It is true. In life, everyone goes through the fire. No one is immune. But it is just as true that not everyone gets burned. For some, a consuming fire is really a refining fire; a refining intended by God to make us better; not bitter, to lift us up; not devastate us, to grow us up; not make us mad, sour and cynical.
One of the fires you’ll walk through is living a life of someone else’s expectations. From your parents, your grandparents, to school, to college, to society itself, you are pressured to wear a certain label, to do a certain thing; to fit in and to take a certain path. All of this cookie-cutter living flies in the face of the teaching of Scripture, that God has made each one of us unique.
Instead of living the life of someone else’s dream, instead of carrying the burden and overlay of someone else’s expectation, instead of staying plugged in to responsibilities for which you have no passion, you should listen to what God says when He tells us to think of ourselves with sober judgment, that we’re to live a life by the measure of faith we’ve been given according to the unique gifted-ness that He’s put into each one of us. You’re not one in a million, you’re not one in six billion. You’re a unique person unlike anyone that’s been born in the entire history of the Universe. And God, from the beginning of time, has known you and has a plan for your life.
My passion is to help people know God. That’s why I’ve become a teacher instead of a preacher. That’s followed up by a desire to help people love God. That’s why I am passionate about my faith-walk with Jesus Christ. But the third expression of my life mission is to help people live the life for which they were created, the life of their dreams. Those two things are one and the same.
When you begin to look within and see how God has made you, and search for the problems in this world big enough to capture your attention and keep you constructively busy for the rest of your life, then you’ll begin to live the life of your dreams.
In today’s talk, I give you practical advice about what to do when you’re walking through the fire of other people’s overlaid expectations, libels, and limitations. Remember, in every fire, ask yourself one of three questions: is this a temptation to my way of thinking? Is this a test to my resolve? Or is this a trial, trying to play on my emotions?