What Would You Look Like?

Hey, Darling Things! 

I am about to write one of the fastest posts of my life because it’s almost time for the ministry to close for the day and I don’t like for any of the support staff to feel like they have to stay around and wait for me. My man will also be ready for his wife to come home. I don’t have time to think about how I should say this or to proof it and rehash it for the next two hours. I’m just going to spit it out there because I can’t shake it from my mind and I feel it pressing on me in such a way that I’ve got to release it.

In the wonderful (and I really do mean wonderful) world of blogs and Twitter-follows, a pile-up can happen with the potential to profoundly hinder the Gospel. We can find ourselves suddenly feeling panicked, or confused, or left out, or just plain lame because our follow-ship of Christ doesn’t look like someone else’s that we admire. I know that’s a yawner. I mean, who doesn’t already know that can happen? Talk about an elementary grasp of the obvious. But stay with me here a second and hash this out a bit because this very thing happened to me yesterday. And I feel like if it happened to me – and I’ve been pretty convinced of the direction of my calling for years now – that it could happen to a lot of us. Especially those who haven’t quite gotten their footing yet. See if you relate:

I read a fabulous post by a young woman I greatly respect and I was moved and convicted by it but over the next few hours I fell into the (self-induced!) trap of thinking things like, “I should have taken that same stand. That’s what’s really important. We should have vastly downsized. We should have moved to the inner city. Not out to the country. I need to get rid of more stuff. ” (And I do, for crying out loud.)  “And I need to be more active globally.” And on and on and on. Now, listen to me carefully when I tell you that it was not her post. The post was tremendous, filled with the love of Jesus, and such a portrayal of the Gospel. The problem was what my mind then did with it.

I started thinking of all the people who are doing effectual things for the Kingdom, who I admire tremendously and often wish I were more like. For instance, I started thinking of some Bible professors who I follow who spend all of their work lives training up students in the Scriptures then watch them walk out into the world and take their places. Now, that’s huge. And I started thinking of my dear friends who do amazing and courageous work to fight the atrocities of human trafficking and I think, “Now, THAT’S enormous! What a reflection of the heart of God! Freedom!!! Does it get any bigger than that?? THAT’S what God’s prioritizing right now!” They impact and motivate me every day. And then I start thinking of people who’ve adopted numerous orphans and those who put their hearts at risk over and over as fabulous, loving foster parents. I love children! What could be more Christ-like than that??? And I have so many missionary friends who have left every worldly comfort for the Gospel of the living Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes at the daily risk of their lives. That is the Great Commission! The main thing Jesus sent us out to do!

AND, SISTER, IT IS.

But which cause do we take up? Where do we begin? Which one is God’s favorite?? Who’s God’s favorite??? Because I want to be like God’s favorite, don’t you? Yes, yes, Jesus is God’s favorite. And He is the one and only Person we should want to be just like. But, let’s admit it. Sometimes we can get a little confused in this lens we have to the world through one quick gleaming glance at our screen. The works of God taking place out there are astounding! And some of them we now have the privilege to give ear to every single day through Twitter. It’s fabulous. I absolutely love it. But it can also be bewildering as we try to figure out where we fit in all of that. And maybe we can’t see a fit at all.

Here’s what I want to throw at you to consider. This is what I felt God placed upon my heart as I wrestled with this last night.

What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?

Because THAT person, Girlfriend, is who He’s looking for in you.

When we’re trying to hash out God’s priorities for us, that’s IT in a nutshell. “Teacher, which commandment is the most important of all?”

And that’s what He told them.

So, let me ask you this: when you are teeming with love for the Lord your God, who are you right then? What is your passion? What is it that you are bursting to do? That’s probably the stream of your calling. I’m not asking you who you see in front of you when you feel the most love for Jesus because that could be your pastor or your teacher or your worship leader. I’m asking you who is INSIDE OF YOU when you are flooded with the fiery love of Christ? Right there in that passion you’ll start discovering that purpose.

You following Christ will not always look the same as someone else following Christ. Why on earth would He have bothered to form you in your mother’s womb with your own DNA and life experience ahead just to copy what someone else you’re seeing is doing?

Who are you supposed to look like in your calling here on earth and in the way you follow Christ? You’re supposed to look like the version of you that loves Jesus with everything in you.

That’s the real you.

And that’s the road down which you will find what He put you on the planet to do. You don’t have to figure out what to surrender to. Just surrender your heart to Jesus. Every single ounce of it. Ask Him to give you a love for Him that surpasses anything in your human experience. A supernatural capacity. And ask Him for it every day until He does it and then ask Him to do it some more. If you’re a writer, your exploding love for Him will bring it out. If you’re a liberator, you will not be able to keep yourself from seeing to the oppressed. If you’re a teacher, you won’t be able to quit studying except to share what you learned with somebody. If you love Him with your whole heart and that whole heart bursts to sell everything and move to China, Girl, get your passport!

Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength?

That’s what you’re meant to look like.

Let THAT person follow Him, and He, Child, will make you a fisher of men.

My fastest post ever. But I feel better.

 

I love you guys so much.

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492 Responses to “What Would You Look Like?”

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Comments:

  1. 451
    April says:

    Oh how I needed to hear this today! I am blessed by your honesty and advice.

    Just started your The Law of Love study. I felt like a sponge absorbing every drop! Looking forward to the next 6 weeks with you in God’s word.

    Thank you for the sweet blessings your studies of God’s word bring into my life. :)

    ~ April

  2. 452
    Kara says:

    I so agree with everything you are sharing. I was wanting to post something similar on my blog b/c I do ministry in the inner city. I am constantly exhorting others to do more as I am led by Christ but I would never want to condemn anyone that they aren’t doing the exact thing me and my family are doing.

    On a flip note I can’t say that Moses was thrilled when God sent him to Pharaoh. But he went b/c He loved God more than he loved his own life. There are times I am not thrilled to take my children to do inner city ministry when shootings are happening everyday around us – at times right in front of us. My children saw a 16 who had been shot and watched as the ambulance took him away. We labor close to danger. But we go b/c we love the people we serve more than we love our own lives.

    Jesus asked Peter, do you love me? Well, come to find out loving the Lord always has a lot to do with caring for His sheep. And we do that in the ways He has gifted us.

    I once asked God what part of the body of Christ I was. He told me! He said I was the hands. And I learned quickly that hands go places you would never allow other parts of your body to go. But I so need the other parts of the body of Christ. They nourish me and keep me strong.

    Unity always carries a strong anointing. Always. We need each other desperately.

  3. 453
    Amy says:

    Ummmm, wow. Wow. That’s all I’ve got to say about that awesome truth you wrote that just smacked me in the face….except to also say, I am doing my hair right now and will see you in a few hours here in Greensboro. Love you Beth….

  4. 454
    Kellie Brown says:

    Thank you Beth.. This went right along with the conference I was at today. We all have our own individual work to do. Not like anyone else’s. We need to all find our own Calcutta as Mother Theresa said once. Praying for you as you continue to minister to many

  5. 455
    Vicki Mazzaferri says:

    “Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is The Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.”
    Deuteronomy 31:6

  6. 456
    Vicki Mazzaferri says:

    “We must obey God rather than men.”
    Acts 5:29

  7. 457
    Gennie, Solon Springs says:

    Scripture for #8

    Isiah 54:17 NKJ

    “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me says the Lord!”

  8. 458
    Nancy says:

    Nancy, Grand Haven, MI
    Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

  9. 459
    Carmela says:

    Carmela from Canton. OH

    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    Romans 6:4 NIV

  10. 460
    Chris Dorman says:

    Several years ago I attended your simulcast and was inspired by your teaching on Psalm 37. Ever since then, I have tried to live by verse 3: “Trust in the Lord and do good…dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”

    It has meant different things for me in different seasons – from caring for my elderly parents as the expense of every other ministry, to just being present to my grandchildren when they are with me. At this time, I am beginning a journey to become a birth doula, trusting in the Lord and bringing His love into the most vulnerable time in a woman’s life.

    Thank you for your ministry – it has meant the world to me over the years.

  11. 461
    Amanda says:

    Amanda – thank you thank you thank you! I want to be a Mary, not a Martha. And this definitely helps!

  12. 462
    Beth from Center, tx says:

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 NIV

  13. 463
    Paige says:

    Thank you, Thank you! I needed this post today. My heart has been feeling a bit down for the last year and this was a huge eye-opener for me.

  14. 464
    Sharon says:

    Thank you for sharing what the Lord had placed on your heart. It’s very easy to be hard on yourself for not quite achieving what we think we should be achieving for Christ, but we need to just let that go and just focus on Jesus and just love him and love people.

  15. 465
    Barbara says:

    Thank you, Beth. It is so sweet to see you struggle with this, because I do too! And what a perfect thought, Jesus made us to be unique. And as we age, even our passions change and Jesus takes us down different paths, but they are all unique as we are, as He made us to be. It is all in the end about trusting Him isn’t it?

    thank you for being faithful in the work in your hands. It has so blessed me and enabled me to pass the blessing on.

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