During the sermon at church on Sunday, our pastor said something that spoke directly into my life. He said that God places us in situations and circumstances that challenge us in order to discover whether we will love Him more than we love what He has called us to do. One of the biggest struggles of the Christian life can be eliminating our pride in our God-given passions and talents and submitting to the sovereign will of God.
My journey out of grad school was all about this submission. I wanted that PhD. I wanted to prove to the world that the brain God gave me really was top-notch. I wanted to prove that my ideas were stellar and new and impressive. But God didn't care about my ideas, He cared about my heart. He didn't care about whether others thought I was brilliant, He cared about what would bring Him glory. He knew that a career in academia was primarily about me. It was about Him too, but I was the one in the drivers seat.
So He asked me, "Devon, do you love me more than you love your calling?" He kept asking, and kept putting me in circumstances that challenged my thinking and changed my heart, until He got the right answer. Once I reached a point where I truly loved God more than I loved my calling, more than I loved the idea of my own success, my whole life changed.
As I began to do what God wanted and to do those things solely for His glory, my whole perspective changed, and my life became about Him and not about me. I was free to forget about myself and focus on God. I was free to stop worrying about what others thought, and I became concerned only with pleasing an audience of one. I gave my whole self to God and found that my calling matters so much less than my relationship with the One who calls me.
Colossians 3: 16-17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him