No, not here, on my website.
At this time.
Why are you here?
William Wilberforce, who brokered the end of slavery as a fixed institution in his lifetime in England, knew his purpose and stated it well. After meeting with his father-figure John Newton and receiving confirmation that the young William could indeed mix his faith with the politics of his day (for the express purpose of changing the world for God’s glory), he wrote out his life’s mission:
God Almighty has set before me two Great Objects: the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners (i.e., morality).”
From his death bed, John Wesley wrote to the young revolutionist, knowing he was meant for great things and created for such a grossly immoral time, to offer his own encouragement to the lad. In an excerpt, Wesley penned:
I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy, which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. UNLESS God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and Devils.
“BUT IF GOD BE FOR YOU, WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU? ARE ALL OF THEM TOGETHER STRONGER THAN GOD? O be not weary of well doing. Go on, in the name of God…(emphasis mine)”
He did, and his world was changed before his death.
For myself, the mission statement of my life includes the words,
To make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”
If it sounds familiar, that’s because you read it somewhere else before. In Luke’s gospel, the first chapter, the Angel Gabriel is prophesying to the elderly priest-on-call, Zechariah, that he and his equally elderly wife, Elizabeth, will produce a son and his calling will be to prepare hearts for the ministry of the Messiah to come.
The Angel even prophesies his name: “John”. Of this there will be no negotiation. John is specific to the call for it carries YAHWEH’S name within. Like the “ha” of Abraham and the “ha” of Sarah, John, too, is grazed with the kiss of the Covenant God.
John will change the culture, was the prophecy. He will dispel the silence of the Muted God and boldly announce the coming revolution (Kingdom) in the Person of Messiah. This was the Messianic mission of John the Immerser.
Not a small part of my own mission of preparing a people for Christ’s Second Coming (not nearly on the scale of John’s I humbly add) is to expound the truth that the Church must go through great tribulation all the way to the Second Advent.
I know, I know. I grew up believing in a secret catching away of believers, Left Behind style, but my study and meditation and learning at the feet of Jesus for some years has informed my heart that I can no longer look for such an escape from Global Tribulation.
From wrath, of course the people of God are spared. Of this there’s no doubt. But tribulation? Persecution? I’m certain ALL the Church will join our present-day brothers and sisters in persecuted places, and the hardships will only become more intense as Christ’s Return closes in.
And the Church will need all kinds of encouragement. I’m honored to stand in that gap with the many who will be called on to live the message that God is always faithful to His own and can be trusted to lead us well in the hardest of times.
So I ask again: why are you here?
To raise God-fearing kids?
To evangelize your neighborhood?
To write a book that will change the way a generation thinks?
To provide a haven of healing for broken, damaged, hurting people?
You probably will never know if you stay…where you are.
Esther illustrates another who came to know her great call in the challenge of her times. Pick anyone from history, or from the scriptures, and you’ll find they either knew their life’s call going in, or they found themselves in it by way of the crucible.
I’m going to leave you with some questions worth considering with regard to learning your meta Story:
What would make your life a story worth telling?
What are you passionate about?
What concerns you in a meta way?
What would you try if you knew you wouldn’t fail in the attempt?
If you had one year left to live, what would you get busy doing?
When our Graham was alive I prayed over him and wrote in my journal regularly: “Lord, make him a man You would write about. Make his life a story worth reading.”
I sit here amazed how astoundingly God answered that prayer.
But don’t sit around on a couch waiting for passion to hit you upside the head. Passion doesn’t precede action, it comes as a result of an already active life. Do something that you would write a post about later.
Start with a problem the Lord shows you and seek His help with you to fix it. When you leave that situation in a better place, start on another. Keep moving upward. Again, do something. Make a difference.
This is a call to not play it safe. If you’re mission includes the word “comfortable”, that’s not a mission but a retreat – and not the good kind either.
What will your legacy be? How will your obituary read? What is bigger than you that is demanding your participation?
Let me finish with one last quick story about a guy named Adam.
Adam was introduced to the world of finance as a teenager, envisioning for himself a heady place at the Wall Street table but his entire outlook changed in a single moment by a single pencil.
He tells it in these terms:
While traveling through the developing world as a college student, I asked a young boy begging on the streets what he wanted most in the world. I expected to hear the things that I wanted – new shoes, a big screen TV, but he told me “a pencil.” I handed him a pencil from my backpack, and as I watched his eyes light up with excitement, it made me realize how many children around the world lack access to even the most basic elements of a life-changing education.*
At 25, Adam was so moved by the experience, he left a firm he was working at, did a start-up with $25 and began asking all his family and friends for donations (even in lieu of birthday money) to “Pencils of Promise.”
Through “PoP”, over 200 schools of excellence in education are in full operation in many developing countries, with more to come. All because a millennial said there has to be more to life than this.
Today, Adam Braun is listed in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and in Wired’s “50 People Who Are Changing the World”…
…and to think it started with a pencil.
What might God ask you to do to change your part of the world?
*via Huffington Post article, Oct 17, 2014