Scrolling through Instagram, I’m suddenly aware of the overwhelming noise bombarding me through it.
People striving for my attention to buy this and do that.
The external noise pulling at my emotions to be a certain way, look a certain way, or to do things the way it should be done.
Well-intentioned advice that sounds great and is wonderfully presented, yet makes me feel like I don’t measure up and need to strive harder.
I get that we live in a world where marketing, consumerism and status symbols are the norm of our society. It’s how it functions—by a sales exchange of product—so we can make a living and take care our family. We need to eat right?
Most of us desire to make a positive difference while we do these exchanges. It is why the nurse becomes a nurse so she can tend to the sick and needy. It is why the teacher becomes a teacher to facilitate learning and growth for the next generation. It is why the tax collector becomes a tax collector … wait, maybe that one can be left out of the “making a positive difference” category? (Ha)
As we set out to make a positive difference in this world, we use our creative energies to promote faith or fun, link arms with others to fuel love and relationships, or serve the community around us in ways that may look and feel good to us. Yet, I wonder if we are creating, linking, and serving in ways that are God-invitation motives … or self-invitation motives—striving to measure up?
For myself, I was beginning to accept the God-invitation to write and speak creating good healthy Jesus noise. But as I launched on this path, filled with tons of Jesus activities, I began to sense I was straying from the God-invitation to the self-invitation, striving to achieve things on my own. When I stepped back and took an aerial view of my life, I realized I was venturing toward a place of strive instead of God-centered drive. So I pulled back from many activities, sensing they were not God-invited activities, at least not at this present time; and a beautiful thing happened. God dropped an incredible gift, facilitating a beautiful project I never saw coming. I felt more alive with this discovery of being right in the midst of where God wanted me. If I hadn’t pulled back, I wouldn’t have known the greater gift of this beautiful invitation and path God was beckoning me to pursue.
I want to create noise that is not only God-centered but God-desired. A noise that is founded on Gods invitation for me. I want to make sure God invited me to join in His activity, not the other way around. God-driven activities are far better than me-driven activities. When I allow God-driven activities in my life, accepting those big and small invitations by God, I’m fully satisfied and fueled with exhilarated energy as I experience God in a deeper way. No more exhausting self-driven activities marked with a fake glossy Jesus stamp.
Perhaps you are seeking to please others, even God, by simply playing the part of “doing good” and checking off the Christian “doing good” box—this demonstrates what it means to be a follower of Jesus, right? Yet as the fuel turns to fumes, somewhere in your weary soul, something feels … off.
We live in a world where careful observation of our own actions and motives need to be put back into place. This “careful” does not mean being a quiet and reserved Christian. It simply means accepting and following God’s invitation. If God is inviting you to speak out, create a product or business, give generously, live dangerously, or boldly step out of your comfort zone, by all means DO! If God is nudging you to step back, remain silent at a certain time, wait before leaping into something, accept gratuity, and simply be still before Him, by all means DO! I cannot tell you what you ought to do. God has the blueprint. He has the schedule. He sends out the invitations for the activities He desires each of us to follow in His timing. Yet, it requires we carefully seek Him and be still in order to hear and understand the details of His invitation. Then obey by following His directions, and watch in awe of what God brings to fruition through your humble obedience.
Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the LORD your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth … The LORD will grant you a blessing on your storehouses and on everything you do. (Deut. 28:1,8)