“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. (John 15:5)
If I did not write anything else under the above photo, that verse would cover everything. Outside of God’s will EVERYTHING will fail. All things flow from Him. We all have dreams, hopes and desires we would like to see realized during our lifetime. The problem many of us have is that we do not present these ideas before God. We are all hot messes! It is a difficult thing to trust in the unknown but being still in His presence will allow Him to reveal His plans for your life. I am still working on perfecting the “being still” part. God had a purpose in mind for each and every one of us before we were even born. In Jeremiah 1:5 it states: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nations”. This Scripture verse symbolizes very important points. God knows us better than we know ourselves, He created us with a particular purpose in mind and in everything we do it is first to honor Him. Our gifts are given to us to serve others while glorifying God in the process. He will in turn use your gifts to deliver and bless you. We should not have any selfish intentions. Is it for income or outcome? “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever”.(1 Peter 4:10-11).
So when thinking of our dreams, we should ask ourselves three important questions. Is it “linked” to my destiny? Is it “linked” to my purpose? And most importantly is it “linked” to God?
God wants us to prosper in everything we commit ourselves to but He does not bless anything He’s not invited into. Many times we begin on a project or start building on a dream because it seems like a good idea but fail to ask God first. The project fails and we begin to question God and blame Him. But did He tell you to do it? It may not be popular, it may not even be enjoyable at first but it must be linked to our purpose. In 2013, I enrolled in graduate school to obtain a Master Degree in Healthcare Administration. It seemed like the perfect idea. I wrote a stunning letter of intent (after all I love to write) and received a full letter of acceptance. I began classes and applied for a loan. I hated it! I passed the first couple of courses with a 90 or better but began to struggle in the later courses. I struggled to complete writing assignments (could you imagine that) and deliver them on time. School, two children and a full-time job began to take its toll on me. I was burned out, stressed and grew weary. One day I stopped and prayed. I asked God why did everything seem hard. He said “Did I tell you to do that?”. I thought furthering my education in the field I have been working in for the past 8 years was the best thing to do. I had all these dreams and visions of running a hospital one day. But that was the problem they were “my” ideas and not “His”. He had other plans for me. How many of us could have avoided massive student loan repayments if we just stopped and asked God first? There is nothing more frustrating than paying back a loan for a degree you don’t even use! I often wonder how many times I missed God because I was too busy moving to my own rhythm. I won many creative writing awards in school and spending time with God helped me to uncover these gifts and talents. Now I write with ease and don’t have deadlines on when to submit my work. The same gifts are now being applied to bring Him glory and provide a platform for me to do what I love. This blog helps me keep track of my own life. My writings are based on what I have experienced in life. Only God can use your mess to bless you.
There is only ONE you. You are UNIQUE. God created you with your own set of gifts and talent. You have to seek Him in order to uncover your unique set of gifts. Don’t mimic other people. You are not behind. Don’t rush. “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. (2 Peter 3:8). You just need to be connected to “The Link”. His name is Jesus. I can’t do what you can do and you can’t do what I can do. They can be similar but never the exact same. There is an audience of people only YOU can reach. God allows certain experiences in your life to qualify you for what He has called you to do.
You know what I love about the post photo. A paper clip is being used in place of the missing link to hold the links together. The poor paper clip is distorted and bent out of shape trying to forcibly hold the links together. This is how our lives look when we are not connected to the source: God. No matter how hard we try to hold the pieces of our lives together or force things to work, like the paper clip it just won’t hold up and eventually there is a disconnect. Lay down your dreams and ideas before God and watch what He does. This will keep you from chasing worthless pursuits that leave you further behind than when you started.
“The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable”. (Romans 11:29). Final and cannot be altered! But He can’t be the missing link. Success is only as powerful as that to which is connected.