“You don’t want what’s in the devils crock-pot. He’s slow cooking the death of your calling. Don’t trade what you want most for what you want right now” - Levi Lusko
Are you calling it vision when it’s simply a desire? Trading what you want most for what you want right now?
Better yet, how are you measuring success? By how many people you are ministering to? By how much money you raised? By the number of likes you get per post? By how many followers you have? I’ll circle back to this question at the end.
This past week was the first day of Spring and with each new season comes its own unique joys and challenges. There is something so beautiful about the beginning of something. It is symbolizes change, it symbolizes movement, it symbolizes transformation.
If I’m going to be be honest, when I was younger, I lived life chasing seasons. I think that is the case for most athletes. Always striving to be better, always chasing the next event, the next game, the next opportunity to show you are better tomorrow than you were yesterday.
Let me put it this way, I was that person who at the beginning of winter was already longing for summer.
I began treating each day as a measure marker towards where I was supposed to be and started simply bracing myself for each day, barely holding on and merely surviving. “If I just get to Friday, if I just get to Thanksgiving break, if I just get this new job” sound familiar?
I lived like this for most of my life; then God did a mighty work in me. I felt Him speak in a whisper “I want you to live, not merely survive, I conquered death so that you could LIVE FULLY ALIVE.” But this only happened after I truly accepted that what He did on the cross was FOR ME too. It is easy to conceptualize the mighty-ness of the cross for others but not necessarily for yourself and when you don’t accept it for yourself it’s really difficult to have an eternal mindset. You find yourself trading what you want most, for what you want right now and you begin to live short sighted and all of a sudden, how you measure success becomes dictated and articulated by your own standards.
It kept me from truly exploring my calling, truly listening to Him. But that all changes when you find identity in what He actually did for you. You cannot call yourself worthless when you understand He paid the highest price for you. You cannot forfeit your inheritance when you understand that He left the 99 for YOU. You cannot run away from your calling when you understand that love is the heart of God’s nature. God not only has love. He IS love.
You cannot live in the middle of two worlds, you have to make a choice. So often we think that to step into something new, does not involve letting go of something old. You cannot hold on to two worlds, you cannot hold on to two truths, there can only be one. Anguish occurs when you hold onto things that are not for you, when you hold on to the things that man prioritizes, and forfeit your calling to satisfy a need you have right now. Like in the bible when Esau traded his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew because he was “starving” right now, he lost value in what really mattered (nothing major, just HAVING THE MESSIAH IN YOUR LINEAGE).
For context, Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau was born first and therefore the eldest and heir to the family birthright (the covenant between God and Abraham - their grandfather). Esau was a hunter and one day came home starving. Literally saying “I AM STARVING AND AM AT THE POINT OF DEATH…give me some food”. His brother Jacob knew His character and used this moment of weakness to ask him for the birthright “I will give you some stew, if you give me the birthright” and the rest is history.
It is so easy to look at this story and have your own opinions about what you would have done. To think WHAT ARE YOU DOING? How you could forfeit something so incredible, the call on your life for something so small, and so temporal.
But how many of us live for the right now. Make decisions that have eternal impact with a temporal mindset? Because we are defining success by the wrong thing. We know we are being complacent, we know that we are chasing shadows (seasons) without substance and trying to resuscitate the corpses of desires unmet and promises unkept. We hold onto things we know that God is trying to create divine distance between and yet, we continue to pray for those very things, trying to bargain our calling with God. “I will step if you provide and give me clear vision right now.”
We get too consumed by where we aren’t supposed to be that we miss the train to exactly where God needs us to be. We forget that there is power in the process and we get consumed praying for fleshly conclusions, our desired outcome.
And now I finally get to my point (haha sorry everyone)…..
We are approaching April, almost one quarter of the way through the year. How have you been doing this year in listening to the sound of God’s voice amongst the noise and distractions of life? How have you been doing in responding to Him? In chasing after Him, in actioning out the goals you set at the beginning of the year?
I would not be surprised if you answered “I am facing opposition, I am facing resistance, this is not how I thought this season would look.” because the devil loves to distract.
But it is in this process that you find that the opposition and resistance you are running through is the very thing that God is using to kill off the pride, kill off the doubt and kill off the complacency. Exchanging those broken things for His perfect will. The places He leads us are to transform us. Funny thing is, it’s not really about the places but the character formed in us in those places. It ends up not being about WHERE we are but WHO WE ARE when we get there.
So now I challenge you. Do not be Esau, allow your walk to form character in you to carry your calling. Do not go chasing the next season, measuring success by what you have verses answering the steps that God has called you to take. This is the season in which you go deeper into the grave of flesh and tell the remnants to bow down to His word, THE TRUTH. You tell your flesh to catch up to your spirit that will continue to Seek him despite the pain, frustration or confusion.
This is the season that you COMMIT TO YOUR CALLING because no-one else can live YOUR life.
Allow the hopes and dreams painted on the walls of your heart to take root, to be watered to and to bloom in this season.
You are a son or daughter of the Emperor of all Eternity.
So FIGHT for your promise and DECLARE it.
A kingdom mindset provokes eternal thinking.
So maintain focus despite the present noise.
He defeated death so that you could LIVE.
So live fully alive.
Suffocate the weeds surrounding your heart with the TRUTH of who our God is.
Pursue the dreams that have lain dormant for days, weeks, months, years.
Let the resurrection power that He died to enable us to receive, live so boldly on the inside of you; commanding those dead dreams to rise up, commanding those fears to bow down & commanding those wounds to become scars.
What you are going through might be big but I promise you our Father is BIGGER. The vision for your life might be massive but our God is greater. The stresses you face might be mighty but our Savior is seated most high. And God doesn’t want you to stay where you are are, He wants to move you forward.
Use the answered prayers and daily provisions in the big and the little things that you have experienced to remind you of God’s love, mercy, and grace. It is there that we are able to find guidance, protection, comfort, conviction and enlightenment.
So now I ask you again, how are you measuring success? And this time, I answer the question myself. Success for me is to be measured in obedience. When I come to the end of my day, I ask myself “how obedient was I today?” Hearing from and obeying God is the only measure of success that I am running after. Those decisions are eternal and are made with an eternal mindset. I know God has my back and so I Seek to be faithful to Him and loving His people along the way.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches and glorious inheritance of His holy people"
- Ephesians 1:18
With prayers and love,
Prayer | Action | Faith