In the quest to know God’s will for our lives, I think we sometimes blend together the typical secular goals with our faith. But I’ve been wondering: what if we don’t achieve our goals? What if we don’t land that dream job? What if the person you’ve been pursuing isn’t interested? What if you’ve felt called to do a certain type of ministry and it never seems to work out?
Is Jesus enough?
What do I mean by that question? I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals. I’m not saying we shouldn’t put forth effort and go for it. I’m saying that our faith needs to be grounded in such a way that Jesus is enough to satisfy.
When I was younger, I felt called to full-time pastoral ministry. Others I knew affirmed it. I was a volunteer youth pastor and began preaching and working with the youth in our church. I went back to school to study ministry full-time and got my degree in church ministry. I studied theology, leadership, preaching and counseling. I worked on staff at a few different churches and ultimately left the ministry after two back-to-back bad experiences, the last one being quite abusive and demoralizing. Since then I’ve only ever volunteered. It was a challenge to trust again after being burned. Even as a volunteer, I’ve experienced several churches where it seems difficult to get connected for whatever reason. What’s the message there from God? I thought I was called? At one point I felt recovered enough and tried to look for ministry positions again but by then I had gaps in my ministry resume and didn’t have the connections. Ultimately I followed the career path that was in front of me to pay the bills and provide for my family.
I’ve had to let go of what I think my life should look like and follow the path God has set before me. Because if you take away the job, the ministry, the connections or friends or whatever else we hang our hats on, we are still Christ followers living out our faith.
So if the dream job doesn’t materialize, is Jesus enough to carry you?
If you lose the house in the suburbs or your standing in the community, is your faith enough?
If the person you thought would love you is no longer in your life, can you carry on?
I think about people in the Bible who had it all and then faced tragedy or obstacles. Moses never got to see the promised land. David never got to see the temple built. The prophets never got to meet their Messiah. Peter was shamed by denying Jesus. Paul was imprisoned for preaching. You hear stories of missionaries who don’t see the fruit of their ministry but after they pass the seeds they planted took hold.
Is our faith in Jesus enough to carry us through life? Trusting in Him, following His will and allowing Him to order our steps?
In the movie City Slickers, the main character talks about having one thing that means everything. Think about that “one thing” in your life besides God. If that one thing were taken away, how would your faith in Christ be affected?
Is Jesus enough?
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.