I had breakfast this week with an amazing young woman who feels the call to ministry.
"Melissa" works for a major Christian university. As she serves with her whole heart in the place that God has her for now, she still feels the call and the anointing to speak to young women and to write books for her generation.
We had planned to meet for the purpose of dreaming together about a launch for my new book in the city in which she lives. However, in the middle of this business meeting, Melissa said something so profound and so life-changing that I have not been able to get it off my heart and mind.
"I am learning to chase the Creator and the not the calling."
What a great reminder and principle for women like me, and like you, and like Melissa, whose lives are about calling, about anointing, about praying for open doors, and about making a lasting impact in our generation.
" ... Chase the Creator and not the calling ..."
As I beg God for more open doors, I must remind myself that He Who opens the doors is worthy of my highest praise.
As I endeavor to discern the "what" of His calling, I must remember that He is the great Who.
I am in awe of Him and His great love for me.
I worship a God Who is good all the time.
I chase Him with a relentless passion that has nothing to do with my significance, my gifts or my calling.
My primary calling in life is to be undone in His presence.
For type-A leaders, the simple truth is this ... nothing is more important than just enjoying Jesus and basking in all that He is.
Serving the Lord has little to do with performance or with significance in the world's eyes, but it has everything to do with simply knowing Him.
And so, I lay down my "to-do list" and refuse the temptation of comparing my life with others of those in the ministry, and I choose to focus on Jesus. My heart is no
longer consumed with big audiences, large honorariums, publishing contracts and prime spots on radio networks. My heart is set on Him.
Paul learned this truth 2,000 years before my young friend spoke into my life this week. His perspective is found in these stirring words from the Book of Philippians:
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ ...
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ ...
"And may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith ...
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings ...
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of my Christ Jesus ...
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead ...
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." – Philippians 3:7-14 (selected).
The prize is found in knowing Him. The reward is discovered in laying hold of His heart.
Thank you, dear Melissa, for the powerful reminder. Thank you, Paul, for calling me back to that which I was made for ... simply knowing Him.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books: No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, will be released on Aug. 1. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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