It’s Not About Me (Thank goodness!)
I wasn’t always a Christian. I didn’t grow up in church or Sunday School. I love when I hear stories of believers testifying that they can’t recall a time when they didn’t know Jesus. I admire those stories.
But it isn’t my story.
It took me a bit longer to bend my knee. Words like, “submission,” and phrases like, “the first will be the last” just didn’t roll off my tongue and they certainly didn’t make sense. This message was not the bottom line I knew.
I was stubborn, a total perfectionist, and I was driven. Driven to make a name for myself. Driven for success. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to be the best and the first. Life and the finish line was all about me.
But living a life that was “all about me” just never quite satisfied my soul.
The hunger within me was insatiable. I just couldn’t get my hands around enough success to ever feel like I had arrived. You know – just when you think you have reached the finish line, someone moves that coveted yellow ribbon. I could never seem to reach it.
Somehow, deep in my soul, I knew I was on the wrong track.
Until one day early in my freshman year in college, a friend invited me to a Campus Crusade for Christ gathering. Though reluctant, I agreed to go.
When we arrived at the building and began to walk down the corridor that led to the meeting room, I heard something that stirred my soul. As we entered the amphitheater-style classroom, I heard a sound I had never heard before. It was the sound of hundreds of college students praising the Lord!
I froze in the doorway. My eyes, and my heart, just couldn’t open wide enough to take it all in. The sound was like water poured upon my dry ground. I felt my soul revive and stir. In those moments, I knew there was something in that room that I didn’t have. I had no idea what it was, but I knew there was something in that room that I had been searching for my entire life.
Two weeks later, at a retreat, I accepted Jesus into my heart and began a journey with my Savior that would change me in almost every way possible.
That girl who was so driven to serve herself began to diminish (praise the Lord!) and the vision and purpose for my life began to change. And let me assure you, it is the sweetest freedom to be rid of oneself. A process, for sure, but one you don’t grieve to suffer.
The whole point of this life and the gifts and talents we have been given is to bring glory to God. We were created to bring Him glory.
I believe it was His grand delight to give us this creativity so that we might possess the ability to reach and speak into the lives and hearts of other people.
But using your gifts and talents, time, money, and energy for Jesus may not be a popular decision. It might even sound crazy. Matter of fact, it is crazy…in all the right ways.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
I love the story in the Bible where Jesus is revealing to His disciples the kind of suffering and death that He would endure (all for the glory of God!). Peter, thinking he knew better, took Jesus aside to set Him straight and rebuke the Savior for His “foolishness.”
Ha! Jesus responded, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33b) Then Jesus called out to the crowd, including His disciples, and explained further…
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
You just can’t love Jesus with your whole heart if you have one hand on the world and one hand on your heart. It doesn’t work that way.
To love Jesus with your whole heart, you have to serve Him with your whole life.
The Bible even warns, “You can’t serve two masters…” (Matthew 6:24) There will always be a war within your soul until you decide which one you will serve. Trust me, I know. But I will also tell you, with great joy, that leaving that fishing boat behind and following Jesus will be the best decision you ever make.
My life looks totally different than I ever thought it would look. Led by Jesus, I have walked away from titles, from worldly success…from many things. But in this walking away, I have walked toward something infinitely better.
I have walked with Jesus into lives and places that I never would have chosen to venture on my own. He has gripped my heart and poured me out for an impact that I could never have had in my own strength. His impact. His story. Mine just doesn’t really matter anymore.
My story simply exists to share the wonder of His.
Living your life for Jesus is not popular. Matter of fact, it’s counter-cultural. But it’s so worth it. A Kingdom and life that is not all about you (or me). Hallelujah!
The song I want to share with you today is from I Am They, entitled, “Crown Him.” It’s a great “perspective” kind of song. Hear my heart, sweet friends – don’t feel small because you are walking with Jesus big. Don’t shrink back from living selflessly and giving radically. Don’t give in to the temptation to think that the cup you’ve been given is too small, too empty, too cracked…
It is not about you at all. It’s about His power at work within you that shouts the story worth telling. To Him be all the glory and honor and praise!
With joy for the journey,