Do what God has called you to do, despite the critics.
There will be plenty of people who don’t understand why you are doing the things you are doing. There will also be many people who don’t understand the steps you are taking. Things may seem backwards and out of order to them.
But, my question for you is…are you being obedient to what God has called you to do in the order he called you to do them?
In reality, other people’s opinions should not matter. Unless you are getting advice from an elder or someone wise and mature in faith. You won’t be giving an account for if you did things their way. However, you will be held accountable on what you have done with what God has asked of you.
So why do we feel this desire to please people? Is it that we are placing our worth in their hands rather than the Lord’s? I believe that when we solely focus on Jesus. Our eyes are only narrowed in on being obedient to what HE has called us to do, we can’t focus on the opinions of others. We are too busy focused on his steps, his will, his way.
God has made us individuals for a reason. No one’s relationship with him is the same. So, maybe you don’t understand why people are doing things a certain way…But, just maybe, that is what God called them to do.
The way God does things is much different than the way the world does things. It seems foreign, strange, and out of order for those looking in. However, if God has called you to do it and is leading you. The rest does not matter. Let’s put aside being a people pleaser and chase fearlessly after what God has called us to do. Despite the critics. I think God being our biggest cheerleader outweighs them anyway.
“For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” -Galatians 1:10 CSB
“We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we entreat. We are, even now, like the world’s garbage, like the filth of all things.” -1 Corinthians 4:10-13 CSB
“Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” -Colossians 3:2 CSB
Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts. -1 Thessalonians 2:4 CSB
(I know I have been writing on this a lot lately. But I hope as God is working on my heart, he is working on yours too!)
Over the past week I have talked to several different women who all are pursuing a relationship with God and want his will to be done in their life. God has given each of them a vision of what he wants them to do to benefit the kingdom. Some of them have normal every day jobs that have become their ministry, some of the women are being challenged to leave their job and go somewhere else, and other women God has said their ministry is in a church setting.
What I have come to realize is that each of the women I have talked to have a different purpose. A purpose that is individualized to them personally with their talents and passions woven in. It is really beautiful to think about.
No two people are the same. Each of us have their very own personality, strengths, abilities, and passion to bring to the table. God has made us as individuals with different make-ups to bring together as one to strengthen one another as a whole. There is no one in this world you cannot learn something from. There is no reason to try to fit in when God has called you to stand out.
This is why it is so important to be who God has called you to be, yourself.
He has crafted you to be his masterpiece. No true masterpiece can be duplicated. Be an original. You are needed here, right now, for a much larger reason than you or I can see.
Focus wholeheartedly on Jesus, live your life full of love, and ask for his guidance every day. You are perfectly imperfect and he wants every piece of your heart. He will mold you to be a world changer. Stop trying to fit in with the world when you are meant to change it with his love.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.-Romans 12:3-8 ESV
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.-Ephesians 2:10 NLT
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
When you are following the will of God and driving towards the divine purpose God has called over you life, there are several tactics that the enemy will use to derail you from that path. The enemy does not want you to follow God’s plan for your life. He wants you as far away from God’s perfect plan as possible. From my experience, the biggest tools he as he has used is discouragement, shame, and fear. He has used people to tell me I am “not good enough”, “making the wrong decision”, and “it will never happen”. He has planted lies in my mind that I am too young, not equipped, and that the decisions I am making are irrational and wrong. Throwing shame and fear like sour patch kids, when really it is the poison that distracts and stalls us from moving forward. God does not ask for your resume or references, he asks for your yes. He asks for an open and teachable heart that willing to be obedient.
Instead of paying attention to what people have to say and the lies the enemy likes to try to plant, why don’t we focus on the ultimate truth? God’s Word. We need to feed our minds and hearts with the truth. Meditate on what God’s says and who he is, who we are through him. Yielding to the Spirit through God’s word is what allows us to not only know God and be in his presence, but allows him to work on our heart in the process. As he works on our hearts we are put in the direct line of the will of God. Listening to what he has to say, absorbing his love, faithfulness, grace, and mercy like a sponge, and becoming more like him.
When you are following God’s perfect plan for your life, of course the enemy wants to stop you. God is using you as a vessel to bring people to him. You are bringing people pure love, peace, hope, and faith. He is using you to set people free from what once tied them down. Later, he will use them to bring them the same love, peace, hope, and faith. His love never stops and it never runs dry.
The next time the enemy tries to discourage you from God’s beautiful plan for your life, tell him who your Papa is and who you are through him. The authority and inheritance you have through Jesus is like no other. Pay more attention to what God says verses what the world says. People may not understand, there may even be things you do not understand. However, the world doesn’t need to understand. You don’t need to see, walk by faith.
“They will fight you, but they will fail.
For I am with you, and I will take care of you.
I, the Lord, have spoken!””-Jeremiah 1:19 NLT
“You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!”-Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”-Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT
God has brought a lot of revelation of the difference of being worldly and the new creation he has made me us. He has shown me things in my life that when trials and tribulations come that I begin to think from a worldly perspective. He has also used the people closest to me, facebook, and even people in the church, to show me the difference between worldly and thinking and acting like The Children Of God That We Are. How many of our thoughts are just mere feelings and worldly thoughts compared to biblical truth?
(This blog will have a couple different parts over the next couple days!)
Let me drop some biblical truth that relates to being worldly:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17
Now let me challenge some worldly thinking:
We worry for nothing, especially when it comes to money. “But Tanja, money is important!! The world revolves around money!”
Let me stop you right there…If your world is revolving around anything but your relationship with God, then your priorities are out of order. God is supposed to be first in our lives. He is supposed to be at the throne of our heart. Not our spouses, children, nor our jobs that often can take up a majority of our time. That job you have doesn’t provide your needs, your heavenly father does. As long we give our first fruits (tithe 10%), he will provide our needs. There has been a lot of animosity about tithing. What if I told you tithing has to do with your heart, not your money? Do you trust God to provide your needs even though the overwhelming amount of bills are coming in continually or are you going to keep that money for yourself? The streets are made of gold in heaven. I assure you that God doesn’t need our money! But he is after out heart!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”-Malachi 3:10
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:25-34
(Here’s the link to a video concerning financial worry and recent government shutdown)
A recent article showed me some astounding facts about how much time we sit in front a tv screen and on social media. I am thankful that I am able to use social media to spread the good news, but how much of our time is really spent on cat and puppy videos or even the death being spewed all over social media platforms?
“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” -Socialmediatoday.com
Are you spending as much time connected with God as you are other people?? (now that’s good, thankyou Holy Spirit!)
Let’s put social media aside…
Even children, spouses, friends, and our favorite hobby can take up the quiet time being spent with God. I am not saying that these things are bad. However, anything that takes precedent over first spending time with Abba, has become and idol.
Even Jesus took time away and prayed and spent time with the heavenly father. We see this in scripture several times. There was even a time where people were looking for Jesus, but he knew there was nothing more important than to surrender and have quiet time with the Father.
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 15:15-16
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.””-Mark 1:35-37
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22:39-45
The worldly perspective of the broken, needy, and poor are that they aren’t worth helping. Wipe your hands of them, they will hurt you, they are scary, they put themselves there.
Man am I thankful God took the broken person I was and made something beautiful out of me! Jesus hung out with the broken, the worldly “low-life’s”, the prostitutes, tax collectors, the sinners. None of us are holier than thou, including myself. God has used my testimony to set people free. He has used some of the hardest things I’ve went through to display his glory of healing, forgiveness, and overall victory.
Did you know when you love the poor, you are actually doing loving God?
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”-Matthew 25:34-40
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””-Matthew 9:9-13
God Focuses On:
love not hate
life not death
victory not defeat
I hope this post somehow challenged you like it has challenged me. We are constantly growing which causes growing pains and that’s okay. Remember, progress is progress!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”-Colossians 3:2