There will likely come a time where we will have to lay down our very calling before Jesus—it will likely be because our identities have become so wrapped up in what we’ve been called to do by Jesus that our identities are really no longer in Jesus.
For that matter, it’s very easy to fall in love with the idea of “I’m called to do this particular thing.” It’s much easier to get excited about something new and unique than it is to get excited about doing what everyone else is doing. And yet, every day God calls us to many seemingly mundane acts of obedience that are no less important—and might well in fact be more important.
Doing God’s will and living in God’s will are not the same thing. One is obeying a very specific directive from God; the other is God giving us the freedom to live creativity within His broader will. Both please Him.
As important as it is for us to use the gifts God’s given us, it’s more important to develop the fruit of the Spirit—those qualities that grow from our new life within.
Jesus’ ministry was literally crucified. Why should we dare to think that we would be exempt?
The seventy-two certainly had something to rejoice in when they used the gifts they had received: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). We tend to read Jesus’ response, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (v. 18) as something that happened at that very moment. I’m not so sure.
What if Jesus really meant this: ”I was there when Satan fell. I was there when he became so full of pride about what God had given him that he exalted himself above God. Be careful the same doesn’t happen to you.” It certainly would explain what Jesus’ says next: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you”—because after all, you’re not the first one to have cherished that, and it’s not good company you’re keeping—“ but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven” (v. 19).