Three Priceless Insights in Answer to a Priceless Letter
[Editor’s Note: Not long ago, David Bryant received this letter from a friend who is going through a major transition in his profession. This turning point stirred up in his friend a new determination to reset his course toward a stronger engagement with Christ in the second half of his life. Below you’ll find Mike’s letter of request and David’s letter of counsel. We share them here because we know many of our readers are right now wrestling with similar questions and searching for wise answers. FYI: Mike is not his real name.]
As I mentioned at our dinner last night, I am really torn in my struggle to understand God’s purpose for me at this turning point in my life.
Above all, as I shared, I can’t shake this persistent question: “Where do I go from here in my quest for all God has for me in Christ?” Is this it? Or is there more?
For sure, every day at home and at work I try to walk faithfully with Jesus. But I know I’m not focused the way I should be on growing to know Jesus better and helping others to know about the great salvation we have in him. I’m pretty certain God has so much more for me in my relationship with his Son.
Sometimes it feels as if I’m still trying to figure out—secretly, deep inside—who is the person God wants me to be when I finally grow up! Does that make sense?
Right now, as I transition professionally to a new phase of my work, these unsettling thoughts have caused me to become more desperate than ever to discover how God wants me to serve the Lord Jesus—and how to do so not casually but with every fiber of my being.
David, when I look at you, I see someone who appears to be serving Christ with your whole heart. Over the years you have become a model for me. Walking alongside you has stirred me up to want to seek more of Christ and to be more for Christ. I would appreciate any direction you can give me.
Your friend in Christ,
This note is very special! Thank you for sharing your search so openly. I want to share three priceless insights that I know will help. They’re based on discoveries I made wrestling with the same longings.
First Priceless Insight
Desperation for More of Christ Is Your Life Calling:
So Pursue Him for All He’s Worth
Mike, you should be encouraged by the struggle itself—by the “restlessness” you express here—because your longings for more of Christ and to be more for Christ have been ignited in you by the Spirit of God. The Spirit’s main role in the lives of Christians is to reveal to us so much more of the glory of Christ that makes us hungry to go deeper with him.
In other words, the yearnings in your heart are God’s gracious gift to you. It is his primary calling for you in Jesus for the rest of your life!
This fact should fill you with great hope because you can be certain the Spirit has not stirred you up to seek more of Christ unless he fully intends to bring you into more of Christ!
In that sense, you and I are like Siamese twins: Despite what you may think of where I am spiritually, I too remain restless in the very same ways you are. The Spirit is working in me to keep me always coming back to Jesus looking for more. Frankly, I hope he never stops making me dissatisfied—aware that there are many more “unsearchable riches in Christ Jesus” to be found for those who diligently seek them (Ephesians 3).
And in comparison to what more OF Christ awaits for any of us to discover and enter into, and in terms of what more FOR Christ any of us could be in comparison to what we are at this moment—well, as someone has said:
If the moon is your destination, then whether you’ve flown 10 feet or 10,000 feet, in either case, relatively speaking, you’ve barely just begun to make the journey!
So keep flying higher!
Second Priceless Insight
This Calling Touches Every Facet of Life:
So Stay on Your Face in the Marketplace
Mike, you write here that you want to get a better understanding of God’s “calling” for your life at this time of new beginnings in your job. Well, based on what I wrote above the clear answer is that your calling is the same as mine! The only difference is that you are living out yours most often in marketplaces whereas I’m living out mine more often in ecclesiastical places.
But for both of us, our place of service is equally sacred space.
That’s because we are equally alive in God’s Son and equally valuable to him because he’s also alive in us. Therefore, we are equally summoned by the Holy Spirit to bring Jesus greater glory by displaying the impact of his lordship over all our activities.
This means that living in light of the spectacular supremacy of God’s Son, who we are and all we have, as well as all we do (parenting, teaching Sunday school, traveling on business, studying, jogging, etc.) is automatically lived out at the center of who Christ is.
Of course, Christ should be kept at the center of who we are. But far more, the Bible calls us to keep ourselves at the center of who he is—at the center of what his reign is all about, of where he is headed in the purposes of God, of what he is doing right now to fulfill the promises of God.
Jesus calls us to lose our lives for his sake (Mark 8)—to give ourselves over to his agenda so he gains greater praise as our Redeemer.
This is another feature of our ultimate calling as Jesus followers. It became our reality the moment, when by the grace and power of the living God, each of us was “transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Colossians. 1).
For all believers this means that as we walk in this world—which for you is the business world ten hours a day—our priority moment by moment is this (as I often put it):
Stay on your face in the marketplace.
That’s because every day—whether at home, at work, at school—Christians continually operate in the very real presence of the reigning Christ, who said in Matthew 28: “I am with you always.”
Therefore, for Christians, every daily activity becomes a form of WORSHIP—in the sense that everything we do is done before the face of King Jesus, in union with King Jesus, for the cause of King Jesus, because of the worthiness of King Jesus.
It is as if we fulfilled every task directly in front of the Eternal Throne where Jesus reigns, surrounded by worshipping saints and angels (see all of Revelation 5).
Since the Holy Spirit ties us inseparably to the living Christ, time and space, in the truest sense, become irrelevant. We find ourselves with one foot on earth and one foot in heaven. “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6, NLT).
Thus, each day while I fulfill my responsibilities to family, friends, employers, neighbors—in my heart I must “stay on my face” before Jesus.
Moment by moment I must seek to remain yielded, open, and responsive to his proactive lordship over me. With that as my way of life, I am doing the most I could do in fulfilling God’s calling for me.
Anything else I accomplish with any eternal value flows out of my “staying on my face” in my heart—inwardly positioned before Jesus like John was in Revelation 1 when outwardly he fell facedown before the ascended Savior in adoration, fully attentive to hear his Master’s marching orders for him.
Mike, that is how you and I keep entering into more of Christ. That is how we become more for Christ. That is how we fulfill God’s calling to all of his children.
Third Priceless Insight
In This Calling Christ Precedes Us:
So Expect Him to Meet You Where He Sends You
Every day Christ’s kingdom is active right where you and I live and work—long before we show up.
Scripture tells us in Psalm 24 (NLT):
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
Therefore, nothing blocks the reign of Christ. Every barrier must yield in order to:
. . . let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle.
Good news! Already this is happening right now. So we can joyfully join in with how Jesus’ kingdom is invading our homes, our jobs, our campuses, and our friendships.
As I like to say:
Christ meets us where he sends us.
What this means in your case, Mike, is that every day you go to the office, as one who belongs to God’s Son, you can be certain of two things:
(1) the reason you’re going there is that Jesus is sending you there; and
(2) Jesus already has gone ahead of you to prepare the way and is now waiting there for you.
Put differently: Wherever you find yourself, Jesus has already preceded you, waiting and ready at that very moment to work in you and through you in that situation.
Not to sound overly dramatic, but each day every believer is on a mission from the Throne—whether it’s working in a bank, driving a school bus, performing surgery, housing the homeless, or planting a new church somewhere in the Hindu world.
For all of us, the truth is that our King has sent us to our places of ministry—whether at home, office, factory, school, or other places—in order to enter into what he has already prepared for us to do in our service for him in that place long before we get there.
More than that, he’s already waiting there to greet us every time we arrive! What a welcome that is!
Hopefully, now you see more of what it means for us to live today under the spectacular supremacy of God’s Son.
Furthermore, Mike, in your case I would suggest that the “earthly success” you’ve experienced in your business so far is evidence of your faithfulness to him. In addition, it is a testimony to how fully he has incorporated your labors over all these years into who he is, where he is headed, what he is doing, and how he gets blessed.
Above all, it confirms that not only was it Christ who sent you into the work—who commissioned you into this job as your mission from him—but also, it was Christ who went ahead of you day by day, week by week, to lay the groundwork, to put things in place, to create the resources, to bring the people together, to set plans in motion, to bless your efforts.
Then, he turned around and welcomed you as you arrived at your office each morning, inviting you to come and join him to seek more of his glory there.
Your Redeemer chose for you to prosper in your business as unto him and to exalt him—so that through you the Holy Spirit might advance, in ways always mysterious, the Father’s cosmic plan of redemption, which is to sum up all things under Jesus as Lord.
Two Key Prayers
Based on Three Priceless Insights
Mike, in light of all I’ve shared here, at this transitional stage of your life we need to pray two key prayers for you (and for me, too):
(1) Revelation: As you review your past journey with Jesus, pray that the Holy Spirit will give you fresh revelation as to how fully engaged with Christ you have been over all these years. Even if you haven’t been the “flaming evangelist” you think you should have been, all along you have been serving the King of Glory in very special ways. So pray that these three empowering insights will cause you to celebrate all that has been accomplished in you so far for the glory of the Lamb. And then pray for an abounding hope concerning all that the future holds for you as you keep living for Christ.
(2) Determination: As you look to the future, pray that your “restlessness” for more OF Christ and to be more FOR Christ will never stop! In other words, pray that your hunger for Christ will keep you determined to discover everything God has for you in your calling in Christ—which comes down to this:
- He wants to give you more of an expanding focus on Christ
- He wants to give you more of an experience of the fullness of Christ
- He wants to give you more opportunities to help fulfill God’s purposes in Christ
Go for it!
Your friend and brother,
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI) and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.