08 July, 2008

Who will you be?

One of the privileges of pastoring and mentoring young people is that you get to help them take aim. Helping them understand who they are and who they can be. Taking the lid off the boxes in their mind and helping them see that so much is possible for them.

If they learn to aim straight. 

Aiming straight has a lot to do with our relationship with God. It is about allowing our will and how we live to be formed by His principles. It also has a lot to do with becoming comfortable with who God made you to be.

A personal hobby horse and something that makes me truly sad with just a hint of being outraged, is seeing young people giving up their potential and education and hanging around a "ministry". Truly, I think it`s great for a young person to take a little time out and go to Bible School or do a discipleship course of some kind. But that should all be preparation to help them on their journey, not to knock them off course. 

Often it is a mistake to think that by giving up a "normal" life for an extended time, you are steering your life in a more spiritual direction. Ok, so this is a lady who has done all that and moved nations several times and hasn`t done anything in a "normal" way who is talking here. But you`ve really got to know it`s right for you. Because I believe that what God truly wants is not a generation who have opted out of "the world", but instead a generation who are influencing the world. In every sphere and strata of society. In every nation of the world.

So if you`re weighing up your options this summer and you chance upon this blog. Fulfil your potential. Denying your potential is not something that is close to the heart of God.

Check out Mathew 25:14 the parable of the talents. Those talents are practical, not just spiritual gifts and when you develop them then you not only please the heart of God, you also find a rich personal fulfilment. 

The journey to greatness

Of course, for Christians, ambitions and goals are about something greater than ourselves. We don`t live to make ourselves great. We want to see the love and mercy of God become a reality in the lives of those around us. In practical ways. Ways that affect individual lives as well as whole societies.

Our ambition is to be and to become the person that God has made us to be. To excel in the giftings He has given us. To be the greatest expression of the person He has made us to be, so that the greatness of God himself is seen and expressed in our world. 

Every powerful Christian principle, like love, mercy, grace and humility, becomes a tool for God to release the greatness that He has already placed inside us. It is these principles that craft us and inspire us. 

They are not weak principles. They are strong. Requiring and developing inner strength. Developing us as people. People who seek to fulfil their personal potential. 

Many people get lost on the journey to fulfil their potential, becoming self orientated. Others don´t even get started because they think that it is more spiritual to deny themself. But that`s a misunderstanding of scripture. Denying your "flesh" is very different than denying the giftings and abilities that God has placed inside you.

What better way to please the heart of your Creator than to fulfil the potential that He has placed inside you? To place your hand in His hand and find your heart in His heart and to make that journey to greatness with Him. Living for Someone greater than yourself, becoming the greatest you can be with Him.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45&46

Height and depth

It`s possible to be on the mountain heights yet still struggle for perspective. Whether we`re going through a valley or enjoying the adventure of scaling a canyon, there are times when things can seem out of sync. Or simply times when we can`t see the way forward.

But it`s precisely these times, whether stormy or just a bit shadowy, that can help define us. Having a goal is great, but how you get there is vital to the quality of your acheivement.

When we reach for the heights, we have a choice. Do we allow the journey to deepen us, forming our character, affirming our values? Or do we aim for the peak no matter the cost, only losing something of ourself in the process? 

Ambition is so much about height and depth. I believe that having goals is godly. The Bible tells us that without vision, people perish. We need relevance for our existence. But reaching our goals without getting lost on the way is a huge challenge. For Christians, the wisdom in the Bible helps us tackle the journey, it refines us and defines us, it encourages us and continually takes us back to the One who created us to excel in the first place.

In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). It`s who we are and who we become that defines the quality and value of what we do and achieve. Whether shrouded by the clouds or revealed for all to see on the mountain heights.