Tuesday, July 14, 2009

God has perfectly qualified you

It is worth remembering-You are perfectly created to be the person God created you to be. Notice what I did not say there, you are not fully equipped but you are perfectly created.

If you look in Ephesians 4, Paul starts by giving a charge to believers:

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” [Eph 4:1, NIV]

This is a verse we’ve read often enough for it to have very little meaning to most people. Okay, I’ll live a life worthy of my call. What does that mean exactly?

Here is how the Amplified says it.

“1I THEREFORE, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service,…” [Ephesians 4:1, AMP]

This is a little deeper. We are urged to have behavior that makes God look good. We need to practice what we preach. We shouldn’t be judgmental hypocrites going about judging people and living by grace.

I think the Message Bible really gets to the heart of what God is saying to us through the Apostle Paul:

“1-3In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” [Ephesians 4:1-3, Message Bible]

Look at that urging. We are told to walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called us to travel. What road is that? Well, we are told to spend time in God’s presence, not in a religious way but talking to a friend. God loves us just as our spouse or best friend loves us. He wants to know about what is on our mind. He want us to take the time to hear what is on His mind.

But—and this is where many writers miss it—once we know what He has to say about it we are to RUN! Most writers I know are barely walking. They read a novel then spend 2 hours a week REALLY writing and wonder why they aren’t published in a year. That is not the road God called us to.

The other thing we do is constantly question our call. It is good and right to pursue God’s will for our life, but many writers are simply stalling. When I prayed and asked God if I should go to college I didn’t wake up every day and ask if I should go to class. I didn’t say “God, would you rather me pray for 3 hours instead of do my homework?” No, I did all that was necessary to become an excellent student. God honored that with many awards, scholarships and honors.

Likewise, when I became pregnant with our first child I didn’t ask Him every day “God, do you still want me to be a mom today?”

It would seem ridiculous to most people for me to feel I needed to ask God if he wanted me to feed and nurture my kids. It is clear in scripture that God calls me to be a loving mom and to set a good example for my kids. Furthermore, it is clear that I am to teach them and care for them. There are specific issues I ask Him for guidance on, but I know I am called to be a mom. I know how to do it because God laid it out in His word.

The same is true of your call to be a writer. Once you know that is a calling you need to pursue it with all gusto. You shouldn’t turn in substandard work and say “But God gave me this story. You MUST publish it.” You wouldn’t allow a doctor to cut in to you simply because “God called them to be a doctor.” [Having had surgery last week that has a DOUBLE Amen coming from me today!!]

Why am I beating up on you today? Truly, I’m not. What has inspired me is the amount of reading I’ve done recently on highly successful people. The people who excel do it because they become obsessed. That is where we need to get. We are taking God’s call to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” as an excuse to do sloppy work. We say “I was too busy seeking God. I didn’t have time to do a good job.”

If we are seeking God first in all we do it means He is the first one we seek. Once we’ve sought Him we honor Him by doing Ephesians 4. Or we honor Him by doing Habakkuk 2:2 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” God calls us to make it plain.

God calls us to honor Him with our work. God calls us to seek Him for our call, then work by the sweat of our brow and He’ll “give us all these things besides”.

The Christian life is one of activity. Even in the land of perfection [Eden] God gave Adam and Eve jobs. Each of us has a call on our lives and in those calls are God’s provision and fulfillment.

This week let’s all make progress rather than excuses. That includes me.


Jan Cline said...

Such an awesome post. I so needed to hear it. Thank you for putting into words what we should all know in our hearts.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Well said. Thanks Tiffany for the extra boost today!

Lazy Writer said...

Great post! Thanks for beating up on us. :)

Molly Noble Bull said...

Good post, Tiff.
It was so good, I hated to post my monthly article above it. However, I had no choice. I promised to post an article on the first and third Wednesday, and it was that time of the month.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter said...

I'm so glad my posting was helpful. You know I only know to say it because I've struggled with it. =)

And Molly, Post away!! Great to have you posting with us.