by Keith Reinke
In the final week of last fall’s all-church study, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” by Rick Warren, the author made a passionate plea for all Christians to find their purpose and live it out the way God intended.
- But what if you don’t know what your purpose is?
- Maybe you’ve been trying to figure it out, or even have a hint, but you just don’t know for sure
- Perhaps it just looks too big to be true, like God must have made a mistake.
- Or, possibly you know your gift(s) and you’re somewhat clear about what God is calling you to, but you just don’t know where to begin.
- Maybe you are already serving, but it feels less fulfilling
- Perhaps you had (what seemed like) a great idea, but after a great deal of effort you questioned why God wasn’t helping you
- Or maybe you’re just feeling a little agitated.
- These types of God nudges can come your way from a sermon, a class, a devotion, or a dream.
Maybe you’ve been teaching or serving in some way and have come across someone who is agitated. I’m not talking about a complainer, but the individual may sound like a complainer. If you don’t listen closely enough, you may miss that he/she is experiencing discipleship agitation, and you might confuse the individual with a complainer.
Have you ever felt sure you were pursuing God’s plan for your life and using your gifts, but for some reason, it just wasn’t working as you had envisioned? When this happens, it is natural to think maybe you’ve made a mistake, a wrong turn somewhere, or you think you’re not actually doing what God intended after all.
These are things the Holy Spirit does to move us forward in our discipleship growth. When we find ourselves agitated, the solution may not be a deeper personal Bible study. While devotional growth is always good, it may not be the place to find a solution to this kind of agitation. The answer is Community. God provided Adam with Eve as the very first community. God expects us to live and grow in community. In community, we can find others that have been where we now find ourselves and they can help us work through all of this.
If you commit to a small group that is more focused on “Community” than “Information” you get the chance to hear what others are experiencing, learning what God is doing in their lives, and how they are working to understand where the Holy Spirit it moving them. You learn from others, both those experiencing what you are and those who have already walked through it. In both cases, you are no longer alone.
There is always a place for personal faith growth through the means of grace, such as prayer, Bible study, fasting, etc. In discipleship agitation, however, you are moving beyond the focus on your personal faith walk and more to a focus on others. This agitation is the Holy Spirit pushing you to find the way to serve in your giftedness, or what I like to call your “sweet spot.” This is the place God designed you to be, using the gifts God intended you to use. More than that alone, it is letting God show you the way and seeking to partner with Him in His mission, and in His time.
If any of this sounds familiar, consider joining us this fall for our Wednesday.comm class, “The Dream Giver,” from 6:00-7:00 p.m. beginning on August 23. Feel free to contact Keith with questions/interest: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-494-3522.