Daily Devotion: Motivation/Cutthroat

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will save it.”

Mark 8:34-35

We have to be cutthroat about achieving the calling on our lives. Jesus expects real discipleship, in the trenches, striving for it. A disciple is a student, and the Gospel is a textbook for how to live a meaningful life that blesses generations to come, as Jesus did. By going hard for Him, we go hard for ourselves and for the world. What are you doing to make his sacrifice worth it? Are you still making excuses? Holding onto those relationships and jobs that don’t serve you? Sure, it sucks to cut off that person who’s holding you back or to leave a job and the familiar, but as soon as you finally let go, He’s going to replace them with exactly the person, network or position you need to grow exponentially. Get out of your own way!

To reach your highest potential for the Kingdom then you can’t keep allowing things to hold you back or keep looking back on your life before you knew your purpose. Stop going back and forth between your past life and the future the Holy Spirit has already revealed to you.

Declare today that this is the last time you look back, second guess or tolerate distractions in your life. Today is the day you look toward the future while working in the present. Today is the day you leap on faith, knowing and accepting and even excitedly anticipating the painful crucifixion of your old self that must occur. Get excited about the death of your old self. Your resurrection in power, a conqueror of all things through Christ that strengthens you is an outcome worthy of even the most extreme, violent, and tumultuous of ego-deaths.

kill fear. kill doubt. kill procrastination. kill distractions. burn it all down even if it means yourself too, then rise from the ashes. 

Meditation: Consider the things in your life that are getting in the way of your calling. Is it a job that you dread? A toxic relationship? Maybe a friend that doesn’t share the same ambition? Decide on ways that you can reduce these negative influences in your life, and commit to removing at least one this week.

Daily Devotion: Motivation/Qualified

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which god prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Do you feel underqualified for the calling on your life? Do you feel like you need a degree, more money, more connections to start achieving your goals? For a long time, I avoided sharing my writing because I felt like no one would take me seriously or benefit from it. I thought I needed to be perfect in everything already, which is not true! God chose imperfect, regular people to do his work. He qualified them for the job He needed them to do. Look at all of the major figures in the Bible. Not a single one of them, besides Jesus, was perfect, extraordinary or even talented.

The Bible isn’t just about rules and spiritual enlightenment, it’s a blueprint for how the Holy Trinity moves through our lives and how we can do something meaningful with the short time we have on Earth. You are no different than any of the people in those stories, which means you can achieve the same greatness. Jesus Himself was also a man, and worked tirelessly to keep teaching, preaching, healing, traveling by foot, surrounded by crowds. His life shows how God does empower us to do the work He’s called us to do, but we also have to be driven, faithful and fearless enough to see it through for ourselves.

Just because God said it was so and you got all inspired and made a few moves doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing from here. Whatever work you have been called to do, even though it is already written that you will succeed, will not come without a price or sacrifices! You have to have faith and determination in knowing that after everything, your fight will pay off for not only your highest good, but for the benefit of generations to come! Jesus walked by faith until the very end, even when he prayed in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane before his death. He moved forward knowing the outcome would be more valuable than those 6 hours of excruciating pain. For him, it was all worth it in order to reach his highest potential and to complete his work on Earth.

Meditation: Write down any insecurities, excuses, or obstacles you feel keep you from taking a risk. Cast these worries onto God, and ask for assistance with improving your confidence. Pray for discernment, steadfastness, and focus so that you may overcome those obstacles and drop your excuses. You’re already qualified and ready to go!

Daily Devotion: Motivation/Chosen

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm you calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.

2 Peter 1:10

You know your calling, you’re just choosing to play it safe. Recently, I realized that while I was praying for guidance in my work, the Holy Spirit had already revealed exactly who I’m destined to be, and what I was made to do. I’ve already been qualified, healed, planted, and blessed with exactly what I need in order to achieve my goals, and here I was asking for more help. I imagine God sighing like, “it’s already in you, just do it already. How many times do we have to go over this?”

I knew that I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 9 years old. I fearlessly, and with childlike faith shared my short stories online. As I got older, the enemy, depression, and shady friendships crept in and started to make me doubt my gift. I spent college quietly attending open mics, all of my friends were artists, etc. I tiptoed around my call to write by focusing on other artistic outlets that didn’t carry as much weight for me–things I was good at with no pressure to be GREAT at doing. I did the bare minimum, just enough to feel like I was really living in my purpose as an artist. Talk about denial!

I confess all this to say that the season of the Lord holding your hand and blessing you at every little milestone has ended. You’ve graduated from spiritual preschool, got through college and earned your spiritual degree and now he’s saying USE IT!  

Today, I urge you to stop answering God’s call with “what-ifs” and “buts” and fear or denial. Stop ignoring that gut feeling that you’re meant to do more in this life. Don’t downplay your gifts any longer. Next time you hear that still voice, try responding “Ok, bet” and make the move. See how quickly your whole life will transform.