Responsibly Free

I wonder how many of us would connect responsibilities with freedom.

I have a responsibility to pay my bills, go to work, feed my family. While there are many other smaller responsibilities, those three alone take up a huge portion of my time. And that doesn’t always leave behind the feeling of freedom.

And that can cause me to be wary of taking on anything more. It even leaves me with a heaviness sometimes when I think about this ministry that I long to see growing.

How will I have enough time? And what if I mess up? What if I let people down? What if I let God down? Can I truly do the hard work when I already have so many other things to do?

I think those thoughts can hinder us all. Especially those of us that don’t feel like we’ve experienced a whole lot of wins in life.

I’ve done the wrong thing more often then I’ve done the right. Can I really be trusted with this?

Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!”

Oh how I’ve faltered!

And not only have I faltered but I’m sure I’ve caused others to stumble as well.

Matthew 18:6- but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Cast me into the waters!

The wrath of God over those He loves is enough to make even the most courageous shake in the knees. And most days I don’t feel at all courageous. Only just surviving.

So it’s tempting to sit on the sidelines. To ignore God calling us onto the field. Because we think that once we step out over that line, all eyes are on us. And that’s a burden we don’t want to bear.

But what if we didn’t have to bear that burden? What if it wasn’t our burden to carry?

What if we needed only to focus on one thing? The one thing that Jesus called “the first and greatest commandment?” And the second?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbors as yourself.” Matthew 22:37

What if we finally wrapped our minds around the fact that our one purpose is to glorify God? It’s the reason we were created.

We aren’t here to impress people. We aren’t even here to save people. Because we can’t.

We can, however, love.

We can plant the seed but only God can command it to grow.

Over and over again in the Old Testament we see the cry for a savior. An advocate.

We have that Advocate in Jesus Christ. He told us to cast our burdens and cares on Him. To come to Him for rest when things get too heavy to carry.

And stepping out into whatever role, position, or life God is calling you will most definitely be too heavy for you to carry.

But consider these words:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  1 Thessalonians 5:24

Maybe you don’t think this applies to you at all. Maybe you’ve never thought about being in any sort of leadership role before.

But the truth is, if you have breath in your lungs then you are indeed in a position of influence for someone… even if it’s your spouse, your children, or your coworkers.

And if you’ve ever shrugged off God’s calling because you’re not quite ready to give up somethings in your life then this is definitely for you.

How can I say today that I want to point people to God when tomorrow I may get frustrated and only point my finger in blame?

How can I ask you to take a step forward when tomorrow I may take two steps backwards?

Grace. 

It’s a simple as that. And if you can’t believe that for others then I’m sad. Because that probably means you don’t believe it for yourself.

Don’t misunderstand. This grace is not a free-for-all do whatever I want kind of deal. The ground we walk upon is holy. And we must tread carefully.

But it is Free For All. Free for all who come to Jesus handing over their burdens of sin and shame and receiving with newly emptied hands His forgiveness and love.

When God puts others in your sphere of influence you are responsible for being faithful in that position whether you accept it or not. Whether or not we acknowledge the gifts and callings He has given us, there will come a day when we must return to Him what was given to us.

What if on that day you can hand back more than you were given? What if you can hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” And what if when you look around those that were placed in your circle, under your care, are standing there beside you hearing the same words?

It’s exciting, right?

The beauty of it all is that we don’t have to be perfect to experience that. We won’t be perfect. Because if you fail… if I fail- and we will- we can rest assured that while others may only see our mistakes, God sees our hearts.

So today hopefully, my words can lift you up so that tomorrow you can lift me up. Today I’ll encourage you so that tomorrow you can encourage me.

In my few years of homeschooling my children, I discovered something amazing. We often learn more teaching the lesson than we do being taught the lesson.

The lesson here is love.

And we trust Him with the rest. We can be responsibly free to plant the seeds we’ve been given to plant. Maybe we dig a little too deep with some and not deep enough with others. Maybe our rows are a little crooked. Maybe we plant too many in one spot and not enough in another.

But they can grow all the same. And when they do it’s not our abilities that get the glory but His strength and power. Because in our weaknesses He is strong.

Lean on Him. Follow Him. Trust in Him. Wait on Him. Seek Him. Because the One who calls you to step out is faithful, and He WILL DO IT.

 

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