Finding Your Calling!

Jesus didn't "call" Peter to walk on water, Peter asked Jesus to call him! What amazing things could we do if we asked Jesus to call and empower us to do them?! -Fern Horst on singleness.org

 

Imagine being in a boat around three in the morning about a mile or so from shore. You’re crossing a huge lake with 11 of your friends, having left one behind to pray.

Suddenly the wind picks up and your boat is being tossed about like a toy! You and your friends are terrified and cling to the sides of the boat. And then you see something that terrifies you even more – a figure that looks like a ghost is walking across the water straight toward you! You close your eyes for a moment hoping it will go away, thinking surely you’re just imagining this apparition.

But then one of your friends sees it, too, and shouts, “It’s a ghost!”

Your eyes fly open! All your friends are pointing at the ghost-like figure coming closer and closer. You know now it’s not your imagination at all!

“Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!” shouted the figure. You and your friends recognize the voice. It belongs to your friend and mentor, the one who had stayed behind to pray.

Doubt fills your mind, but a deep desire fills your soul. If he could walk on water, why couldn’t you?

“If it’s truly you,” you shout over the noise of the crashing waves, hoping he can hear you, “tell me to come to you on the water!”

“Come!” he shouts back, beckoning with both hands, overjoyed that you want to join him on this crazy adventure.

You climb out of the boat and with amazement find yourself walking across the waves toward your friend! You feel exhilarated, empowered, and free! This is awesome!

 At that very moment a huge wave comes toward you from the side and you glance its way. Terror replaces the exhilaration. You feel your legs turn to jelly and start sinking rapidly below the surface of the water!

“Save me!” you shout to your friend, reaching toward him.

Immediately he grabs you and pulls you back up. You find your footing on the turbulent water. This is incredible, you think, as together you climb into the rocking boat.

In that instant another amazing thing happens. The wind stops and the water becomes calm and still. You look in awe at your friend and realize, as you have before, that there is something supernatural and divine about him. He’s not your ordinary Jewish man. This is Jesus, God’s Son, and you know it now with more certainty than ever. You and your other friends respond with the only act that makes sense in that moment: you worship Him!


Imagine having such an experience! You likely recognize this story as that of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. [1] It’s a Bible story we’ve heard many times, and yet in the familiarity of it we lose our amazement of what actually took place.

We’re also likely familiar with the usual insights gleaned from this story. I’ve often been encouraged by it to keep my eyes on Jesus, because when I don’t I start to drown in the overwhelm of life just as Peter almost drowned.

But yesterday something new struck me: Jesus didn’t “call” Peter to walk on the water, Peter asked Jesus to “call” him! Peter saw what Jesus was able to do and wanted to do it, too! Peter’s act of faith didn’t begin when he climbed out of the boat, it began when he asked Jesus if He would call him to come. And then Peter waited to get out of the boat until Jesus called him, because he knew he couldn’t walk across water on his own and not sink. He needed Jesus’ empowerment.

It made me wonder: what amazing things could we do if we asked Jesus to call and empower us to do them?!

What if we would do the same as Peter did, and ask Jesus to call us to do what we most desire to do? What if we would believe as Peter did, that with Jesus’ empowerment we can do whatever Jesus is doing and has put in our hearts to do?

We tend to live our lives doing the mundane, matching it to what we think is “normal,” and struggling to find joy and contentment in it. We wait and wait for a “call” from God so we know what to do with our lives. Meanwhile we ignore the many desires and interests God has already given us because we’re waiting for His call. We find ourselves becoming more and more dissatisfied with our lives.

But what if when God created us He already placed within our hearts, souls, and beings the desire for what He created us to do? What if He is just waiting for us to discover those desires and to ask Him to call and empower us before He provides the opportunities to do them?

Perhaps you already know what you desire to do and even have opportunities to do it, but you’re afraid you might fail. The amazing thing is that when Jesus creates us for something and calls us to do it, we can’t fail! If we start out and get discouraged He is always there to help us find our footing again. If we face huge waves of opposition, He will continue to empower us in spite of them.

So what are we waiting for?!

We tend to fall in one of three categories:

  1. We know what God created us for and we’re doing it!
  2. We know what God created us to do, but we’re allowing something like fear, uncertainty, finances, or our single status to hold us back.
  3. We really don’t know what God created us to do.

Community to Help Us

 No matter which of the three categories you identify with, as a single you may be feeling the lack of community or connection with others to give you support in living your purpose, knowing how to get started in it, or figuring out what it is.

That’s why I’ll soon be opening a 24/7 Membership Community on the Purposeful Singleness website. I know first-hand the feelings of isolation and disconnection from the Body of Christ, as well as the empowerment of finding connection and a place of belonging with fellow Christians. Whether you feel connected or disconnected, it’s always great to have those in similar walks of life to encourage and support us.

Finding Your Life Purpose and Living It

As I’ve mentioned before, my cousin and Life Coach Shari Baer is generously offering her services here on Purposeful Singleness. A number of you have taken advantage of this offer and have benefited from meeting with her via phone or Skype to discover your life purpose and to know how to move forward in it to live the abundant life Jesus came to give you! I want more to experience that life in abundance!

Expanded Resources and Services

As I’ve also mentioned before, this summer I took training to be a Life Coach and am excited to soon be able to offer my services here on Purposeful Singleness! Shari and I recognize that some of you may benefit from meeting with a Coach who is also single to work through those aspects of singleness that may be holding you back from moving forward in life. However, Shari will still be available with her experience for me to consult with , as well as to continue to coach those of you who would prefer a more experienced Life Coach. She is one of the best!

Stay Tuned!

All of these new and exciting things are being worked at behind the scenes. I’m so excited to be able to soon launch these new features of Purposeful Singleness and don’t want you to miss out! If you aren’t already subscribed to the mailing list, be sure to subscribe using the form below, and to click on the link in the email you receive almost immediately, to confirm your desire to be on the mailing list so you don’t miss out on any new information and announcements!

I’m looking forward to ALL God has for each one of us, and to seeing God empower singles all around the globe to do the work He created us to do!

[1] Matthew 14:22-36


What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below!

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To Those Wondering What They’re Living For

Christ's love motivates us

Here you are. Frustrated. Living the mundane life you never wanted. You were going to be different! You were going to be purpose-driven! You most definitely weren’t going to join the rat race, work a normal job, live a normal Joe-Blow life. But somehow you ended up doing just that.

You’ve prayed for direction, begged God for answers, told Him you’re willing to go wherever He wants you to. And all you get is closed doors and confirmation after confirmation that you’re supposed to be right here, in the most boring of places.

You’re not a missionary in China. You haven’t given an orphan a home. You haven’t started a non-profit ministry helping troubled teens. You haven’t preached to packed-out stadiums. You haven’t given years of your life to minister to those in prison.

What is your deepest purpose, your driving force? Why are you still aching to have a job that makes you excited to get up every morning? Has God forgotten you?

Is your past unworkable in His plan? Are you too imperfect for Him to use? Are you not talented enough for Him? Are you just slated for a drifting, boring life?

No.

I know this because I’ve been where you are, wondering if I’m actually making a difference in this broken world. I’ve quietly thought that maybe, just maybe, I’m not good enough for God to really use. And I’ve faced the gut-wrenching feeling that perhaps I have no purpose at this stage in my life.

However, I’ve also stood in the trenches of the mundane life with my head held high in victory, fully assured that I do have a purpose right here and now.

You wanna know where this confidence comes from?

God’s Word:

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (NIV)

Go ahead and read that again.

(Seriously. I meant that. Read it again. Those are the most powerful two sentences you’ll read in this entire article.)

In His death, Jesus paid the highest price possible for us, and now we no longer belong to ourselves, but to Him. When we understand Christ’s love for us, it motivates us to love and live the same way He did.

Too often we look to what we do for our sense of purpose. You can do many great things, but without the love of Jesus motivating you, it’s useless (1 Corinthians 13). When the thought of Christ’s love for us and our love for Him drives us in our daily lives and interactions with people, God’s plan is being fulfilled in us, often without us even realizing it! When we no longer live for ourselves but for our Savior, God can use even the most mundane task to bring Himself glory, because He’s God and He’s super awesome like that!

So in your mundane life, look at Jesus. Fully focus on Him. Draw your daily energy and purpose from Him. Let Him spur you onward, not a cause. Living for causes quickly draws energy out of us and can leave us disillusioned. But when we live for Jesus, He graciously pours His strength into our weakness and gives us the “umph” to keep pursuing the purpose He has for us, no matter how boring it may seem.

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Coaching, Purpose, and Weekend Reading

Purpose cancels loneliness

This blog post could also be titled “This ‘n That,” because it is a number of topics rolled into one this week:

Life Coach Training

Last week I attended training to become a Life Coach. I’m convinced more than ever of the value of having someone to come alongside you to encourage you in this journey of life – someone who has been trained in listening and asking the sorts of questions to help you sort through the “noise” to hear God’s voice and know the direction He wants you to take. The training was under Shari Baer, the Life Coach I’ve introduced you to before, who offers her coaching services to you here on Purposeful Singleness.

Part of the training was learning to help individuals write a Life Purpose Statement. What an intriguing process of discovering with someone the “who-ness” that God created them to be! It has been such a blessing to me to know my life purpose after going through this process with Shari, and I look forward to being a part of helping others in this process, too!

Purpose Cancels Loneliness and Depression

I am convinced more than ever that knowing and living one’s purpose cancels out the type of loneliness that is suffocating and soul-crushing. I’m not talking about the twinges of loneliness from time to time from not having enough connection in our relationships, but rather the day-in and day-out loneliness that is a constant companion with or without interaction with others.

When we feel that our lives have no purpose, we are bound to sink into a loneliness and depression that is difficult to escape. But when we know that we know God has created and designed us for a specific purpose, and we have a sense of how to live it out – or at least what next step to take – loneliness and depression are usually obliterated. It’s a beautiful thing!

I again invite you to contact Shari to set up a time to meet with her via Skype or phone to discover your own Life Purpose, and for coaching to taking the next step in living it out and finding the abundant life God has for you! At some point – after I’ve completed all the requirements for becoming a Life Coach – I’ll be offering coaching here on Purposeful Singleness, too. But if I were you, I wouldn’t wait, and would take advantage of coaching with one of the best Life Coaches around – Shari Baer!

Weekend Reading

As we head into the weekend I’d like to recommend two books to you that I’ve recently read. One is non-fiction and rather heavy reading, but for me was life-changing. The other is fiction but has an amazing message which is also life-changing.

Redeeming SinglenessRedeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life

This is a refreshing book by Barry Danylak (foreword by John Piper), revealing that singleness is not the absence of something better, but rather a God-designed role for accomplishing His purposes for good! It shows us how Jesus removed the curse associated with singleness and childlessness, thus redeeming them for His glory and our good. While marriage represents Christ’s love for His bride, so does singleness, but in a way I’d never thought of before! It’s an encouraging and inspiring read. Grasping these truths is key to finding fulfillment in the life God has given us as singles for today!

You can read more about this book and purchase it on Amazon, either in paperback or Kindle format:

Redeeming Singleness – Paperback

Redeeming Singleness – Kindle

 

Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love: A Novel

I normally don’t read romance novels. I find most Christian romance novels especially disturbing because of the message in most of them that life isn’t complete until one finds Prince Charming (or Princess Charming). Since I don’t believe this for an instant – and in fact believe this is one of Satan’s lies to harm both those who are married and those who are single – I usually choose to read other books instead.

But Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is different! It’s a story of love and romance, yes, but it’s also a story of Christ’s redeeming and faithful love for us, with the message that true fulfillment and happiness in life come only through a relationship with Jesus, not from finding our Prince or Princess!

Redeeming Love – Paperback

Redeeming Love – Kindle

 

In full disclosure, if you purchase these books on Amazon through these links, Purposeful Singleness will receive a small commission without any additional cost to you.

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No Greater Joy Than This

Love and fullness

I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth,” [1] was penned by the Apostle John who, far as we know, wasn’t married and had no biological children. He was writing this particular letter to Gaius, one of his spiritual children, commending him for his faithfulness to the truth. He then went on to comment about all his spiritual children, that he has no greater joy than hearing they are walking in the truth.

Many Christian parents through the years have quoted this verse referring to their biological or adopted children, which is fitting considering that parents do find great joy when their children follow after truth. But considering that it was originally written by a spiritual parent, it is even more fitting to claim this quote in reference to one’s spiritual children.

Today as we celebrate Father’s Day in the United States and elsewhere, I want to honor all fathers, but most of all those men who have “fathered” spiritual children, whether it is their own biological/ adopted child or someone else’s. Not only is there no greater joy than passing on one’s faith in Jesus to another, there is also no other lasting legacy.

For more encouragement and perspective, I offer these past articles to you today:

Better Than Sons And Daughters

Father’s Day? … Bah Humbug!

[1] 3 John 4, HCSB

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