For years I believed the lie that my life had to look a certain way if I were to honor God. It went from one extreme to another. At first, I’d clung to the belief that I would have to be the martyr. I would need to sacrifice everything –a husband, my family, friends, and career — in order to show the Father how much I loved Him.
Then, when I finally allowed God’s grace to open my eyes, I realized that’s not what He asks of me at all. Yes, to honor Him in this life means sacrifice, but it doesn’t mean I have to be miserable for years to come. My view of God and His heart weren’t what they should have been.
The next phase I entered into was one in which I believed my life needed to look like other peoples’. In order to be in ministry and serve God with my life I needed to work at a certain place and live a particular life.
For a while I believed myself to be free from the bondage of conventionality, but the Lord has revealed to me that there are still parts of my spirit adhering to others’ standards instead of His. To be conventional means to “conform or adhere to certain standards”. In other words, it means we live our lives according to the expectations we have set for ourselves or allowed others to set for us.
But what God continues to patiently remind me is that the very meaning of an apostle is to be set apart, different, unique. If everyone’s ministry looked the exact same, the same sort of people would be drawn to it and the same sort of people would be repelled.
1 Peter 2:9 reads, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
We were never called to be the same. We were never instructed to be like every other Christian brother and sister. We do not hold to standards made by anyone other than God. God tells us to love Him more than anything and anyone and to love those around us as we love ourselves. If we live our lives according to these two commandments, I can guarantee you your story will not look like mine. We will have the common thread of Jesus’ redemption running through both of our walks in its scarlet brilliance, but other than that, we will be different.
What has God called you to? To be an accountant, a politician, an author, a landscaper? Then do that to the fullest with the heart of a humble servant. Honor God in the every day, day to day routine. You may not have a podium or a crowd, but God is the only audience whose pleasure is worthwhile and of eternal significance. Seek His face and step out in faith.