What is your dream, the thing you feel the Lord is calling you to do? For some, this calling is very clear. Some of you may want to serve on the mission field. Others may dream of being a wife and mother. Perhaps you feel the Lord calling you to be a photographer, musician, nurse, teacher, artist, or politician. Or maybe you want to get involved in teaching Sunday School or nursing home ministry. For others it is hard to know what the Lord would have you pursue. You may love Jesus and enjoy many things, but just not yet be sure what He is specifically calling you to do with your life. I felt this way for many years.
Having dreams and goals is very good, and we absolutely should plan ahead and seek out what the Lord might have us do in the future, but there is something more important.
The truth that the Lord showed me is this: we can know, every single day, exactly what we are supposed to do. Christ calls each one of us to obey Him in our thoughts, words, and actions and be faithful to what He has set before us to do in each moment of every day. In John 14:21 Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word...” We face so many tiny choices each day and these are really the most important. Here are a few examples of some of these tiny but important choices I have to make every day:
I can choose to speak kindly to my brother or sister that was unkind to me, like I am told to do in Galatians 2:20, or I can be unkind in return.
I can choose to get up and go to school or work with a cheerful heart even when you do not feel like it or it doesn’t seem important, as I am told to do in Colossians 3:23 and 24, or I can be grumpy and frustrated.
I can choose to let someone else have their way (even if they’re not being nice about it) because 1 Corinthians 13:5 says love does not insist on its own way, or I can insist that I am right.
I can choose to do the dishes or clean up a mess someone else made because Romans 12:10 tells me to “Outdo one another in showing honor”, or I can leave it for someone else just because I don’t feel like doing it.
I can choose to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) or I can disobey by letting “corrupting talk come out of my mouth” that hurts others. (Ephesians 4:29)
I can choose to pray about the things in my life and trust the Lord, like it says to do in Philippians 4:6, or worry and become fearful.
When I am tempted to lower my standards about something that is not godly, I can choose to “abhor what is evil; [and] hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9) or I can compromise and do what is wrong.
These daily choices will be different for everyone. But as we make them, we must remember that they are not less important than the big things we want to do for Christ. Yes, the big things absolutely matter, but the small things matter just as much. We certainly shouldn’t stop seeking the Lord regarding His will for the big things in our lives, but we must not stop hearing Jesus call: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) The circumstances of our life will certainly change with time (as will the choices we have to make and the things are responsible to do), but this call of Jesus will never change.
We also must remember, that we cannot do anything without Jesus and the gospel. If you are a believer, Jesus took all of your sins upon Himself and paid the penalty for them at the cross. (Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18) He also gave to you His perfect righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21) This means that you stand before God absolutely as justified, righteous, and loved by God as Jesus Himself is (1 Corinthians 1:30) – without respect to anything you have or have not done (Ephesians 2:8-9). In God’s eyes, the Christian who does something for Christ that seems big and important is just as loved, accepted, forgiven, and justified by God as the believer who faithfully does small and insignificant things day-after-day. We only do anything pleasing in God’s sight at all because of what Jesus has already done on the cross and the ways His grace is working in our lives. Who we are is ultimately in and because of Jesus – not what we do – and we only can make proper daily choices because of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. Without Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5), but in Jesus we have the promise that we can do everything He has called us to do (2 Peter 1:3).
Knowing this will keep us from being discouraged when we don’t see clearly what we should pursue for our lives. It will also help us during those seasons when we are preparing for something or waiting for the Lord to provide the right opportunity or the Lord directs our lives differently from what we though or planned.
So, when you find yourself discouraged or disappointed because it seems like you are always working on being ready for the thing you dream of doing but never actually do it or if ever seem like you are only waiting, looking around and seeing others that are doing great things for Christ and your life seems really insignificant, remember who you already are in Christ (if you are a believer) – a daughter of our Heavenly Father, completely loved, justified, and accepted because of Jesus. Serve Him faithfully each day in what He gives you to do.