Posts Tagged Calling
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:
God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.
So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?
I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)
1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)
And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?
But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:
Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.
I have to say that again.
Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!
It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.
Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!
So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!
When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!
I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.
When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.
You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.
Enjoy song and lyrics 😉
Last weekend, I took my daughter for an entire day of fun at the City Pool and water park. I had been working on preparing for a Happy Hour (Life Changing) Workshop tour, so I promised her that Saturday was ALL hers. She chose to start at the zoo and then head to the water park. Little did I know that we’d be at the water park from opening until closing. Yes, we had that much fun. And it wasn’t a relaxing sunbathing day for me. It was in the water, wrestling with her, holding her up so she could jump off of my legs/shoulders, and racing her in an Olympic sized pool. After six hours, I was hungry and EXHAUSTED, and almost too exhausted to cook and eat anything!
I got to thinking about the fun, but very tiring day we had. For those who know me well, you know that I will not get in a pool if I cannot see, stay away from, and never come close to the drain. I am absolutely MORTIFIED of them. Okay, and yes, even worse…when I stay in a hotel and take a shower, I must keep one eye open and on that stupid drain in there. I just don’t do drains. I don’t like them, I won’t touch them, I won’t save anyone drowning near one (just kidding…I think…thank goodness I’ve never had to find out! If you ever go swimming with me take a third person so you have a back up person to save you if I chicken out!), and I flat out will not get into a hot tub unless I can keep my feet off the bottom. Ever. No way, no how, I am soooo seriously terrified of drains.
When my daughter asked me to race her from one side of the pool to the other, I declined. I wasn’t about to swim over one and have to pretend it wasn’t underneath me, and not look down even though I would know it was there. To me it was clear and present danger and I wasn’t going anywhere across that pool. I was staying close to the edge of the pool. I know they won’t hurt me technically (although I did see that they have had to change the design of them in recent years due to safety issues, ha…I was right!), but it doesn’t matter. I’m a chicken.
Okay, to get to the point of what I started thinking about regarding my faith…
I am a prayer warrior.
I’m a little woman who cannot wait to get her Master’s Degree to learn more about Biblical Leadership and use it in the world to change, equip, and help lead growth and create leaders in the Kingdom of God.
I know it will be a battle, but I am confident about putting on the full armor of God to do so. God will equip me with exactly what I need and I trust Him.
I am SO willing, EAGER, and ready to go and DO whatever God asks me to do (and in fact, I feel like Owen Wilson and the other little Roman guy from A Night At The Museum…they were two very tiny guys who were so ready to just go and fight the fight not thinking about how small they really were. They were fearless and ready to go now!!! That’s how much I want to do this!)
So, if I’m that willing and eager, and have faith and trust the Lord to walk blindly and just go…then how come I couldn’t swim across the pool with my daughter because of my drain phobia? I trust God SO much that I can fight a mighty battle and stand for His Kingdom, but I’m afraid of a swimming pool drain that is going to do…what? What’s it going to do? It’s not like there’s a trap door under the grate. Is there?
Regardless, the message hit me. I prayed in the pool, tucked my feet up (never came close to touching the bottom of the pool…man, I kicked like there was a shark coming after me) and swam with my daughter. I swam for six hours with her and had a blast! And after a period of time, I found myself venturing out further, deeper, and getting involved in a lot more of the pool games!
How many times do we let FEAR keep us from doing what we really want to do. And what’s more, how many times do we let FEAR paralyze us and not do what God is calling us to do?
If He’s called us…He’s equipping and strengthening us with every act of obedience. We have to be obedient and go to the first place He calls us, in order to get to the next place. Each successive place we go for the Lord will equip us for the next.
Faith AND trust will ELIMINATE fear.
Amazing what I learned in 3.5 ft of water.
Now I can move to the deeper parts of my faith 😉
One of my favorite songs is in my head…
I’ll be a fool…
It’s a Christian song by After The Chase, about being so happy, go lucky, crazy in love with God and your Savior that you SEEM like a fool in this world, because it’s impossible for others of the world to relate to your peace, faith, strength, happiness, being content, and taking risks to reach His people.
So, if you are a leader trying to do something and people are saying:
“Expand our church? Not in this economy! You’re a fool!”
“You’re making a career change to live the calling that God has called you to? Seriously? What about the security you have now? I don’t get you!“
If you are hearing:
“It can’t be done!”
“We already tried that, so just forget about it!”
“I don’t think we will get the support we need.”
As a leader, it is imperative to surround yourself with other innovators and leaders. Surround yourself with innovative and creative people who are LIVING their calling. No doubt, you’ll be called a fool by those who are not. But, how many successful business people and church planters were thought to have been foolish, only to have been some of the most successful individuals who have built some amazing places of worship in our time? And who are we to question God’s plan?
Even if all you are trying to do is lead someone to Christ, you still need to connect with other leaders. People will think you are a fool if you do something out of the ordinary, or something that they don’t necessarily understand or agree with. And, I’m not suggesting that we change people’s perceptions of what we are doing. We are not crazy people, and we certainly don’t need to gain the approval of others BEFORE we do what GOD has CALLED us to do. We are individuals who are LISTENING to what God is calling us to do, and we are answering Him and responding to His direction with glad and happy hearts! If that makes us fools, then go forth and BE FOOLISH!!! Be a happy fool!
Without coming across as a smart-butt, when someone questions why I am doing what God has calling me to do, because they don’t necessarily agree or understand, I want to respond, “God is not asking you to do it. He’s guiding me in that direction.” And truthfully, people need to be less concerned with what God has called others to do and be more concerned with what He’s called them to do. When God calls, we have to be willing to become a “fool” to the world.
Poke me, spit at me, hit me, call me names, laugh at me, treat me differently, gossip about me, or take everything I own…it doesn’t matter. Why? I’m so INCREDIBLY happy even during the worst times of my life…because I am content in my love for God.
HOW FOOLISH! (Grin!)
I was thinking this morning (umm…me thinking anytime is dangerous, much less before 8am) that living God’s calling for my life is much like being on a roller coaster at an amusement park.
I don’t know which direction it will turn all of the time.
I can’t always see the track.
If I look too far ahead it gets confusing for me, because God is still building that part of the track, but I can rest assured that it will be done by the time my cart gets there.
Sometimes I have to climb slowly and persistently to reach the top of a challenge before I can coast downhill for a while.
Some parts are scary and some are fun…I am asked to reach too high, go into tunnels and areas where there is no light, and put my hands into the air and not hold on.
But in the end, when my roller coaster finally stops, and I exit in Heaven, it will have been the most ultimate ride of a life time.
When stepping out to live the calling the Father has summoned you for, GO! Just remember who is in control of the roller coaster you are on and have faith. Things won’t seem so scary anymore.
A little over a year ago, I started this Seasoned With Salt blog. All this time later, it has turned into a full blown coaching business. The very first blog entry I wrote was about when God calls, we need to LISTEN and move into action immediately.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that when you receive the calling from Him that everything will fall into place right away. After all, I have been plugging away at this for a little over a year in preparation! As a single mother, it has meant a lot of late nights and weekends. And fortunately, my kids are flexible and spontaneous like I am, so we’ve had some creative and fun family time right in the midst of all this change.
One year ago, I received a calling from God to live my passion, reach his people, and do it all for His glory. One year ago, I moved into action in preparation, made plans, prayed, refined those plans, actively prayed and listened for his guidance, cried my eyes out at times in frustration (technical issues, okay?!), and kept moving forward one step, and one instruction at a time.
Today, I can’t tell you what my future looks like, because I find myself living by faith and not by sight. I don’t know what a year from now looks like. I have an idea, but until I work through this next year, plan my steps, seek God’s guidance and will, and continue to live by faith, I will have no real idea. I can imagine, but I’ve found that what I imagine and what God has planned are two totally different things. Usually, I imagine and dream too small. God always surpasses what I envision. Isn’t that awesome?! (I tend to think of things in my small mindedness of what is possible, and sometimes I forget to think of things in God’s awesomeness where EVERYTHING is possible and unlimited!)
Yes, this past year has been so much preparation and planning. It has been the time period in which I have been called, trained, and equipped. One of my favorite quotes is, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” That is so true! He has provided me with everything I need this past year, and now the time has come.
In three days, I report for duty to live His calling and become completely focused on that. I am not just a coach because it’s a job. I am a coach of this magnitude and passion, because I have been called. And, now it is with honor that I look forward to reporting to duty.
I can’t wait to wake up each day and know that I am called to serve the Lord by reaching his people to discover the potential he has given each of them. How can I contain such excitement for this mission!? I am so absolutely excited to have the opportunity each day to focus my life on Him. I know that without a doubt that in doing so, He will continue to guide me from here forward. I think I am too excited and happy to be scared. And, speaking of scared? I’m not. I am peaceful and smiling, joyous to the core. Yes God, I am reporting for full-time duty.
Three days left…and I want to punch in early 😉
Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on March 31, 2009
It’s so much easier to run with the crowds. All throughout life we find that in certain circumstances we don’t want to rock the boat. We want to stay with the familiar. We want to security of the known. We want people to like us. We want their approval on what we do, say, and become. But, what does that approval cost us?
When we have a vision or a goal that surpasses what others can comprehend or even view as logical, they likely will not support where we decide to go. They may consider us to be “crackpots” or “dreamers”. We are neither or the two. Crackpots and dreamers will not have a well thought out plan, the action steps, and the will to persevere through the difficult phases that arise to materialize the vision that is planted within us. Only a vision without action behind it remains just a dream. Everyone has a dream, but not everyone will make their dreams reality. There is a difference between “crackpots” and visionary people.
If we waited for everyone to give us their approval to to try, we’d never succeed at anything. The truth is, if we constantly sought approval from everyone, we’d never even start. We’d all be stuck right where we are indefinately. Thankfully, we don’t need to live that way.
Leaders who truly have the calling to lead will not set out to win votes before they take on that role, especially when the calling is from God. Think of Moses and Noah. I’m sure that they were thought of as “crackpots” and “dreamers”, but they didn’t wait for approval from friends, family, and coworkers before doing what God had called them to do.
Living your calling and living your dreams to make them become reality may cost us a few friendships and our comfort for a period of time. But, in reality that is a small price to pay for living out our passions, purpose, and unleashing our potential. Especially when that potential is given to us from God.
The initial cost doesn’t compare to what the end result will bring. Go, do, and become. Or, wait for approval and let that be your “excuse”.