Discovering My Roles.
I’ve filled many roles throughout my life. For a majority of my childhood and teen years I filled the role of dancer as ballet was my primary extra-curricular activity. From age five to twenty-one I filled the role of academic student, ending by receiving my bachelors in elementary education. I’ve had the roles of retail employee, summer day camp worker, after-school teacher, and preschool teacher. Each role has been used by God to train and mold me into the person He created me to be.
Being a believer is not like being an actor. I don’t get to look at the script, talk with the director, and then decide whether or not I want to accept the role based on how much glory it will bring me. God tells us what our role is, gives us the script of His Word and the promoting of the Holy Spirit and then enables us to fill the role through His strength and for His glory, not our own. When we are surrendered and listening closely to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, He will often shock us by giving us a role we never dreamed we would fill.
When I think of roles I can’t help but think of Esther. This young Hebrew girl had no intention of filling the grand role of Queen of Persia. Understandably, she was terrified by the prospect. Despite her reluctance, she chose to obey God and surrender herself fully to Him so that He could use her in incredible ways. As a result of God’s work through Esther the entire nation of Israel was saved from mass genocide. Esther is an incredible example of how to fill even the toughest roles with grace and strength that comes from Christ alone
As believers there are certain roles that God asks each of us to fill. Things like evangelist, disciple-maker, prayer warrior, and student of The Word are roles Christ mandates all of us to fill. They are non-negotiable. Although some roles are general and apply to all believers, God also gives us specific roles. For example, God might call someone to the role of doctor and another to the role of pastor. Both are needed, important, and can be used mightily by God for the advancement of His kingdom. We are to rely on the Holy Spirt and draw close to Him. As we draw near, He is faithful to reveal what specific roles He wants us to fill.
Roles. Plural. God didn’t make us one dimensional people. We aren’t designed to fill one role alone. God blesses us with the opportunity to fill multiple roles simultaneously and He uses each role to accomplish His purposes through us. Some roles may be only for a season, while others last a lifetime. My retail worker position was only for a season, but God used my time at LifeWay Christian Stores to teach me relational skills, how to be a listening ear, and how to manage a team. Roles like disciple-maker are lifelong roles that begin the minute you accept Christ and end the day you leave your physical body.
Beginning this new phase of life and ministry across the world has brought many new roles and changes to how I operate in my existing roles. Even now we are planning a meeting with Ken and Avisha, MCM’s directors, to discuss what roles Josh and I can fill at MCM in order to best benefit the center and spread the gospel. I’ll be honest. Change is not my thing. In fact, I pretty much despise it. Changing roles is difficult for me, but I’m learning to rely on the Spirit, not my own strength. When I operate from a surrendered place of humility, the Holy Spirit takes my distaste for change and gives me an excitement for what He has in store.
I say all of this because God has been revealing to me the five specific roles He has placed on my life. These roles are general, and I’m sure they will look vastly different in different seasons, but I feel like God has told me that these are the roles that will be my life’s focus. So I’m beginning a new series of journals. Each week I’ll discuss a different role that God has placed on my life. My prayer is that God gives you a vision for your life and enables you to fulfill each role through His grace and power.
Next week’s journal entry is on the role of servant. Of the five, this is the only general role I’m going to focus on that is mandated for all believers. I’m starting with servant because my role as servant dictates how I operate in the other four roles. My word for 2019 is “serve” and I’m asking God to change my heart, rid me of my selfishness and help me to place the needs of others ahead of my own. Join me next week for a brief overview of the broad topic of servanthood.