InPursuit

Looking To God As Your Life Coach {Book Club Thursday}

Welcome to Book Club Thursdays!

Own Your Life Book ClubWe’re reading through Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (aff. link). For your convenience, all the posts in the series are archived {here}. So if you missed any,  feel free to head on over and catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email!

Chapter 5: Looking To God As Your Life Coach {Owning God’s Timing}

 

“Forgive us for wanting callings that are greater than our character!” Ann Voskamp prayed those words at the IF: Gathering several days ago. My heart, echoes those words. “Yes, Lord! Yes!” 

Somewhere along the road, I realized that high callings without character to sustain them was futile. Several years ago my prayers changed. I no longer pursued the kind of ‘greatness’ I heard coming down from the pulpit. Instead, I wanted God to work in me. Deep within– in the crevices hidden to the outside viewer.

I wanted God to mold me, grow me, sanctify me, and mature me that I might be able to sustain the call upon my life in the power of the Holy Spirit. I wanted my life to be authentic and integral. I wanted my words to have substance.

“Don’t bless me with anything I’m unable to handle, Lord. Don’t bless me with anything that would turn me from You.” 

And with those words I began to trust God was Sovereign over my life. Come what may, I knew He was not far off. Rather, He was close. He was intimate. He became my Life Coach and was actively involved and engaged in every detail concerning Darlene. I learned that greatness was happening right here, right now, in my every day.

It Is All Good

Here begins a new faith walk. God becomes our Life Coach and we’re sure we can trust Him with both our todays and tomorrows. Our moving forward is not jaded by promises we don’t see fulfilled, or the waiting required. We trust that a work is happening. God is developing the potential within us. He is strengthening our resolve, and molding our character. We move forward in complete trust, daring not to quit before the work is done lest we forfeit the reward that comes from staying on course and finishing what we’ve started.

As we work, we experience “the pleasure of accomplishment”. We “find validation in expressing the glory of God’s mark on our lives.”

For from him and through him and for him are all things,” (Romans 11:36).

The process continues. God growing us and maturing us.

1

 

Thorns, Thistles, and Sweat

We have an enemy who comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). From the beginning of time with a few deceptive words and a piece of fruit, he managed to lure Eve and Adam in a temptation that would change the course of time. Thorns, thistles, and sweat became the new normal, and all throughout history, mankind has had to make a choice. We either lend ears to his lies, or we stand on God’s truth.

We either succumb to defeat or we take back what’s rightfully ours.

 

Taking Back The Lost Ground

2

My daughter has a verse she loves. Every time we go through our Scripture memorization, she shoots it out and it continues to work its fruit in my soul… “Now no chastening seems to be joyful in the present, but painful. Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it,” (Hebrews 12:10-11).

Taking back the lost ground begins with an understanding that God is constantly at work as “a father training, educting, and bringing up a child in wisdom with an aim toward maturity.” If we can understand this truth, we’re better able to trust in the discipline, in the waiting, in the correction.

It’s not an easy process. There were times when I’d get so discouraged in the process I’d resort back to the deceptive lies of the enemy, “God doesn’t care. He doesn’t see. He doesn’t love me”. Though God, in His faithfulness and love, would draw me back to Him, I’d have to go through the process all over again.

In time, my declarations of faith in the midst of the storms changed. I leaned into God in the pain and I’d declare, “I don’t care what it looks like, I know You are good and You are good over my life!” I wasn’t playing a psychological  mind game. Rather I was declaring truth over my life (Psalm 100:5). Sometimes, I’d declare these truths into my spirit with tears running down my cheeks, the discouragement and trials so great. Yet, the more I leaned into Christ, the more my faith and trust grew. He was training my character and molding me and I would see the peaceable fruit He promised.

God Is The Great Re-Creator

“Jesus came to redeem what was lost–to restore us to our original design–so that He might live in and through us,” (Sally Clarkson).

In the same way He breathed life into Adam in the garden, “Jesus restored [his disciples] to their original design by breathing the Spirit into them. They were renewed, indwelled, and filled to the very brim with the life of God.”

What would our lives look like if we allowed the Re-Creator to infuse our lives with this same live-giving Spirit? What would it look like to be filled to the very brim?

3

Though we’re a part of God’s great story, He gives us free will to play our part. It’s up to us whether we’ll choose the ways of the world that lead to busyness, hurriedness, and chaos. Or, will we be intentional in our pursuit of God and in the living out of this abundant life He’s promised us?

As we look at life with the end in mind, let’s look to our Life Coach and work through the following questions together (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately). Our Life Coach leads. The question remains… will we listen and follow? 

Then meet me here next week when we’ll continue mapping out our life purpose as we look at Owning Our Lives By Resting In God. 

 

Thoughts To Ponder

♥Note: We’ve barely hit the surface here. Discussion questions will serve you best after reading the week’s chapter. 
1.) How will you leave a legacy of faith that will give courage to those who come after you?

2.) Where does God want to see you develop excellence of character?

3.) Your life is significant and meaningful in light of God’s overall purposes. How will you own your decisions so that you may fulfill your divine and providential calling?

4.) God uses both encouragement and discipline to mold us into His image bearers who draw others to Him. Give an example of a time when God has used each of these in your life.

*All quotes taken from Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life Book, unless otherwise noted. 
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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

Comments

  1. This post is rich with instruction and I think I’ll need to re-read it several times to get it all. Initially this stood out to me when you said, “high callings without character to sustain them was futile.” That is truth and truth I need to consider on an ongoing basis. How am I fulfilling my call based on the character I’m showing? And then this, “Though we’re a part of God’s great story, He gives us free will to play our part.” I believe that. I know God has great plans for me, but I have to be paying attention to know what they are and willing to join Him in the doing and delivery. So much more here I need to dissect. I think I need to read this book, too. 😉 So glad to find you and be on this journey with you. xoxo

    • Meredith, I’m so glad you stopped by this little space on the web 🙂 This book has so much wisdom tucked between the pages, it’s hard to condense my book club posts. I always feel like there’s so much more to add. You would love it. Sally pours out wisdom gleaned in her 60 years, and she challenges us to own our lives, our story! <3

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