Many believers are not living deeply into the truth of who they are called to be and what they are called to do in the kingdom of God, at least not deeply enough that they begin to experience and bear the fruit of the abundant life, the best life, Jesus promised us.
In so many cases, when the world looks at us, they see the same anxiety, depression, struggle, striving, insecurity, busyness, and distraction they are living under. When the church starts to look like the world, it is because we have ceased to be fully engaged in the call of God on our lives.
Consider the actions of Jonathan and his armor-bearer found in 1 Samuel 14. They embarked on a three-mile journey through the Valley of Mikmash—a treacherous canyon trail between two military camps that carries a profound metaphor for followers of Jesus today. Although the two young soldiers were embroiled in a seemingly losing battle with the Philistines while the rest of their hopeless comrades were camped out under a tree, they had the courage to fight the enemy and believe God would back them up. But they had to be willing to traverse the treacherous terrain before they could step into battle and see God bring about the impossible victory.
Here’s the reason why I think this story is a story for all of us. Like the Israelite army in 1 Samuel 14, many believers in the church today are “hopelessly camped out” and not engaging the call of God on their lives. And yet, God is still awakening dreamers like Jonathan and his armor-bearer—men and women who are dis- contented with the idea of remaining hopeless under a tree. These dreamers are tired of staying passive about the problems they see, and they sense God stirring something in their hearts. The courage of these dreamers reminds us that God calls us to be like Jesus— to overcome evil with good and do the impossible as we seek his kingdom here on earth. The question for all of us who identify as dreamers is whether we will open our hearts to dream with God. Are we willing to become filled with the same divine discontent and engage in pursuing God’s call on our lives with a bold “yes”? This kind of “yes” communicates that we are willing to take full ownership of this calling and refuse to settle for anything less.
But once we decide to engage our calling, we still have a journey ahead of us. And three important milestones lie along the journey. In fact, Jonathan’s three-mile journey represented these three key areas of character transformation required to fulfill our calling: holiness, courage, and faith.
My heart burns with passion to see a generation fully engaged in their call, not just because it’s what we’re supposed to be doing as Christians but because that’s where we thrive. I know from experience that once you experience the fully engaged life of walking with Jesus into all that He has for you, you are ruined for anything less.
My hope in this five-session video Bible study is to bring a fresh perspective, timeless insight, and practical instruction for growing in each one of these areas. Let’s get started.
- An Individual who knows there is more to life, desiring to grow in their relationship with Jesus. You want to change the world but don’t know where to start or need clarity for what the journey looks like and requires.
- A Small Group Leader looking for solid, biblical teaching, along with practical application to challenge and equip your group members.
- A Pastor or Ministry Leader looking for a way to introduce your church or ministry to a study that encourages them to find and fulfill their purpose this fall.
Banning Liebscher is a pastor, speaker, and author. Along with his wife, SeaJay, he founded Jesus Culture, a ministry of worship, conferences, and leadership development. In 2014, they planted Jesus Culture Sacramento, a local church in California with a passion to see people fully engaged in becoming who God has called them to be and to do what God has called them to do. Find out more at jesusculture.com.