In Dan Allender’s must-read book, To be Told, he mentions a situation with a friend who had to make a decision about a big career move. With a few options mentioned, the friend asks him,” So which one should I choose?”
Dan responded, “Well, which one fits your story? Which one allows your character to fulfill its purpose better?”
Normally we think about what makes us more money and provides job security, right? That would be the realistic thing to do—it just makes sense. These questions confused Dan’s friend and if they were proposed to us, I bet we would be thrown off as well.
Is it possible that the life you’re living right now is actually a story that was written long ago? This was how Jesus saw His life. He had a solid conviction that the big picture of his life events had been written by the Father for Jesus to follow and live out. Christ trusted the Father’s character so he cooperated 100% with the plan.
John the Baptist also had no trouble knowing what to do with his life. His role was written for him and handed to his parents by an angel before he was even conceived. John was to be “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord!”
Likewise for David. The prophet Samuel visited his father’s home, poured oil on his head and revealed, “God is going to make you the next king of Israel.” Why did David need to know this? So he could prepare himself mentally to fill this role.
If my life is a story whose big events are largely written and beyond my control, then the question I need to ask is simply, “What is my role in the story? What opportunities would allow me to fulfill this role and purpose better?”
Who we are is more important than what we do. Actually, we do what we are.
Some people spend most of their life energy trying to decide what to major on in college or what kind of job is a perfect fit for them. It takes a lot of pressure off when we realize that, Yes! God is writing an amazing life story, but it’s about Jesus, not us. We have been given an important part in the overall story if we will accept it, but the story of our life is not about us.
In God’s Kingdom everything is always different.
According to the Bible , there are two dynamic poles holding our life experience in tension: sovereign destiny and the gift of free will. In God’s soveriegnty, the crucial events in my life have been planned. We can trust God that the major moments in our life are important, defining moments. Not chance. Not luck. Not misfortune. God is sovereign over our lives.
There are parts in our story that are clearly written and out of our control like our place of origin, family, and race. Then, there are those other parts that are determined by our free will, our hobbies, careers and most of all, our choices in the moments of decision.
Ours real choice is simply whether to cooperate with the story God has already written about us or to rebel against His story and try to create one of our own so we can sing, “I did it my way!”
The only way to cooperate with God’s story is to fully trust in God. Once we choose to trust God’s good sovereign choices there will never be a reason to be afraid about our future. We need not fear giving up anything He asks us to give. All these things will work together for God’s greater story. It is only when we completely yield to Christ that our real story can finally start.
So what do you think your role might be in the big Story of God? We would love to hear you comments below.