Even a life of tremendous meaning can remain hauntingly empty if it does not also have purpose.
That's a little hard to believe, but not once you honestly consider what such a statement means. Meaning is knowing that you're making a difference. It's knowing that what you're doing matters. It's having that sense that what you're doing is both right and good. In a blessed world, that what you're doing is holy. That's meaning, and meaning is invaluable. However, do you see the missing element here? It's you. A life filled with meaning does not necessarily lend any confidence to your heart. It feels good. It is good. But there is some sense that practically anyone could be doing it and it would still be good. That this good life you're living doesn't actually require you to be living it. It could be anybody.
If you could be anybody and still have this kind of life, then what does it matter who you are? You lose yourself. That's where purpose comes in. Purpose ties the holy work around you to the holy work within you. It's that piece that makes you a part of what's going on. That shows you the absolute necessity that you be working here. It gives you the assurance that all this holy? It doesn't work without you. That's pretty special. That gives your life not only meaning, but depth. We call this depth purpose. And purpose, quite frequently, comes through calling.
Calling is kind of a tricky situation. It doesn't matter if you're called to something you've dreamt of doing your whole life or if you're called to something you've prayed you'd never have to do. It doesn't matter if you've been praying over your calling and longing to hear the very word God gives you or if you haven't considered it at all and are startled by that still, small voice. Calling immediately clamps around your heart in a moment of pure fear, which can sometimes be absolute panic. All of a sudden, that cosmic "Yes" makes you question everything you ever thought about your own heart. That supernatural green light makes you slam on the brakes and seriously consider what you're about to get into.
And if you're honest, you never stop considering it. Calling haunts your hallowed heart every day you're doing it; if it doesn't, you're into the wrong thing, my friend. Once you know what God's calling is on your life, you wake every morning into your expanded smallness and cannot comprehend, as if you're hearing it for the first time, how on earth you were blessed with such a purpose. That's just how it is. (It's beautiful, but it takes a certain strength of heart to remember that.)
So let's talk about calling. Calling is nothing more than a prophecy spoken over your life. That's it. It's the Word of God as it relates to you. It's the divine promise of what God wants to do in you, through you, and because of you. Right? Of course.
And yet, somehow, it is the one word of God we are least likely to believe. We believe many unbelievable, unfathomable stories that God has told us over the years. A prophet in the belly of a fish. A dead man raised to life. A Son born of a virgin, crucified, resurrected. A piece of fruit that started this whole tumultuous trial. I mean, on the surface, so many of the stories of God are unbelievable. Yet they are also the foundations of our faith, and we believe them. Then God speaks a relatively tame word over our lives, and we take one look in the mirror and start shaking our heads. Nope. No way. Not me. This time, You've got it wrong, God. Don't You know me at all?
He does know you. And He knows a lot more than you give Him credit for.
Consider the prophecies of God. Hundreds, thousands of them. Prophecies in the short-term. Prophecies over time. Prophecies for people. For life. For love. Hundreds of years before Jesus even walked this earth, God prophesied things that could have have been possible because they did not yet exist - Abram to be a father of many nations before Abram was even a father at all; a crucifixion, before crucifixion had even been invented!. And every single prophecy God has ever spoken has been fulfilled. Every. Single. One.
So what makes you think the Word God has spoken over your life will be the one in all of history that He has not fulfilled?
That's really it, isn't it? We harbor this quiet fear that somehow, we're going to screw this up. That somehow, this word will never come true. That it doesn't seem possible, or isn't possible, or isn't probable, and it just can't be. We hold off on holding onto the word of God spoken over our lives because we fear the disappointment of yet another thing in this world that is too good to be true. Something else that might be snatched away or worse, fall apart.
It can't. If God has spoken the word, it is a done deal. He has never been wrong about a prophecy, which means...He cannot be wrong about you.
Which is a fear, too, isn't it? What if this whole thing is really true? What if God is about to use you just as He promised, and prophesied, that He would? That is too much for my fragile heart to bear most days. I start to shake and nearly break down in tears. It's overwhelming and yet, it's all I ever wanted. You, too?
I want to tell you this morning what your timid heart needs to hear, and that is this: It's okay. It's okay to wholly buy in to the word God is speaking over your life. It's okay to believe He's about to do it. It's okay to hold onto that with everything you've got. God has never, in the history of God, failed to fulfill a prophecy He has spoken; He will not fail to fulfill the prophecy He's spoken over you. The only danger of holding back is that when God's word comes true, it is you who will miss it. Give into it. Give yourself over to it. Let God speak over you and celebrate the sound of His voice. It's okay. He's doing this.
He's really doing this. And He knows what He's doing.