Isn’t it cool how easy it can be to follow God? No, no, really, I’m serious. I know sometimes it can be really difficult and life is tough and trusting Him is hard and there is no love without sacrifice… but really, I think we bring a lot of it on ourselves.
Let me give you an example: I used to figure skate. Practice sessions, private lessons, competitions, the whole shebang. And jumps.
I was never much good at it but I advanced at an average pace. Until I came to the axle, a 1.5 revolution jump.
The secret is, the jump really is simple. But because of an extra half turn, it’s labeled the most difficult jump a beginner can learn. And there is a lot of hype. For months as I prepared for my first axel, fellow skaters warned me about how difficult it would be.
They shared horror stories of massive bruises from huge falls, they told me about all the months it had taken to even become somewhat proficient with it, and they confided the truth that it was still their shakiest jump.
So by the time I set foot on the ice, I was all prepared to fall, and fall hard because I was too afraid to jump. My belief that it would be difficult was what made it so.
We do that as Christians all the time. We assume that it’s going to be so hard. We pray God’s will over a situation and wince, hoping it won’t hurt too much. We tell God we want to live for Him, yet hold back, for fear He’ll send us out as missionaries to a third world country.
But the secret is, so much of that pain and fear we experience, we bring on ourselves by trying to stay safe and comfortable.
Then, to complicate matters even more, we convince ourselves that God is going to have to do a lot of work in us to make us suitable for the battlefield. We become afraid of that work, because of how painful it sounds. So as a preemptive strike, we compare ourselves to people we admire and/or envy and try to give ourselves makeovers based on what we see in them.
We hone in on great men and women of the faith and try so hard to imitate them that we forget to imitate God. We try to fit into their mold and their calling instead of being who God made us to be.
Do you even realize how special and unique and precious you are to God?
Do you know that He has never before and never will again create anyone who’s exactly like you?
Do you believe that He made you on purpose, for a purpose?
And do you know that He loves you?
He paid a terrible price to tell you about that love. Don’t spend your time trying to earn it by being something you’re not.
The Christian life is something that’s meant to be enjoyed, and done wholeheartedly. We just need to get out of our own way and relax.
Are you looking for your purpose in life? What do you enjoy doing? What topics/projects get you all fired up? Odds are, God has planted those passions in your heart to accomplish something through you that no one else can do the way He wants it done.
Are you struggling in areas that you feel you should have conquered by now? Do you envy that guy’s gift of prayer, or that woman’s gift of boldness? Do you look at other people and wish you could have it all figured out like they do?
Take a look at 2 Peter 1:1:
“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”
Peter said we have received ‘like faith’ with the saints. He’s saying that our faith is comparable to the faith of those who physically walked with Jesus. How mind-blowing is that?!
God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t love this pastor or that missionary more than He loves you. He doesn’t spend more time with them than He does with you, or answer their prayers more quickly. He promises each and every one of us that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
We each have our own struggles, our own gifting, and our own calling. We are each unique and precious in His eyes.
Things get hard and complicated when we try to walk by ourselves, or when we try to follow in the footsteps of someone other than Jesus. When we try to figure out what God has planed, we often skip right to worse case scenario, and that’s when things get scary.
But the beautiful truth is that God has worked His plans around you, simply because He loves you and wants to include you in what He’s doing. You specifically. You individually.
He sees you, He loves you. He is after your heart, and it’s on Him to mold you into His own image.