On your tombstone, or maybe a vault if you so choose, will be two dates. Your birthdate and your death date. It will be engraved below your name and it may proceed a few nice sayings about you and the life you lived. Perhaps some names of your family members will also be engraved. But there’s one thing engraved that you might have missed… Something that could easily be mistaken for a scratch or a nick in the stone…
This small symbol is the one, most important engraving. It probably took no more than a couple of seconds to scratch into stone, but within it’s meaning it holds millions of minutes of life. It holds everything. It holds all your years and all your purpose. This mark is so important because it symbolizes the time that YOU made your mark on this Earth. Your hyphen is completely different than the one on the tombstone next to yours. I pray you already know and believe that there is a divine purpose for your life, much bigger than any purpose you could set for yourself. But to clarify what I mean by your purpose, I better get us all on the same page…
We were all put here with the same goal and the same mission before us.
Right before Jesus ascended into Heaven He gave specific instructions to His disciples, but these words weren’t just meant for the men standing in front of him… these words were meant for YOU.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
That’s our purpose. That’s the why. We have been assigned a great task — to worship God, to serve God, to bring God glory in everything we do…. but our purpose doesn’t stop there. We are told to “Go therefore and make disciples”. That’s our purpose! We are to be witnesses of Christ. That purpose will always remain the same, just as God remains the same. Year after year, decade after decade, God remains constant.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
So HE will always remain constant. Our WHY, or our purpose, will always remain constant. But what about the HOW?… Our how is the way we pursue our purpose. Our how is our calling, and it’s different for everyone.
YOUR calling was made for YOUR generation.
God personalizes and individualizes how we each are going to obtain the goal, complete the mission, and fulfill our purpose. My calling in my generation is different from my grandmother’s, my mother’s, and even my sister’s. My niece and nephews will have a different calling than I do, and if I ever have a child, their calling will be different than mine too. When we try to fulfill God’s purpose by living out someone’s else’s calling, we end up neglecting the plans God intended for us. We end up rejecting opportunities designed for us. We end up hiding our talents and gifts because they’re different. What a sad thing it will be if we live our whole lives comparing our calling with someone else’s and doing everything in our power to make ours look like theirs. The way that someone else pursues their purpose in this life isn’t worth more, nor is it worth less, than the way you pursue that same purpose. …Simply different. Different occupations, different avenues, different places, different people, different personalities, different strengths, different talents, different roles, different plans, different generations… All are beautiful and all are needed.
We can’t get stuck in how our mothers and grandmothers were used in their generations. We can’t take their callings as our own. That has the dangerous tendency to lead to complacency. Now, this doesn’t mean that their calling in their generation doesn’t do anything for us. It absolutely does! It’s an example and an encouragement. Something to be recognized, remembered, and thankful for! And hey, it’s not complete yet! The work that was begun in them… will be seen through.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
But God has a plan for each and every one of us. He has something different and special in mind for each of our lives. And this is what we can’t miss… All of the plans He has for you were meant for THIS generation. YOUR generation. He didn’t call your mom to carry out your calling in her generation. He didn’t call your grandpa to carry out your calling in his generation. He didn’t call your friend, your neighbor, or your co-worker to carry out your calling in their generation. He specifically called YOU to carry it, whatever “it” is, through to fulfillment in YOUR generation. It’s been perfectly planned. It’s been perfectly timed. You’ve been perfectly chosen. You mustn’t get discouraged for pursuing your faith and mission differently than generations before you. It’s a scary thing, but we can be bold and courageous in the Lord! He knows why we were put here — but don’t forget this, He also knows how He wants it fulfilled.
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption”
I love love love this above verse. My whole point can be summed up in Acts 13:36. David, by the will of God, served his own generation. He paid his dues, in his time. And when God’s purpose was fulfilled through David’s time on Earth, David died. He was buried next to his forefathers, who also served God’s purpose in their generation. God used David’s ancestors as He needed, and when God finished His work through them… they died. David didn’t need to replicate their lives and their callings. He didn’t have to try and add to a story that God already completed. He committed his life to being the main character in a story created just for him, a book written by the hand of God and bound by intention and precision. David was human just like we are. We’re born, we live, we die. Date, Hyphen, Date.
Your generation? It will come and go.
Your life? “It’s a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14)
You only have so much time to complete your mission… His purpose. Don’t waste your time trying to complete it the way somebody else is. Don’t waste your time trying to complete it the way somebody else already has. Our motives have to be in check, we have to have our eyes completely set on Jesus, and we must do everything for His glory. Otherwise, we end up writing our own story, or even worse, letting someone else write it for us.
“Go therefore”… Let Him write your story for His glory.
Don’t miss your life.
Don’t miss your calling.
Don’t miss your opportunity.
Don’t miss your purpose.
Don’t miss your generation.