Embracing Your Role to Play

10:15 AMHeather

Do you devalue the gifts and talents and callings you have been given because you value the gifts, talents and callings you see in others?

BOOM.

Direct hit from Angie Smith during the first session of the IF Gathering.  

Yeah, I knew from last year that this was going to get personal. Real personal.  And there it was.  As Angie spoke about being a cheerleader or making the team or doing something completely new and different...we all have a role to play. And we can so easily waste our tenure as a cheerleader because we want to be on the team.  Or we think that we aren't good enough to be on the team. Or we waste our days longing for some other time or some other place or some other role.  We want to be the lead, not the understudy. We want to hide behind the scenes when we've been called to center stage. Or we want center stage when we've been called behind the scenes. 

The truth is that the Promised Land is ours, no matter if we feel sidelined or misplaced. It's ours. The places and times that he has appointed for YOU.  In fact, Acts 17:26 says:

He determined the times set for them [every nation of men] anad the exact places where they should live.

We are promised that he knows the plans he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  Plans to prosper us and not to harm us, for our future and our good.

And all the while, we envy the quarterback because we think we are just the cheerleader.

I consider my 37 year dream to be a published author.  To make a living writing.  And I think my call to blog isn't good enough. I can't shake the entrepreneurship in my blood and wish I could make something from nothing and grow it big. Ignoring the importance of raising three children, who, yes, I had something to do with them going from nothing to these big kids they are. I devalue the kingdom work of steering them and investing in them and coaching them and praying for them and fretting over them.

Yeah.  Really.  Mothering is so no big deal. It's not like I built a company like each of my grandfathers. I'm just going to send out three humans into the world, filled with my love and dreams and prayers for them.

I waste the place where God has firmly parked us because over two years ago, I began to pray for and envision something else.

Here's the burning question.

Can I believe that I am actually designed exactly as he intended? Can I embrace that God has chosen me to be exactly where I am, when I am, with the people and influences and influencers that I am, for a reason?  

Or do I look to the right and to the left?

Oh, yes.  Angie Smith got right to it and hit that nerve of discontent in me.  That thing that makes me nearly frenzied with the ideas that I think are far better than God's ideas. Or the fear that somehow missed a marked road somewhere?

And Angie wasn't the only one picking at this thing.

The writer of Numbers offered a double whammy in the 13th chapter as I read it two days ago.

When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)
Numbers 13:17-20

Blah, blah, blah.  The twelve men sent from the Israelites to check out this Promised Land.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But there it was. Highlighting the truths I'd heard from Angie Smith last Friday.

Here is the list of instructions that Moses gave the twelve men, as I wrote it in my prayer journal.

1. Go through Negev and on into the hill country
2. See what the land is like
3. See whether the people are strong or weak, many or few
4. See what kind of land it is...good or bad?
5. See what kind of towns they are...walled or not?
6. See how the soil is...fertile or poor?
7. See if there are trees or not?
8. Do your best to bring back some fruit

There is ONE glaring thing missing from this list of tasks.  This list of things to do and the things that were theirs to accomplish.

Moses did not ask them to decide for him if they could conquer it or not.  He did not ask them to decide if they should go into the land or stay where they were.

That task is not there.

Really.  Go look for yourself.

And why is this task not on the list?

The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan,which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” Numbers 13:1-2

These leaders from each of the twelve tribes were not asked to be decision makers.

Because God had already made the decision.

The Lord had already determined the places set for his people.  He had PROMISED it to them.  

Listen, bloggy friends.  It's not mine to say or decide to enter the Promised Land.  He has already decided.  He has already determined my places.

And he has already determined yours, too.  Unless you are running from God.  Unless you know you are not in the place where God called you to be. If you are seeking the Lord and following Jesus, then you can rest assured that God has already determined the exact places where he wants you.

If you are married, God means for you to be the wife he called to be.  Or the husband. To the person to whom you are married.  

If you are single, you didn't miss some tiny detour road that would have changed your marital status.  

If you have birthed or adopted or are fostering kids, then you are called to be the mama.

If you are praying and praying and praying to be somewhere you're not, then God says not yet. Not there. Not my plan. Instead, here. And now.

Our job is NOT to be the decision makers about the land.

Our job is to be explorers.


Our job is to explore the land he has given us.  To go and take a step into it and check it out and evaluate it and explore it all over. And to stay in it until he tells you otherwise.

Even if the land is hard.  Even if the roads are rocky and the hills are steep and the burdens feel too much. 

God truly does have a bigger picture. His heartbeat for us is for our good and for his glory. And he knows that the sufferings we are currently enduring will be outweighed by the glory to come.  The hardest days here cannot compare to the wonders awaiting us.

And we are asked to embrace the land where we find ourselves.

I know this is hard.  Because I am wrestling here.  I am wrestling here with thoughts and ideas and dreams about other lands. But God is saying you are EXACTLY where I want you.

And it's not mine to say that this debt is too big.  Or my gifts are too small.  Or my ideas are far superior.  Or I've been here too long. Or God's' timing is off. Or maybe I missed a cue or a road somewhere? 

Or even that Egypt was better. That the opposition is too great and the Promised Land is a pipe dream. And where I am isn't good enough.  Because I like where someone else is far better.  Or who someone else is.  Or the platform or ministry or talents of the person next to me.

Oh, the joy and peace just waiting for me.  Just there, glistening in the Sonshine.  If I could simply embrace the role I have to play and realize that I wasn't asked to make a decision about the land where I am living.

I was asked my Heavenly Father, full of promises and goodness and faithfulness and strength, to simply explore the land he's given me. 

And to live freely and lightly on the unforced rhythms of grace. Right here.  Right now. With the role I've been given.

Cheerleader or quarterback.

He knows what he's doing.

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