All great stories have unforgettable climactic moments. Whether it’s the shoot-out at the OK Corral, when Prince Charming slips the perfectly-fitted shoe onto Cinderella’s foot, or when the underdog team scores the comeback goal to win the big game, these are the moments we remember. We yearn for them! Throughout all of history, each great story in every genre has brought us to a climactic moment. We’ve come to expect them, yet we’re never quite sure when they will happen. These moments aren’t something we have to pursue, they just seem to happen. Looking back, we see that in each story all the pieces and details came together at just the right time for that big moment to occur.
To some degree, we all are on a quest for more of these moments in our lives. We have become thrill seekers. We long to reach the mountain top or take the leap off the cliff. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I believe when we solely pursue the rush of an experience, we can easily miss the story. We miss the moments that seem to go unnoticed, yet have the biggest impact. We forget Cinderella’s humble beginnings and only see a princess. We miss the fairy-godmother, and the pumpkin turned carriage. Without the rest of the story, we even lose the origin of the name “Cinderella.” When we are so focused reaching the destination, we lose the adventure of taking the journey.
I believe within the church; we have become all too guilty of replacing the words “call of God” with the word “thrill.” Somehow it has become too easy to define our purpose and call by one or two climactic moments. Somewhere along the way, we stop recognizing the beauty of the journey. I believe this is a very dangerous thing. When we define ourselves by one specific moment, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves. If that moment is life-changing and spectacular, we can begin to praise ourselves and find confidence in the flesh. On the other hand, if that moment is an “epic fail” we can doubt any hope of future success. In both situations, the result is the same. Similar to how Cinderella’s character is lost without the story, we lose our identity without the journey! It is no longer about Christ, but somehow His call has become all about us.
I believe when the Lord calls us, He has more in mind than one single moment.
When I asked the Father how to step into my calling, He provided me one word: obedience. In obedience, our call is no longer about us. It becomes this beautiful journey of seeking Christ and becoming more like Him. We no longer seek big life-changing moments, but we’re looking for the Author of the story. We watch as the Author weaves beautiful moments into our very being, yet somehow it’s not about these moments. It’s all about Him! I believe this journey of obedience is how we walk out the call of the Lord.
Hebrews 11 is full of men and women who understood this idea. Somehow by simply obeying, they changed history. They looked like Christ to this world. The incredible part is it wasn’t about them; it was about Christ and the people around them. Abraham obeyed when God said, “Leave.” Noah obeyed when God said, “Build.” Sarah obeyed when God said, “Believe.” It wasn’t their actions; it was their faith. When obedience partners with faith, nations can’t help but shake, and you can’t help but step into your calling. What is the Lord calling you to do today? Build, leave, believe, or something else? You fill in the blank. Our only responsibility is simple, to listen and obey.
One of the most important things to understand about the Lord’s call is that is not about us. God doesn’t give us dreams so that we can make our own kingdoms. Our call should always impact others for His glory. The Lord simplified this idea for me a few years ago with one statement: “Stop adding people to your journey; rather make your journey about people.” Obedience should always lead us to people, and people should always be the purpose of our journey. It’s not about that one climactic moment when we get to shine. The Lord’s call in our lives is about allowing His light to shine through us to other people every moment of every day! So, how do we step into our callings, hear His voice, and walk in obedience? I believe this happens when we stop searching for that next big moment and choose instead to enjoy His journey!