Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
We are living in a ‘microwave’ society where so much in life is instant. This has permeated Christian life also. Some people want ‘instant’ answers from God. One of these often involves discovering what God wants them to ‘do’.
Many times in life, people have told me that others have ‘prophesied’ over them indicating that God is going to use them mightily. The focus is always on the greatness of the person and, sadly, not on the greatness of God. It is always about ‘doing ’ and never about ‘being’.
On one occasion, a young man asked me for advice. He was, and had been for years, living in gross immorality however, someone had ‘prophesied’ about a particular area of work that he would be involved in that would be a great work for God. He would be a great success! It was just what he wanted to hear. I had to tell the young man that I had no faith in the prophet nor the prophecy because it mentioned nothing about repentance and turning away once a for all, from sin.
It is sad, but true to say that some Christians, even leaders, wrongly place a higher emphasis on ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’ in our walk with God. Let’s look at what the Bible tells us about what God truly wants for us. What is really important in life?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Notice that it doesn’t say ‘seek to be greatly used’ or ‘seek to be famous’. Let’s get things in perspective. The most important thing we will ever ‘do’ in life is ‘seek God first’.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last. (John 15:16)
Bearing fruit takes time. It’s often painful and it takes deep commitment. No one has ever told me that someone prophesied this verse over them!
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
This verse simply tells us what God requires of us after we have received His great salvation. Instead, some Christians want to be ‘the big shot’. They want to be in the limelight’. How many people seek humility and walk that way daily?
Hugh Black, one of the two founder members of the Struthers group of churches, often put us firmly in our place by quoting Jeremiah 45:5: “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” He had a wonderful way of keeping us grounded in God, and not on false future fantasies of personal prowess.
Leaders should point young Christians Godward from the start of their walk with Him, encouraging them to seek Him for themselves to become more like Him. This does not mean that they shouldn’t get advice, encouragement or correction from other Christians, but it would generally be from a person who they know and someone who has spiritual oversight of them….not a random stranger whose focus is on being great rather than being godly.
That way, not only will the young Christian truly discover what God wants them to ‘be’, but they will also discover what He wants them to ‘do’. ‘Doing’ should always be born out of ‘being’.
“I think one of the biggest challenges facing Christian leaders today is an identity crisis….
Our identity is not in what we do but in who we are as sons and daughters in Christ.
To pursue God’s ways is to be people of being over people of doing.”
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