by Ashley Lauren McClain
“Give your life away.” I remember when I heard my Pastor say this in a sermon. He said it as a statement, but in my mind, it immediately became a question. Give my life away?
What about MY dreams, and MY purpose and MY calling? What about ME? How does giving my life away get me any closer to the goals and ambition I have for my life?
Can I just say I wish I had taken his words as truth all those years ago?
I believe the chasing, striving, disappointments, and my many failures could have gone so differently. If only I had taken his words to heart the first time I heard them.
My problem? My focus was on me. I loved the Lord, but I was more wrapped up in my dreams and plans than in Him. Give it all away? Who would I be if not the girl with the big dreams? Who would I be if I laid them down to serve God by sharing the gospel and His love with others?
Answer: I would be the girl fully walking in the calling that the Lord has on her life.
Maybe you find yourself today caught up in the chasing and striving in life: nothing you do is good enough or fulfilling enough. If you do, I get it. I lived there a long time. But I made a decision to not stay in that place anymore. I am hoping maybe you will join me.
Am I telling you to give up on your dreams and things you are passionate about? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that the focus has to come off of ourselves and placed on Him.
What good would my dream be if it didn’t bring any glory to Him? If it failed to bring anyone who is lost and hopeless to Him? I would be living a life, that in reality, I don’t want to live. I have to believe that it is probably one that you wouldn’t want to live either.
In Matthew we read the Lord’s “Great Commission”: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 CSB).
I love how The Message translation explains verse 20:
“Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 MSG).
Day after day. If we are truly followers of Christ, sharing His love and His work in our lives with others, it will never get old. This is where life is best lived.
That is where the fulfillment I have longed for is found. It is found in taking the lessons we have learned and using them to benefit others. It is found in being vulnerable with our failures and transparent with our lives. It is found in pointing people who have no hope to the One who is the Giver of Hope.
It is found when my focus shifts from me and my to Him and them.
Will you join me today in giving up our own goals? And instead focus on God’s agenda: reaching out to the world around us? We can live a life filled with amazing, life-changing dreams. But we have to first be willing to lay down our empty ones, get our eyes off of ourselves, and lock them on Him.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other…” Matthew 6:24 NASB
About the author: Ashley McClain is a girl with big dreams, a blog, & a heart to encourage women in their journey through this gift of life we have been given by the greatest Gift Giver there is! She loves to read, write, drink coffee, and spend time with the hubby & puppies! Connect with Ashley on her website ashleymcclain.org. She would love to hear about your journey too!
Join the conversation: Have you had a dream fulfilled? How did that effect you? Was it worth it?