I have roughly fifty big ideas running through my head at any given moment. (Brilliant ideas if I do say so myself. 😉 )
I have what’s called an apostolic gifting, which means I love to chart courses, build things, dream really big and start new and exciting stuff others might never try. (Do you know your spiritual gifting? Find out!)
The problem? Like many apostles, I come up short on follow through.
Why? Because I can’t even handle not being able to do it all.
I’ve learned the hard way that when apostles try to act on every great idea, we water down our efforts and accomplish nothing. I call it “Scatterbrain.” It’s paralyzed me for years, both personally and professionally — especially as a woman in ministry.
What’s more, my apostolic gifts combined with my control issues, my codependency and my “fixer” false identity can be a recipe for disaster. I kill my own momentum — while confusing the heck out the people I’m trying to love and lead!
When our identity isn’t centered in Christ, our efforts are highly distractible. We fall into traps of comparison. We crave the wrong kinds of affirmation. Ambition takes over, and fear of insignificance takes root in our hearts.
We strive to do more, and we bear less fruit. We were made for more than this. Something’s gotta give.
“Can Do” vs. “Called To”
So back to that list of fifty brilliant ideas…
Could I do these things?
Well, sure! But that’s not the right question.
Am I being called to do ALL of these things?
Most likely not! (At least not right now.)
Though I’m tempted to perpetuate my productivity addiction and figure out a way to forego sleep, I know that’s not right thinking.
Scripture lays out a pattern of life we’re destined to live. Even God rested on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 1:26-2:3). As His image bearers, why wouldn’t we do the same?
We were created for both work and rest — and we’re called to faithfully respect the balance. Sabbath rest helps us be purposeful about the renewing of our minds.
Discerning the difference between “can do” and “called to” is critical, especially for apostles. You are smart, gifted and intensely valuable. You’re invited to be part of what God is up to in this world — but just because you can do something does not mean you are called to.
It’s hard to resist the urge to do it all. I fight it every day. It’s especially tough because our culture encourages busyness like it’s a badge of honor and labels us as “human doings” rather than “human beings.” Don’t believe the lies! Stop striving. Just be.
Focus on Your One Thing
If you allow yourself to be pulled in too many different directions, you’ll wind up scatterbrained and paralyzed, unable to flow in your spiritual gifts.
Apple trees don’t struggle to produce apples — and you, too will be well-equipped for your calling when you focus on the one thing God has for you in this moment.
Let go of the past, let go of the future — ask Him what He wants right now, in this moment. The rest will fall into place. Then, just stick to the mission until you’re called otherwise.
Consider your list of fifty ideas… Do you know what you’re called to? Here are a few questions to help you figure it out:
- What gives you life? What do you love doing, and what draws you closer to God?
- When are you fulfilling your purpose? When and where are you consistently flowing in your gifts?
- What does God want you to be known for? This is a tough one. If you’re not sure, ask Him. Trust me, He would love to show you who you really are and what you’re called to as his child.
I pose these questions from a place of humility — I’m asking them of myself as I’m asking them of you. You don’t have to “figure it out” — God will reveal it to you when you’re ready.
I don’t know all the answers, but I do know this — God has amazing plans for you. He will commission and qualify you to do whatever you’re called to.