Monday, June 02, 2008

Intentional Components

Sometimes living out my faith can be overwhelming.

How do I fulfill my personal calling as a husband, a father, a pastor, a follower of Jesus, a teacher, a writer, and a human being without getting pulled in every direction at once?

I know that I have a calling to be a missionary to the world around me. This means my neighbors on my street, my co-workers during the week, and people I come in contact with each and every day.

I also know that I have a calling to love the least and the lost, and to have an open hand towards the poor and the outcast.

At the same time, I am called to disciple my two sons and teach them what I know about following Jesus and living a life of integrity.

My calling also extends to my marriage where I am called to love my wife as Jesus loved the Church; laying down His life to set her free.

Sometimes I struggle with how to do all of these things at once. I have to weigh the difference between things I could be doing, and things I should be doing.

I know that I have a personal calling to communicate the Gospel of the Kingdom in words, in writing, and in my daily life. I know I have a calling to serve the poor and to help others understand this Biblical principle of justice. I know I have a responsibility to pastor the people in our house church. I know I have a calling to make disciples, to teach others to follow Jesus so that they can also teach others to follow Jesus too.

So far I've accomplished these "missions" in my life by living my life according to my convictions and communicating what I've learned through my articles, books, and my weekly e-newsletter.

I have new opportunities in front of me now that I could take advantage of. But sometimes saying "Yes" to one thing is also saying "No" to a hundred other things. What if one of those hundred other things is what I'm really supposed to be doing?

I could be helping to publish a magazine that communicates the conditions of those living in poverty here in Orange County. There's nothing wrong with that. It's one of my core passions. So, do I do that? Or not?

I could be leading teams of people to minister to prostitutes on the streets of Santa Ana each week. This is a serious need. These girls are in real danger. But is that my calling? Is that what I should be saying "Yes" to? What about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom? What about communicating the importance of following Jesus with your everyday life? What about the amazing joys of house church I'm experiencing each week? What about evangelizing my neighbors? What about being more missional with my co-workers? What about...?

In the end, all you can do is the best you can do. No one can do more than that, can they?

I remember that Jesus said that His burden was easy and His yoke was light. If my list of things to do is heavy, maybe it's time to lay them all down and figure out what I'm really called to do?

For now, it's a daily surrender to Jesus. If that means writing an article about Social Justice, then I write that article. If that means sharing my faith with my co-workers, then I do that. If obedience to Jesus means laying all other committments aside to spend time with my wife or my sons, then I will do that too.

Instead of being overwhelmed with the vast myriad of possible things I "could" do, it's better to simply surrender my entire life to Jesus and allow Him to direct me, each and every moment, to do those things I "should" do because He has called me to.


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