“If you love to walk in God’s company, you must abide in your place and calling. Every step in another direction is a departure from Him. How much more blessed to stay in a humble place and low calling and there enjoy God’s sweet presence, than go to a sumptuous palace and live without Him. Truly, when you are in any place or about any work to which you are not called, you may be sure that God is not in that place or enterprise.” William Gurnall
If you are anything like me, there is something about the absolute nature of that quote that gives me pause. It is both audacious and provocative. I mean, really? If I am doing something outside of what God has called me to, He is not with me?
If I test that idea against scripture, however, it is hard for me to refute. When I look at the life of Jesus, for instance, he seemed to only do and say what the Father told him. In fact, he routinely walked past the opportunity to do good, because he seemed to be called to other places and things. Often that thing was simply spending more time alone with the Father.
As a Christian, it is hard to look past the opportunity to do good. As a type-A person who has spent a lot of time trying to do good things for God, I’ve had to come to the sobering reality that God would rather have me do a few things with Him than do a lot of good things apart from Him. A few months ago, we spent a lot of time in this post discussing the difference between “with” or “for“. As subtle as that might sound, there is a world of difference between the two.
The Bible even states that our most righteous works are like filthy rags. Even the best things we do, outside of His will and His call, are tainted. They are not ultimately fulfilling the reason we were placed on the earth.
We were created for relationship with Him.
We were uniquely created and wonderfully made to glorify Him.
We are most powerful when we partner with Him.
And then there is the whole topic of your calling. When I look at the lives of people who have attended things like Lifeplan retreats or done other things to better understand their calling, there is a clarity, momentum, and power they walk in that is incredibly uncommon. When someone is living more fully into the reason they exist, it is beautiful thing to behold.
There is a particular life intended for you that results in His greatest glory.
Find that life, and you will find Him there with you.
- Why do you exist?
- Are you living that life?
- Do you feel like you are doing things apart from or with Him?