Focusing is so hard for me. There are so many different thoughts and ideas going through my head each day that can confuse almost anyone, including myself. Lately I have been stuck on the subject of calling. What am I called to do? Today hit me right between the eyes with some other things I have been reading and listening to about calling. Os Guiness said “Our first calling is to be close to God.” So many times I want to figure out what my gifts are and then decide and tell God what I should do. But what if it is and was as simple as listening to God and being in his word and then reflecting that to others through us. It’s not about our gifts but about God’s giftings through us.
I had lunch with a friend of mine today who “gets me.” I shared how I felt like I had failed at 3 things in the last couple of days and was just feeling like I was nothing. He pointed out how hard I am on myself and I need to maybe slow down and not do so much. In our Discipleship Group, where we practice something similar to three thirds, we identified 3 things that are our identity in Christ. We looked at Jesus life and took the following 3 to focus on
1)Get Messy: Jesus didn’t stay on the sidelines. He was a light in the darkness and with those in the darkness.
2)Love Sacrificially: Don’t just love in feeling but love as Jesus loved. He did the dirty work from washing feet to healing, to dieing for us.
3) Serve Continually: Jesus constantly reminded us of the upside down kingdom and he modeled it.
Later in our conversation I told him there are three things I feel like God has put on my heart. Global Missions, Discipleship, & Equipping. He told me directly that he feels like I wouldn’t be able do all of them well but if I would focus on Discipleship the other 2 would probably become a by-product. I feel like I have spiritual ADD and a lot of us do. We try do so many things because it makes us feel important but we don’t do anything deeply and well. 2 years ago I focused on just discipleship with a group of guys casting vision and being very intentional and it was amazing. I then got distracted and lost my focus with many other “good” things. I believe God is leading me back to a heart of discipleship and a renewed focus. It is “slow” by the world’s standards but the impact is huge. Spending lots of time with a few to reach the masses is Jesus model he laid before us. Today’s challenge, along with a conversation, and an email has left me with a new focus on discipleship.
Discipleship needs to focus on spending time with God and obeying it. Most mature Christians probably only obey 5-10% of what they know because we have not been taught to obey. So as we disciple new believers we should be teaching them to obey everything they learn. I once heard of a pastor that was going through Mark with his missional community and they stayed on one chapter for around 6 weeks. Everyone kept asking why? He said “We haven’t learned to obey it yet.” What if we read the bible with this expectation and took time to obey what we learned instead of continually puffing ourselves up with knowledge.