God has an invitation for you. He’s inviting you to be part of his great plan for your life. He’s inviting you to be part of his work that is bigger than anything you could ever ask, think, or imagine. Now, here’s the thing about his invitation … you’re not going to fully understand it and you will likely never feel quite good enough to step into it. But still, the invitation is extended to you personally. And here’s what I’ve come to trust … if God is the one doing the extending, he will be the one also doing the equipping, so I’m going to be bold enough to step on up!
But what if you don’t accept the invitation? Really, what if you just can’t believe the promptings within are really from God, so you dismiss them? What if you believe it, but your unbelief gets in the way every time? Are you letting God down? Will his work go undone because you lacked the faith to accept your role in it?
For the longest time, I put all this pressure on myself thinking if I didn’t do what God was asking me to do, then his work would go undone. That sounds humble, right? Wrong. Actually it was a total anxiety trip that created a performance mentality run by my ego. Let’s be real clear, God is God. He can do anything. We are human. We cannot. God doesn’t “need” you. Out of love, he has INVITED YOU!
Psalm 8: 3-4 MSG, “I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry. Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?”
God is totally self-sufficient, but he is also relational. He wants you to be part of his works, so he invites you to come and partner with him. Not because he needs you, but because he wants you.
You’ve been invited to be part of unspeakable miraculous works brewed up in the heavenly realms. You’ve been invited to carry the power of God within you and join in the partnership of moving mountains, parting seas, and feeding crowds. If you don’t accept the invitation, God will still do his thing, you will just miss the opportunity to be part of it.
Jesus tells a story in Luke 14: 16-24:
““A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
“‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
I’ve always read this story and thought it was only about Heaven. But, what God revealed to me is, it’s about here and now too.
God is doing something. He’s been preparing, and now he is inviting guests to come be part of what he has been working on. He’s invited you. He’s invited me. One by one, we excuse ourselves. But God’s work will not go undone. His banquet will be filled, so if you don’t accept the invitation, he will invited someone else until everything is fulfilled. And for those who excused themselves from the invitation, they will miss out!
This was like an ah-ha moment for me earlier this week. I watched on TV as the family running the 99+1 Mission went to their state capitol and were recognized. This is the family and the ministry BIG Life has partnered with for the past 2 years on our mission retreats. I watched with tears streaming down my face as scripture was read in the capitol and this family who has sacrificed everything to follow God in rescuing children were given a standing ovation. I felt a sense of pride knowing WE WERE PART OF THAT! YOU WERE PART OF THAT.
In the past 2 years, we’ve showed up in faith with a team of women and thousands of items purchased by podcast listeners around the world, and turned an old abandoned nursing home into a magazine worthy sanctuary for girls who have aged out of the foster care system or rescued from traumatic situations such as sex trafficking. Yay us, right? But wait … WHAT IF WE WOULDN’T HAVE?
Really, what if we wouldn’t have partnered with them to make it happen? What if BIG Life would have never found out about 99+1? What if we would have looked at the job and agreed it was too much, too messy, and too hard? Would it have gone undone? Along with this sense of pride for how we had been part of something so good, I carried a sense of pressure thinking what if we wouldn’t have. God’s work would have gone undone.
And this is where God showed me that he was simply so gracious to invite us to be part of the work he had already determined to do. If we would have made an excuse, he would have extended the invitation to someone else, then someone else, and he would have kept going until his work was fulfilled! He didn’t need us, he invited us! This wasn’t about us and what we could do at all. This was about what God was doing and his gracious invitation to just be part of it.
Why is this revelation so important? Because it’s no longer about us, about what we have done, about what we have accomplished, but 100% about the graciousness of God to invite us to be part of the banquet! One way or another, he was going to fulfill his plan … I’m just so grateful we didn’t buy into our own excuses as to why we couldn’t accept the invitation to be part of it!
What I realized is, we make things about us so much more than about God. This is God’s work. Any good thing we’re doing is solely because of the invitation he has extended. May we always be crazy enough to accept the invitation and just show up!
God, whatever you’re inviting me to be part of, I’m WIDE OPEN for! I know it’s not about me and what I can do. It’s solely about what you’re doing and I’m so blessed to have been invited to be part of it. You don’t need me, but you’ve invited me.
You know what else this helped me do? It helped me to release others from my expectations. In my head, I often think if someone else doesn’t do their part then what God is trying to do won’t happen. I spend more time trying to corral and coerce people than I do consulting God. Hey, listen to me … if one person doesn’t fill the role God has invited them to fill, he will find someone else! This will not go unfulfilled! Every seat will be filled, every role will be filled, all the work will be done. God will keep inviting people into what he has prepared until it is fulfilled.
And you, my friend, don’t have to be the one forcing it! You don’t have to be the one stressing over it. You don’t have to be the one carrying the burden and living with the pressure. God invited you to be part of it and you accepted the invitation. Now, he’s been sending out the invitations for others to come in and be part of this with you and no matter how many make excuses and refuse the invitation, God will fill every seat at the table!
Whew, take a big deep breath!
So now, instead of carrying the pressure of perfection or the ego of performance, be filled with awe and gratitude. God invited you to be part of something great. Aren’t you so grateful you stopped making excuses and dismissing yourself from the opportunity!
When we say no, we miss out. God doesn’t fail. His work doesn’t fail. His plan is not cancelled, we simply miss out.
It was never about you and what you could do. It was never that God needed you at all. He simply invited you. He invited me.
Let’s just be open to every invitation God gives us. Let’s drop our excuses. Drop the pressure. Drop the perfection. Drop the performance. And remember, this is God’s thing and God is going to do it. We’re just so darn lucky to get to be part of it!