Thinking and Praying Out Loud
I'm going to detour a little bit today from anything I specifically read in the Bible...it's kind of a reflection...my thinking out loud about my day and what has been a theme in a lot of my posts.
Reading the Bible 159 days in a row has changed a lot of my perspective. I've become more focused than ever on Jesus, I've become entirely more convinced that He is the only thing that matters. I've been convicted to obey, to have faith, and to stubbornly believe that nothing is impossible.
Reading the Bible every day has put where I am in perspective, where I work, where I go to church, where I go to the grocery store, what I do, the words I say, the relationships I have...I see daily how important all of that is and that Jesus is relevant in the most real and therefore pressing way.
It has changed the way I think and feel daily, it has made me more conscious of the people around me, it has made my voice stronger and fuller, it has already been applied in so many ways. And yet I think I feel this under-the-surface tension wondering how to apply it all to my life. Like I'm reading things every day that seem out of reach and if only I could come up with a way to live it, to stretch myself to that point to get there.
But today I think I've realized that I have just been putting too much pressure on myself. I've been trying to be someone I'm not. I'm not perfect, first of all. And that's why I've been struggling feeling like a failure too often. And the other thing is that I've felt the call to evangelize and I think I was trying to imagine myself doing it in a way that doesn't fit my gifting.
As I've been thinking about Billy Graham, for example, I can think of how amazing his ministry was and how obviously obedient he was to God's call...and I could beat myself up for not being like Billy Graham. But it's silly to compare myself to Billy Graham for the obvious reasons that could be summarized in that he was just a very specific case and no one should ever feel like less of a Christian just because they aren't Billy Graham. But it's also silly to compare myself to him because he had a different set of gifts and talents than me.
If I was going to become a person who makes an impact for Christ as vastly, internationally, powerfully as Billy Graham I'm not going to do it preaching the way he did. I would do it being myself and obeying God with what He has given me to work with.
I would sing and write, I would disciple and counsel others, I would adopt orphans, I would pastor and shepherd. I could be an evangelist...I am called to that and God can do that in me..but I'm not going to worry that I don't feel like that's my gifting, because I have other gifts.
I think the situation in which I'm a evangelist isn't going to come about when I'm trying my hardest and pressuring myself to be one...I think that's going to happen when I'm open to the Holy Spirit working in me. When I'm free and I'm trusting Jesus that He will use me and guide me.
I don't know how much sense I'm making or if this post turned of to be just for me to try and process what I'm thinking for a minute...so as I've thought out loud now I will pray out loud...
Jesus, thank You for using me. Thank You for creating specific situations and jobs and scenarios for me to be Your light. Thank You for never asking too much of me. Thank You for Your power within me. I pray You would help me be free and stop putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect. Help me see that You are all I need, and I already have You.