Perhaps the larger question than what are we going to do with our lives is determining the reason why. What we are going to do is not nearly as important as why we do it. The reasons behind our actions reveal more about our hearts than the actions themselves.
As believers we constantly talk about wanting to be used by God, and yet struggle to determine what that looks like. We flounder and grasp for straws as we try to find ways to combine Christianity with our worldly responsibilities, and usually end up separating the two. We look at church staff and envy them for their daily opportunity to be part of God's mission on earth, because we separate our weeks into God on Sundays and work throughout the week, with no knowledge that the two were never meant to be separated.
"You're here to be light, bringing out the God colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, one a light stand - shine!
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven"
Matthew 5:14-16, The Message
I love the way The Message writes these verses. I love the plainness of our purpose: you're here to be light. Despite all the confusion and complications we create as we try to discover what we're going to do with our lives, we forget that our calling has already been revealed. Why we are here has never changed, even though what we do while we're on earth might.
Let that encourage you. Let that take some of the weight off as you struggle to determine what your purpose is. Let that remind you that your day to day vocation is important and valuable and unique to you, but your purpose in that vocation is shared with the entire body of believers.
Be a light. Make disciples. Show people who Jesus is. He made it so simple for us!
We forget that we can do that wherever we are - and we should. We need to. This is God's very intention in not making all believers to be ministers and pastors. If that were the case, if every believer transitioned to a job in ministry after being saved, how would anyone hear about Jesus? How boring would our world be if all Christians took up vocations within the Church, because that appears to be "easiest" way to bring God's kingdom to earth?
No, bringing Heaven here has to take place in the world, the very place that needs Heaven most. It cannot remain inside the church. On earth as it is in Heaven means all over the earth, in all spheres of life.
We are invited to do this, to participate in our callings as light bearers and disciple makers, in a clear and simple way: be generous with your life. Be generous with your time, with your finances, with your home. Be generous with your relationships, giving enough grace to move past barriers and past hurts and walls that might prevent us from truly getting to know someone.
Be generous and be grace filled. Evangelism has more to do with grace than it does with our speaking abilities and persuasion (in fact, it probably shouldn't have anything to do with our speaking abilities and persuasion).
Grace reveals who Jesus is to us, and who He could be to someone else. Grace reveals the true faith that we sometimes lose sight of behind the facades of religion. "When we live authentically, we naturally draw others to God's grace".
Evangelism and making disciples doesn't have to be a daunting task - and yet we have turned it into one. We're afraid to talk to people about Jesus because we feel under qualified, we don't want to scare them, or we just don't know what to say.
Maybe we don't have to say anything. Maybe Jesus is revealed more in how we live than what words we choose to say as we invite people to know Him. Perhaps the invitation to walk with Jesus is better understood by watching someone else do it.