Fear of Not Being Significant- Chapter 7

Chapter is 7 focuses on our need to feel important, needed, or significant. Angie talks about the Last Supper, when Jesus ate with the disciples and informed them of his impending death, and all they could think of is "who is the greatest among among us." She notes that instead of "tasting His goodness" and relishing the last moments with Him "they fight over their own fear of insignificance." Like the disciples, we all do this or have done this with our friends, family, and especially with our Jesus. We ask our Father in some form or another "Do, I matter, and Am I important to You?" Even though we know in our hearts of hearts that there is nothing that matters more to Him that us- His creation, His children. Our feeling of insignificance is rooted in the fact that we   desperately need to feel a since of purpose. As Christians, we want to know that we are fulfilling that purpose daily, and well sometimes, that is just unclear.

Do some self evaluation- what do you think your purpose in God's kingdom is? Ask Him to reveal that purpose to you, and through prayer and time with Him, seek out that purpose in hopes of fulfilling it- as best you can {we aren't perfect, by any means, so we are work in progress, and so is fulfilling our purpose}. When evaluating your role in this world- His kingdom, ask yourself when it comes to being significant, sharing, and being recognized for our gifts and our impact- who are we performing for? "Whom have you place in the front row of [your] audience?" Is it your spouse, your family, your small group, your neighbors, your boss, or is is Jesus? Again, "who are you performing for?" Most often, we have "erroneously chosen earthly people and things to be the scale on which we judge our progress." Those people and things are flawed, and they can't not "evaluate us objectively." And by preforming for a worldly audience, we typically fall into a position of comparison, which leads to competition, and a mindset that we are performing better than someone else or that we are not adding up. That road leads down the wrong path-one of self doubt, a feeling of insignificance, or a feeling of self pride--not good things! We must believe with our whole hearts that our salvation rests in Him alone, and "we are sealed with the promise that God will complete the work of making us more and more like Him."

I want to work on knowing and believing with my whole heart {or as much as I can as a sinful being} that "we are significant in our insignificance, urged to have the faith of a child and the heart of a servant." He calls us to "serve, sacrifice, and love."

Fear of God's Plan- Chapter 8 

"Arise, came the voice of the Lord. Go to Ninevah..." In Jonah 1:2, God told Jonah to go to Ninevah a place of wealth, disobedience, and sin. God wanted to use Jonah, as His instrument. God had a plan for Jonah, but Jonah thought his plan for himself was better. Jonah did not want to do what God asked, probably because he was scared and probably because he thought God's plan was a little crazy.

The big idea-- "My plan is not God's plan." Jonah's plan was not God's plan. Only God knows what will come of our actions, how our decisions affect others, and lead to His glory being revealed. We need to rest in the fact that He provides for us, and when we trust Him, he will "appoint" what or who we need to aid us. We are not in control, and despite how much we tug and pull to wrap our arms around a situation, controlling what comes our way and the outcome...we can not control the plan or the path that God has for us. When we attempt to control our lives--it is not to God's glory and most often times we fail. "I trust the Maker who told me I was worth more than a sparrow. Because He loved me enough to rescue me."

My favorite part of this whole chapter, besides it's very pertinent message for well, a control freak like myself, is the prayer at the end. Father, help us to believe You are the Author and Perfecter of our lives. We don't want to react our of doubt, and we don't want to live under our self-made structures. we want to hear Your voice, to be obedient in response, and to be grateful for that which You have appointed us. Be with each of us when we find ourselves trapped in the belly of a fish, flailing for freedom and tempted to despair. This which we see as impossible is nothing more than an opportunity to return to You and bring You glory. Thank You for Your mercy and Your patience as we fail over and over again, believing we have a better way. Who are we to deserve a God who is so gracious with His love? May we seek Your will over ours every day, and may we never forget the God who provides both the sun and the shade.

i'm going to focus on feeling significant in my Jesus' eyes and yearn for His plan, not my own. -j

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