Recently I have really realized my tendency to respond to man-made expectations, and not ask what God truly has for me.

“The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive.” -Saint Irenaeus

I love this quote because we only get to experience the GLORY OF GOD when we are living fully into who God called us to be. How do we do that? We have to look at what it looks like to be fully alive.

  • Marked by joy, excitement, passion for Jesus, Confidence in who He has called us to be.
  • Some antonyms for alive are: broken, dead, inactive, nonfunctional

Unfortunately, it is all-too-easy to fall into these traps, and not realize our God-given potential.

  1. People Pleasing: you will craft your actions, what you say yes to, what your portion looks like to please the agenda or needs of others. You look to have a good reputation with others, you see the needs of others and want to step in and help. Sometimes us helpers, help others to the point where we have lost ourselves.
  2. Comparison: This is what modern church looks like in other places, how do we compare to that. Or seeing the gifts in others, the way they pastor, they way they show up for people, the way they build teams, they way they have a creative eye, they way they can speak truth or pray.
  3. Seeking Control: if life feels out of control, and you are feeling a need to control something and act out of that
  4. Our personal desires don’t match up with what God has given us. Kind of like Aaron shared in his sermon this Sunday, is a lot of the time God answers us in the waiting in a way that is very different from what we are asking for and sometimes it causes us to strive for something different, and operate out of our own strength.

These are just a few examples for the sake of time, but I think I am becoming aware how quickly we can fall into a man made life as opposed to a God made one. This is important because if it is really true that the way we lead our personal lives is a direct reflection of how we lead our public lives then we first need to look at the small scale to avoid the man made ministry- which I believe is a lifeless trap. We can either live out of this roaring fire that is being culminated inside of us (which is the GLORY) or we can let these different things squelch what God wants for you!  In my own life, I resonate most with the people pleasing. For so long my first desire in making a decision is appeasing the person that I am serving. So my life has quickly molded into what everyone else wants me to be rather than who God is calling me to be and there is NO FREEDOM in that.

These three tools have really helped me walk through this.

  1. Check your heart → Ask “why am I really doing this” when making decisions.
  2. Stay in the Word → the more we’re reading God’s Word, the more we’re hearing His voice. I know we are very familiar with this, but if we know the word of God then we will tend to know His voice clearer when we are making big and little decisions every day. We want to make sure it is empowering ourselves in who God crafted us to be rather than squelching it.
  3. “No” is a complete sentence → saying “yes” to appease somebody at the cost of saying no to God’s plan is not worth it. You’re actually choosing a life of bondage, not freedom.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!