I got my first “F” in fifth grade, in English.
I loved to read and write but hated to do homework. I barely made it through high school, but somehow miraculously got into college, where I pursued an English degree.
Do you know how much you have to read and write to get an English degree? I like to do those things for enjoyment, but not as a form of punishment. I dropped the English major like a bad habit the first month of college.
The exact same year I was realizing that an English degree would not work out for me, God was setting a fire in my heart that would ultimately consume me, in the best ways.
The starting line is not where you think it is.
When we picture the beginning steps of obedience – saying ’yes’ to Jesus or stepping forward in faith – let’s not picture shiny moments of personal triumph or big accomplishments. Jesus met many of His disciples while they were fishing. Rahab was a prostitute living in Jericho when she became a covert partner who provided refuge for the Israelite spies. Matthew was a tax collector who went on to see the works of Jesus firsthand and write a whole book of the Bible. The Apostle Paul was persecuting Christians (literally killing them) when He became one. Peter denied Jesus three times before he was the leader of the early church.
The Message version of Ephesians 2 beautifully speaks to us about what our REAL starting line is:
“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. … It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! … He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
The starting line to a life of abundant mission is right where you’re at.
You are the girl for the job and the job is this:
Living the abundant life God has crafted for you with intention, passion, and willingness to do whatever He’s asked you to, with a fine-tuned focus on His glory.
If we’re going to make a lasting impact, the starting line is with God, with His capacity and His character. His promises and His purposes for our life are the ground we stand firmly on. We don’t have to look further than exactly where He’s placed us.
If we lean our full weight on Him, we’ll go as far as He can go, we’ll fight as hard as He can fight. We will love as many people as He enables us to love. We will have the energy that He allows us to have. We won’t be limited by our humanity but powered by His supernatural Spirit. The prize we win at the end will no longer be the celebration of our accomplishments, but the indescribable beauty of His glory on display and the life-giving and life-changing knowledge that we gave all that we had so He could be praised.
It doesn’t matter that I’m telling you you’re the girl for the job. What matters is that you believe God has called you for purpose right where you’re at. Peter says it like this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
God knows you. He sees you. He loves you more than you could imagine.
You’re the girl for the job. Because He says so.
He has placed you right where you’re at, with exactly what you’ve got, on purpose, for the good of others and the fulfillment of His glory. If you believe Him, believe in His character and power, and take Him at His Word—following Him into wherever He is leading you will change the world.
Let’s not wait a minute longer. Let’s go.
Excerpted from Jess’ Bible study, You Are the Girl for the Job.
Jess Connolly is a gal who wants to leave her generation more in awe of God than she found it. She is the author of several books, including You Are the Girl for the Job, and coauthor of Wild and Free. She is founder of Go + Tell Gals and helped start She Reads Truth. She and her husband planted Bright City Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where they live with their four children. She blogs at jessconnolly.com.