Direction Over Destination
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)
One of the main themes of today's sermon is the notion that your occupation is not your calling. Our calling is unique and rests so much more on who we are and what we're pursuing versus a job or paycheck. Pastor Eli Nelson acknowledged that we need tools to approach the dream Jesus has for us, just as Joseph had a dream in Genesis, Chapter 37.
How do I discover my unique dreams?
What opportunities excite you, inspire you, and make you feel alive? What are you doing to reach toward this unique calling? Our dreams tend to focus on ourselves, a thought process that ends up producing strife, selfishness, and fear. In many cases, our dreams are misdirected towards wishes and career goals. There is a way to fulfill and pursue your dream to fulfill yourself and (the needs) of others. At the same time, he reminded that there are specific dreams given by God that inspire or motivate you. This leads to the question, "How do I discover my unique dream and problems I am called to solve?" This was described earlier in the series as our personal, or unique discontentment.
Calling is more about who you are than what you do
“God can still use and redeem the moments of setback. We try to orchestrate the dots when we should really just connect the dots of our lives.” - Pastor Eli Nelson
Pastor Eli stated that people will call you to conform, yet we really only celebrate what is unique. Our talents show when we are being true to our calling. To make the point clear, we were reminded that "your purpose and calling is not what you, it's what you pursue. The moment you label it, you limit it.” He added the thought that what we pursue is a greater purpose beyond our lifetime.
"Your calling is God's invitation for your participation and the reason for your creation." - Pastor Eli Nelson
God offers an invitation to a greater purpose, participating in what God is doing. Wrapped around this purpose we are uniquely called toward, God cares more about your character than your purpose. Pastor Eli reminded us to seek our calling, to make your difference while avoiding comparison to another person’s purpose. Throughout the message, he reminded us that Joseph had a unique purpose and was a slave in Egypt while used by God “in a mighty way” (Genesis 45).
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
How can God exceed your expectations if you are not open to His purpose for your life? Life is about purpose rather than prominence. Joseph had a duty that he fulfilled. Your direction will often look like duty - something you didn't want to do. But in hindsight, you'll see how God was preparing you for your purpose and calling.
Are you open to revision of your dreams?
God wants to do immeasurably more in your life. When we land on a dream as our occupation, we limit His dream for us. Joseph switched his focus off of himself and more onto others. And that's how you find your purpose - when you realize God's dream for you is bigger than you! Joseph didn't follow his dreams. Joseph followed God. And as he followed God, his dreams followed him.
If you follow God, your dreams will follow you.
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