Welcome to Day 9 of Stress Points to Life Points
Stress Point: Making A Difference In The World
This decade of the 20's is super exciting for many reasons. You have the opportunity to start out your adult life with a firm foundation of faith that will set the stage for your 30's, 40's, 50's...80's, 90's and beyond. Oh how I'm still kickin' it and loving Jesus in big ways when I'm in my 90's! Your decade of your 20's and even 30's is the prime time to pray through your life passion. What gets your heart pumping? What gets you energized to get up in the morning? As you navigate this journey of figuring out your life passion, I encourage you to pray through how Jesus will use that passion to make a difference in the world and serve Him.
There is so much need in the world. So many ways to live out your faith and show the world all about your King. Keep in mind one very important fact...
~We have the opportunity to to BIG things alongside of Jesus when we allow Him to guide and direct our actions.
Anything we do in our own power, our own design or for our own fame will fall flat compared to the impact we can make in our community when we keep our focus on Him.
Take a moment to read through this Truth Points passage. We have the opportunity to partner with God when we abide in Him. By placing a pure focus on God’s will in how we make a difference in the world, He promises us a full and abundant joy.
Truth Points: I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
As I’ve learned over the last year, my grand plans to do great things for God fall flat if I think that I can dream and plan and then expect God to graciously join in and bless me. A major paradigm shift occurred when I realized that God is already doing amazing things around me. If I take some time to ask Him to reveal an area where He is moving and shaking things up, then and only then can I join in with my God-given talents and affect change. Jesus serves as the perfect example when He says,
My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. . . . Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. (John 5:17, 19–20)
If you are like me, you may be thinking, Whoa, whoa, whoa! You mean I can’t come up with fanciful dreams and expect God to grant them at my beck and call? You mean I can’t plan out my life or projects and pray God’s will over them? Huh?
After I got over the initial shock in this new thought process, I searched for a way to visualize this new concept. When we have determined that we desire to follow Jesus and His plans, it is as if we are stepping onto a subway. We have to physically go to that subway station, hop on a train, and join in on its predetermined journey. This is what it looks like to join in on what God is already doing.
The opposite of taking the subway is when we plan out a place we desire to visit, call a taxi, the taxi comes to us, and we tell the taxi where to drive. Are you catching my drift here?
I have found myself walking through these two scenarios every time I feel a nudge of a new brainstorm or a new plan brewing. I used to come up with these fanciful plans of wonderful, noble things I would do for God and then call up my taxi to take me there. Yes, those plans would pan out some or most of the time. But I have to wonder: would my grand plans be more impactful had I just made my way to the subway and joined in on what God was already doing? Would things have gone more smoothly if I had prayed for the Lord to show me ways He was moving around me and prayed for the doors of that subway to open so I could join in with my God-given talents?
If Jesus followed this way of thinking as He states in John 5, I sure as heck better follow it too, right?
Life Points: With in chapter 9 of Stress Point I gave a ton of examples of ways to make a difference in your backyard and community in light of hoping on the subway instead of the taxi. But, if you are like most women in their twenties who sees the great need in the world around you, I bet you have a few dreams of your own on how you would use your life passion and talents God gave you to serve Him. Make a dream list of ways you would love to make a difference in your world if time nor money were an issue.
Write out that list…then…
Pray this prayer…
Father God, You gave me talents, gifts and passions to be used to serve you and serve others in my community. Show me where You are already working and how I can join in on Your grand plans. Help me to keep my eyes open as to ways I can make a difference and look to You first as to where I should prayerfully join in. Help me to organize my life and my time so that I am ready and able to join in with You in making a difference in the world. Amen.
Keep this list before you for sometime and pray over it often before you jump in and do what I’m guilty of doing: concocting my own grand plans on how I’m going to change the world. The Lord has special ways for YOU to use the gifts and talents and passion in which He equipped you.
What do you think about the concept of the taxi vs. the subway? Does this seem like a beneficial way for you to look at making a difference?
Leave a comment…Let’s chat…
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About Sarah Martin
Sarah Francis Martin has a passion to encourage and relate to women in their twenties. She is the author of Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties In A Decade Of Drama (Thomas Nelson 2012). Sarah's relevant and conversational style will lead young adult readers to live out the Kingship of Christ in everyday life in order to find godly success, purpose, and well-being. Obsessed with pink lip gloss and all things artsy-crafty, Sarah lives with her husband and son in North Carolina. Her ministry, LIVE IT OUT!, is a space for 20/30-somethings to connect with one another and grow closer to Jesus. Check out more at www.liveitoutblog.com.
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