“Executives know too well the gulf between inspiration and application is sometimes decades-wide.” ~ Ben Dobbin
Ever been zapped with inspiration, only to find a disconnect in your experience? It doesn’t mean you heard wrong. It just means keep going.
Every so often, I’ll be grabbed by this headline. It must be one of those recyclable stories that newspaper men keep in their Rolodex of ideas. A woman’ garage sale find is worth a million dollars… A 64 year old man buys a donut and the winning lotto ticket worth $1.7 million...
People like to hear about good luck. Especially the kind that is random.
If good fortune can land on anyone at anytime — then maybe one day, it can be my turn.
That was me as a little girl. I never got much mail, but there was always junk mail that nobody wanted.
Unbelievers! In my eyes, the envelopes stamped “Open Now” and “Urgent” in fake ink was a goldmine of sweepstakes to enter and win.
I’d open them up, check the boxes carefully and stick the gold stickers in the all the right places. Dropped them in the mail. And waited.
It took a few years worth of stamps, but I realized that it is very hard to be lucky. Not to mention, seniors who lived in the mid-west seemed to have it in spades.
I grew up to live and work in the adult world and changed my strategy.
Girl, the world is your oyster. This is where you create your own opportunities and make sure it follows a plan.
Somehow, without being conscious of it, a strange hyrbrid of luck and self-effort quietly took seed in my journey of faith.
In Christian circles, the words “gifting” and “purpose” can mess you up.
It seems all the people who know their gifting are always telling others to discover it. And the ones who don’t know what they’re called to are worried they can’t find it.
So, we figure we’ve missed the signs somehow. We look back with 20/20 hindsight and shackle ourselves with guilt and regret. We put together plans with the goal of reaching a destination called “Purpose”.
Faith becomes our Lady Luck and we hope she will get us “there”. Somewhere. Anywhere but here.
This can’t be further from the truth.
I’ve come to learn there is a gulf between the inspiration God gives us about His purpose — and the way it looks when we apply it to real life.
This gap doesn’t mean we’re off God’s radar.
This gap is where our faith operates.
Our purpose is found in navigating the everyday with that faith.
Do you ever catch a vision of who God wants you to be?
You might respond like I do and expect everything will start to align with that flash of inspiration. In actuality, what God means to do, is simply give us a glimpse of who we are becoming.
Inspiration isn’t meant to be a goal, but an encouragement, to motivate us to keep trusting that He is at work.
God is saying,
I hear your heart’s desire. I’ve placed it there.
I’m at work in you.
So we do the hard work of faith, scaling trials and joys, without the ability to see how the dots will be connected.
God does have a plan for us, but He didn’t create us to obsess over it.
As people of faith, we can believe we are already living in it. No matter what it looks like.
God’s purpose is for us to experience this kind of freedom — when we believe His plan is at already work in us.
Living in this freedom affects the choices we make every day. It gives us the courage to do what gives us joy and peace, in whatever form it takes, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galations 5:1
Where It’s All Heading
Are you feeling the space to live inspired is too small for God’s vision?
Do you see a disconnect between what you imagine could be and what is your life now?
Don’t worry about where it’s all heading.
God is cultivating a life of meaning, in the shape of your heart.
God will bring His plan for you to fruition — through an array of seemingly ordinary circumstances, to show just how extraordinary your faith is.
As you trust that God sees and treasures you, your life will take on a special quality, that no plan or luck can impart.
You will develop the sheen of Jesus living in you. And you will no longer doubt what your purpose is.
“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer
who scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day,
while he’s asleep or awake,
the seed sprouts and grows,
but he does not understand how it happens.
All by itself the soil produces grain.”
~ Jesus, Mark 4:27-29
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oh my, that first sentence sure just spoke to me in a huge way ….. thank you!
.-= Maureen´s last blog ..I’m spent! =-.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Glynn Young, Brian Russell. Brian Russell said: RT @gyoung9751: Navigating the gulf between inspiration and aspiration, by @TheBonnieGray at Faith Barista. http://bit.ly/9k3P24 […]
I was once told that the difference between success and failure is understanding what perspiration did to your inspiration.
When you write that “In Christian circles, the words “gifting” and “purpose” can mess you up” that is so true.
We annoint certain people who really do have a gift, but we shun those that need to work hard at their calling. What is wrong with learning how to be a better witness, rather than say, “that’s not my calling.?”
Great post..as always
Thank you for these words…it is an affirmation on something God was just telling me the other day!
.-= jean klinger´s last blog ..A Guided Life =-.
I love it when that happens!
One of the sciptures I used to pray all the time for my daughter who was lost in alchohol and drugs was from Philippians 1 : 6 which I personalised and I thanked God that HE WHO had begun the good work in her would perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. She was healed of her alchoholism, doesn’t take drugs anymore and became a born again Christian. She is also a single mother.Since then she has become disallusioned with church and has many issues that she can’t let go of.
My purpose for sharing this is to say that I have seen glimpses of the way the Lord has answered my prayers ( for I feel my purpose in this life is to intercede and to be an example of His love to all those He brings into my path ) The standing in the gap, the hanging on for dear life to HIS truths in the midst of huge battles (remembering that HE told us it was a spiritual battle) After a battering of put downs, rejections from those who claim to love me I find myself asking…. am I really on the right track. Is it meant to be this hard to follow HIM. (This to me is the disconnect bit) Then I realise HE is doing a work in me and will continue until the day of Jesus Christ. I love the comment about God creating a life of meaning in the shape of my heart. The next lines ” As you trust that God sees and treasures you, your life will take on a special quality, that no plan or luck can impart.
You will develop the sheen of Jesus living in you. And you will no longer doubt what your purpose is.”
gives me inspiration to keep going (because right now things are tough)
Thank you Bonnie once again.
Standing in the gap is faith work. Thanks for sharing!
“This gap is where our faith operates.
Our purpose is found in navigating the everyday with that faith.”
So profoundly simple and true. As we seek God in faith, He reveals His purpose for us for that day. We live one step of faith at a time.
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..Encouragement for Christian Bloggers =-.
“As we seek God in faith, He reveals His purpose for us for that day. ” I love how you said that. Great reminder.
beautiful! and i so connect with this during this season of life and the waiting time I am in…thanks!
.-= Katy´s last blog ..ten times =-.
when all I hear is ‘be still’ and ‘wait’….this helps….
.-= becky´s last blog ..Nahum 1-3 John 5 =-.
The soul just aches for rest with those words…
Beautiful blog and so true. I have to remember this on days when I am too discouraged to face the world. God is faithful!
[…] This post was Twitted by seachele420 […]
You are speaking my language lady (right down to the mailing of those “lucky” envelopes when I was a kid..lol) and boy is it something I”ve had to wrestle with over the past few years and have talked over recently with friends working out the same kind of thinking. Hmmm…perhaps God is trying to say something here. 🙂
.-= Kristine McGuire´s last blog ..Something Better =-.
*Squeal* You, too? .. 🙂
I know that oppressive feeling you’re talking about. Well-intentioned people tell you to use your gifting for God’s purpose for your life, just hear His voice and obey. But they never get to HOW! What I’ve discovered and heard confirmed in different ways and places is that your ‘calling’ is that thing that just keeps calling no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Discovering purpose is not as difficult as we make it! Our deepest passions and strengths turned over to Him will yield amazing fruit and tremendous fulfillment for us (even as we go through the trials).
Great post, Bonnie. I appreciate the encouragement!
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Is Social Media a Free-for-All =-.
So true, Jason. “Trials” are what people usually don’t mention as part of the HOW… 🙂
Oh how hard I try to chase the blurred vision that God has revealed just to get clarity…but then God reminds me I am chasing His promises, more than Him.
.-= Melissa | Madabella: made beautiful´s last blog ..Beholding Beauty =-.
Wow. That’s a good one, Melissa.
FIRST sentence and LAST hit me hard, but good.
Yes, I know the disconnect and the scripture you quoted (and version) have found a home in my heart this day. Thanks!
.-= Marilyn Yocum´s last blog ..Dixie Picnic =-.
I love that feeling you describe. Thanks, Marilyn!
What struck me was part of the verse from Mark 4.
A reminder that I shouldn’t struggle so much with the why my inspiration doesn’t seem to match my application.
.-= Carol H.´s last blog ..Communion Questions =-.
Just keep going… and when you think it’s all for naught, a glade of green will catch your eye. 🙂
For years, I thought I missed God’s calling on my life. I had a vision for what I thought it would look like. But when things didn’t move along on my time line, I thought I heard wrong. I kept asking Him what I was doing wrong.
But one thing I’ve learned along the walk of faith is that God is interested in developing my character. Going through some very challenging times has been showing me that I need to depend on Him through the storms. He is there with me and my faith is growing stronger.
Always inspiring writing from you Bonnie.
Blessings and love,
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..Love is in the Air Cooking with Love =-.
That faith growing stronger is the calling that the Lord values. It’s just not what often gets the spotlight, but in the Scriptures, we see time again — it’s not the outcome, it is our faith.
Hey Bonnie, just love your posts. They so speak Jesus’ encouragement to me :-). When you said “Do you see a disconnect between what you imagine could be and what is your life now?”, this is exactly what I was going thro last week. I keep sensing what God is probably calling me to in time, but was obsessed that I was in no way in any of it right now. And so surrendered it to God and told Him to work it all out in His own time. Like one of your readers put it – I’ve been obsessed with God’s promises instead of being obsessed with Him! :-). God will lead the way.