Do you ever feel over driven while in the process of trying to fulfill what you believe God has called you to do in life? Tragically it has become a common occurrence in the End Times we are living in. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I came across an article that gets right to the heart of the matter that I would like to share with you. It is by Gary Wilkinson of World Challenge and goes as follows:
Through my early decades, I was gripped by an orphan spirit, feeling driven to do the work of God, which created anxiety in me. It took me years to learn there’s a huge difference between being driven by God and being led by God.
Paul saw the Galatian Christians laboring under this kind of burden. He wrote to show them how different God’s way is with His children: “God sent His Son…to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir” (Galatians 4:4-7).
What a beautiful contrast. We’re not slaves to any system of performance. Instead, Paul says, God has drawn us to Himself tenderly, as His “own child.” Our heavenly Father doesn’t just legally adopt us, showing acceptance and approval. He gives us His attention, His affection, even His authority. And He blesses us with His own nature: “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23, ESV).
This experience transformed my life, my relationships, and how I approached ministry. I don’t trust so-called spiritual experiences that aren’t grounded in God’s Word. But this one was.
Several years ago, I had what I would call a “waking dream.” The only way I can describe it is to say it was like seeing a dream unfold before me without being asleep.
In the dream, I was standing in the balcony of a gorgeous lodge made of magnificent timbers. The towering windows were made of beautiful stained glass, and inside, near the ceiling, lights sparkled with a natural glow. I thought to myself, “I’m not in the throne room of grace, but I know this is a heavenly place.”
Below me on the spacious wooden floor was a joyous gathering of people enjoying a grand, lavish feast.
Beyond the long banquet table was an amazing string band playing glorious music. The people bobbed their heads and kept turning their attention in a single direction. Finally, I was able to see what captured their gaze. It was Jesus—and He was dancing.
His movements were amazing—powerful yet graceful, the way I imagine King David dancing before the Lord. His arms were outstretched, and the movements He made emitted power, beauty, and authority. It was awe-inspiring.
Yet as I watched all this, a terrible felling rose up in me. I thought, “I’m all alone in this place. I don’t fit in. Why can’t I take part in this?” Feeling sullen, I trudged down the stairs. Then I felt someone take my hand. It was Christ—and He lifted me up and set my feet on top of His, the way a father would take his little child. He began to dance again, and suddenly I became part of the amazing movements He did. I was at the very center of his joy—and it was thrilling.
I marveled at what was happening, the sheer beauty and joy of it. Then Jesus looked at me and said smiling, “Gary, this isn’t about you. It’s about Me.”
With that, everything changed. “Wow,” I realized. “I see my whole life is about You, Jesus. It’s not about my problems. It’s a dance—and it’s about You. This great feast is about You. This song is about You. I get it now. Everything I’ve ever looked for is wrapped up in You.”
In that instant, my whole entire focus was transformed. My esteem, my value, my sense of worth were no longer things I wanted to pursue. I’d found them in Christ. And I realized, “I fit in! I can dance! I can eat and drink and enter fully into this, because He holds me within Him.”
As the song ended, Jesus motioned for me to follow Him to two huge wooden doors. He opened them up to a valley scene dotted with villages. “You can’t just stay here and dance,” Christ told me. “You have to go and tell them about my love. Tell them about my dance. Tell them what awaits them. Don’t worry, I’ll be with you everywhere you go.
And He was present with me. As I headed for the villages, I felt His arms around my shoulders, as if He were still holding me in the dance. I thought, “This doesn’t feel like work; this is a gift. The burden I feel for these villages doesn’t weigh me down; I feel light, because Jesus carries the burden. I can go wherever He leads me, and do whatever He calls me to do, because He’s with me.”
Don’t you get it my friends? It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. Even when Jesus says, “We have not because we ask not” and when He tells us, “Ask, seek, and knock.” All the promises God gives us are not to be centered around us. The focus must be on Jesus!
The Word of Faith movement breaks my heart. They will argue with you and tell you that what they pedal is about Jesus. But when you take a few steps back and look at everything they say, you will find that it is not really about Jesus. It is about YOU. They make you believe Jesus is there to serve you rather than you serving Him. JFK made a profound statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” We can reapply this statement by saying, “Don’t just ask what Jesus can do for you—ask so that you can do for your Jesus.”
Here’s a typical example of what a Word of Faith Ministry tweeted, “What things you desire when you pray, believe you receive, and you shall have it. We have it now by faith!” YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU, WE is what is in this short two sentence example. There is absolutely no doubt that when I ask, Jesus will answer. But what is the bottom line? Is it me, or is it Jesus? The ‘Our Father’ contains the key, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
What is your bottom line? Are you asking only to enhance your life, or are you asking in order to glorify Jesus?