You are not yet who you are supposed to be.
You were made for more than you’ve settled for.
We all self-identify in different ways; if you want to know how you view yourself, think about what your first answers are when someone says, “Tell me about yourself.” We often start those answers with our jobs; that says an awful lot about our priorities, doesn’t it? We might point to our family; “I’m a Whitman.” We might point to interests or activities; “I’m a Vikings fan” or “I’m a Belieber” (note: if this last example is one of your first answers, please contact me; I can help).
In “Altar Ego” Groeschel points out that God has bigger plans for you, and these plans aren’t simply a list of tasks; God wants to transform us into what He has called us to be. Groeschel point to the empty labels that we often use, what God has called us to become, and how that transformation drives us to boldly follow Christ as He has called us, not as our culture or world expects us to.
His chapters on boldness are particularly challenging. As Christians (especially those of us who have been followers of Christ for many years) we often fall into something of a trance; we have low expectations (or no expectations) and we move through our lives without purpose. We need to be regularly challenged to live boldly and unashamedly for Christ.
Boldness is behavior born of belief.
We speak boldly about what we believe deeply.
I believe true obedience overflows from our passion for God, lovingly yielding our decision-making process to him…Bold obedience is rooted in love and allows us to experience God’s presence in a new and very real way.
Sometimes we confuse being bold and being obnoxious. This isn’t what we are is talking about. We are called to live bold lives where we follow Christ’s leading without being held back by the consequences that we will have to deal with – and if we are living as Christ is truly calling us there will be consequences! Are we willing to trust God to guide us and take care of us or will we do our own thing, trying to blend in with our surroundings and not let our faith get noticed.
This is a life-call, a change in perspective that goes beyond a new year’s resolution or a 21-day fast. It’s a lifestyle of worship and service, one that can be incredibly challenging and frustrating, but ultimately a rewarding and fulfilling pursuit because we will be living out what we were made to do. I hope that we are all willing to take this challenge, and as we do we find others with the same conviction that we can lean on for encouragement and support during those times that life gets tough.
One of my mentors told me, “Craig, you’ll very likely overestimate what God wants to do through you in the short run. But you will very likely underestimate what God wants to do through you in the long run.” He nailed it. I was so disappointed because I didn’t see the immediate ministry results that I wanted…I overestimated what I could do in a moment. But I had no idea what God wanted to do through me over a lifetime. Don’t give up. Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint.