Let’s just say that you buy into the whole concept of “holy discontent.”
You have decided that you are not someone who believes that your life is purposeless. You think you are living in this world right now for some reason. In fact, God has designed you for a purpose; He has a certain role that He wants you to perform.
Here is the big question: “How will you know your one thing [your holy discontent] when it shows up?”
Pastor Bill Hybels says that finding your holy purpose will “move you off dead center, get you off the couch, and thrust you in the game . . . you say yes to serving God’s agenda in the world, He begins the process of channeling the holy-discontent frustration into a positive vision that propels you into a future charged with energy and purpose. . . .At some point along the way, you’ll find yourself so astounded by the kingdom-oriented voltage coursing through your veins that you’ll lift up your head and with no inhibition whatsoever shout, ‘I was born for this’” [Hybels, 55].
Folks, to quote the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, this sounds like reaching the top of his famous pyramid, the ultimate need of a human being is being met: self-actualization. This means that one is achieving his/her full potential, but for a Christian, it is all done through service to Jesus Christ.
What can tip us off that we are not going to reach our full potential? What are the wrong turns we can make in going down our road to maximum growth through belief in Jesus Christ? You know, keep you from being the branch that bears fruit for God?
First of all is the mistake we make when the world’s standards become our measuring stick. What God may ask you to do may pale in comparison to what the world considers important. We all know what the general public wants: money, the trappings of status [expensive car, expensive home, expensive clothing], and power over other people. It is so tempting to be caught up in the rat race of trying to get this stuff. The Christian knows that “stuff” will not bring happiness; happiness comes from finding your place in this world in the body of Christ. It is a humble life we should follow, a calling with undeserved grace. God has given us all certain skills and He intends us to use them but not to accumulate world wealth, status and power.
Secondly, pride is a major barrier to a person’s discovering holy discontent. But let’s not be confused; God does not intend us to have low self-esteem, for that can lead to a Christian saying I am not able to do His work. He just wants us to humbly accept our place in His plan for us. Maybe a situation calls for you to step up and take on a task but never take on a task thinking that your ultimate aim is to get credit. Pride is when we become so self-absorbed that we find ourselves being independent from God. Recall the attitude of Satan who sought to become so powerful and prideful that he made an effort to be like God.
Finally is the person who wants to operate in isolation from others. God does not want us to be apart from others; He wants us to be a part working together with others to accomplish a goal. It takes the body of Christ to work with us to help us define our holy discontent. As in the human body with its many working parts, the body of Christ has many members, and not every member has the same function. Individually, no particular part of Christ’s body is more or less important. None of us can do without the other. We are limited in what we can do and therefore interdependent upon each other. Separately and independently, we can make an impact; together with other like believers, we can really change things.
Hybels calls our calling or our holy discontent our “personal burning bush.” Max Lucado calls it “that inner music that no one else hears precisely the way you hear it.” Whatever it is, it becomes a preoccupation that controls your attention, keeps you up at night, captures your heart and ignites your imagination. If you are not driven by worldly standards, consumed by selfish pride and do not want to work in isolation, you may be hearing “that music.”
And don’t worry about the work that is to be done. It will get done because God will bless it. Look at the words of Psalm 90:17 and take them to heart: “Let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands—yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.”