. I joined him to work on a project this Christmas season called “Love Came Down” sharing God’s love through hats. Check out the campaign here and if you have the means then I urge you to be a part of what God is doing: indiegogo.com/love-came-down
Even Jesus Himself was a carpenter. I’m sure he built some great stuff too! Ultimately though, He came to build and establish the Kingdom of His Father. This wasn’t a Kingdom in the sense that the world understands it, made of stones and metal. It’s a Kingdom fashioned with what God calls Living Stones because the Kingdom of God dwells within the people of God. Later He says about Peter, the same fisherman from the story, that “upon this rock, I will build My church and the gates of Hell will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). He was a builder and a craftsman the whole time, establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth and reconstructing men and women into the people they were destined to be.
Here’s the point: you have what it takes already inside you. Now, put your talents, skills, and passions in the hand of God and watch what He can do with them. Shift your focus from the earthly empire you’re trying to build and direct your skills towards building the Kingdom of God in your unique way. When Jesus takes a hold of your life, He doesn’t want to erase how He made you. He wants to redeem how He made you and take you from your fallen and broken state into His beautiful purpose for your life. He called fishermen to keep on fishing and He’s calling you to keep being you… but now for His Kingdom and His glory. Amen.
Tell me what you think in the comments section below!