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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be You

Have you ever compared your life with someone else’s? Maybe you were going through a rough season and your best friend seemed to have everything going for him. Or maybe God was asking you to do something that He was not asking others to do and you asked God, “why don’t they have to do that too?” Maybe you were comparing your abilities and talents to someone else’s and you didn’t think you measured up. When we look from our vantage point, life can seem very confusing, but what I have learned along the journey of life is that God has a unique plan for each person and a personal relationship that requires trust. We are not always going to understand why we face the challenges we do or why some people seem like they have everything going for them while we are going through one trial after another. The Bible says in John 21:17b-22

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

Peter began to question why Jesus wanted him to die a certain kind of death and not the other disciple. Peter, probably a little frustrated, said, “what about him?”  Jesus’ response was so powerful, “As for you, follow me.” God never asks us to look at what someone else is doing, but He requires us to trust Him that His plan for our life is good. He wants us to keep our eyes on Him and let Him lead us wherever He may take us and that looks different for each person. We all have a tailor made calling that no one else can exactly fill except us.  

Two weeks ago I was a youth leader at a youth camp, and I found myself comparing my life to that of other youth leaders. I asked God, “Why are you asking me to openly share so many areas of my life with people, but You are not asking the others to do the same?” The fear of rejection of what people might think as I share stories from my past tried to overcome me and I found myself in a place where it was hard to move forward with God. God gently reminded me that He has a unique plan for my life and I am not to try and be like someone else nor compare what He asks me to do with what He asks of each of them. He wants simple obedience from me. Despite my fear at times, I have learned to walk out what God has asked me to do. Faith is not the absence of fear, but the courage to move forward despite it! God plainly asked me to follow Him! Every step of obedience I have taken to let God lead me, I have seen so many cool doors of opportunity open for me in ministry. The difficulties and failures in my life were preparing me for what God called me to do. With out them, I could not reach the people God wanted me to reach nor understand the depth of God’s love for me. I look back and I am so thankful for my life because I now know that God can redeem any past and use it for immense good! The world doesn’t need a carbon copy of another person, business, ministry or church. The world needs you functioning the way God created you to be. Embrace His plan for your life and start using the gifts and talents He gave you. You will stand amazed at what God can do through you!

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