Most of us start every single day wanting to follow what we thought we learned in our walk to please God by living by the principles of Godly behavior and dedication, only to find that we seem to always fall short! We live with the frustration of knowing that trying to stay on the narrow path. We try walking in His footsteps, but it seems many times almost impossible. There are many times, especially with all the worldly bad habits, distractions, and the temptation of taking the easy wider path that almost everyone takes, by not making solid Godly decisions. We struggle greatly with God’s ethical mandate to go beyond just hearing and perhaps reading the Word, to living it out in our daily conduct, decisions, behavior, and character. We are frustrated to realize that we need to reconnect or connect for the first time with God’s edict and not focus on our own selfish pursuits and bias decisions towards our dealings with others and personal ambitions.
We find ourselves back to a lifestyle of our own personal value system and a "business as usual” approach. We often wonder, has the joy, fulfillment, obedience, and reconciliation of having a personal relationship, with the single most important person to live on the face of our earth in the history of mankind, eluded us? If you are a non-believer, are you more lost than ever before?
Our Faith wants God’s followers to always evaluate tough times of change, not just from the perspective of history, but even more, from the perspective of His Kingdom. As believers, and many who wonder that they may not be, we are all citizens of His eternity if we choose to be! Therefore, our confidence needs to be rooted in something far more important than what we think of our own values, lifestyles, positions, and achievements here and now. It is not that the here and now isn’t important, but as we live our lives, God really wants us to be loyal workers for His kingdom, truly serving the people He sends our way.
Is your significance tied too closely to achievements and daily habits? Is building something, reaching higher personal or business goals, acquiring material possessions, taking advantage of people, gossiping, or the circumstances of ladder climbing your major focus? If you lost all these things, would your confidence completely crumble? If your sense of worth is ‘self-dependent’ on all the above, and more, what happens when you reach the top of the ladder and find you are leaning on the wrong wall?
The problem is that our world seems to have a system of values that is upside down from the way God determines value. It seems to lack what the Scripture describes as "vocational calling.” This calling is indeed a perspective that God has called and equipped many to serve Him through their work in this world and wants to call others who "just don’t get it yet” to do as well. Instead, our current culture and self-driven habits encourage us to climb a work and identity ladder that is self-serving and often self-destructive.
Climbing many of these self-empowered "ladders” can be very misleading. The higher we climb, the more our identity, value and security may depend on them. But what happens if we lose our values, positions, titles, accomplishments, and compensation? Maybe these types of self-prescribed and non-faith guided values may collapse and that explain why there are so many that suffer emotional problems, resort to crutches such as alcohol and other substance abuse, abuse of our spouses and children, divorce, loss of job and livelihood, severe depression, and more! If our significance relies on man-made things, then it dies when we do, unless we are saved!
Our Faith calls us to a far more stable basis for significance. God wants us to establish our identity in the fact that we are His! We were created by Him to carry out good works as responsible people in His kingdom. That is our calling and vocation.
According to Scripture, our calling is irrevocable, a function of His design in us, an assurance that He will give us everything we need to serve Him. We will have strength to remain faithful, our true identity, our deliverance through times of suffering and a life rooted in peace of mind and focused on achievements for His Kingdom, not just secular or temporal ones.
Above all else, we are called to character development, service to others and loyalty to God. This can be accomplished wherever we live, work, or whatever our position in today’s society. If we pursue these things in His way, we can always enjoy great satisfaction and significance in serving the Kingdom. We surely must know that all things work together for good for those who love God and to those who are called according to His purpose.
We are called to do so much in this life, our daily responsibilities of family, vocations, and service to others, and most importantly, keeping our direction focused on the ‘narrow path’ of His Kingdom’sperspective!
It is by His Grace we are saved…by His Word we live …and by His Will we are here to serve…