God Has a Purpose for YOU | Ashley Varner
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God Has a Purpose for YOU

If we’re serious about living like Christ, then serving can’t be seen as an option. It must be a non-negotiable. Serving isn’t just something we do to give back or pay it forward, it’s the heartbeat of the gospel and it’s our calling.

Info from the Show

  • The misconception of “one calling”
  • The best way to represent Christ
  • Figure out what you’re passionate about
  • Figure out how to couple your passion with God’s purpose

 

Links and Resources

  • Join the discussion in the Girl of Grace Facebook Group
  • Find Ashley on Facebook
  • Find Ashley on Instagram
  • Free worksheet! – Click HERE and get this guide that will walk you through figuring out what you passion is and how you can use it for God’s glory!

 

Transcript

Hey there, you’re listening to the Graceful Life Podcast where women learn to balance their families, health, work and ministry with grace, all without sacrificing their own relationship with the Lord. I’m your host, Ashley Varner. I’m a Jesus girl, wife to my high school sweetheart and business partner, and mom to the two sweetest boys I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I invite you to join me each week for some real life talk, encouragement, and grace. So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

You are listening to episode two of the Graceful Life Podcast. Today we’re going to be talking about how God has a purpose for your passion. Welcome back to the Graceful Life Podcast. I am your host, Ashley Varner, and I am excited to just jump into talking about the purpose that God has for you. All this month our focus has been, you are called. I want you to know that if you are serious about living for Christ, then you are called. If you have been following him and you have been serving him, then you have a calling on your life. We are going to talk a lot about that during this episode.

I first wanted to kind of take care of a misconception that sometimes comes up. A lot of times we get this idea that we only have one specific calling on our lives, and if we don’t find out what that one calling is, then we are in trouble and we are not in the will of God. And you know, there are some people who have one specific calling. But for most of us God gives us a little bit of, at a time. There’s truly enough calling in God’s word, in his great commission, to last us our entire lives. So you can be in the will of God and living out your purpose without having one specific ministry that you are a part of for 40 years.

We are all called to serve. As God has given you passions in your life, he has a purpose for those passions. If you’re really serious about living like Christ, then serving can’t be seen as just an option. Serving has to be a non-negotiable in your life. Serving isn’t just something that we do to give back or to pay it forward, but it’s really the heartbeat in the Gospel, and it’s our calling. We have to chose to say, “You know what? I’m going to step up, I’m going to live out God’s purpose for my life”, because really there’s no way that we can represent Jesus correctly without mirroring his commitment to serve other people.

Your willingness to serve is, honestly, it’s a sign that you’re growing in your own faith. Because you’re saying, “You know what? I’m not just serving the Lord for me, I’m not just learning for myself, but I’m here to impact the world. I’m here to reach other people and to take other people with me into this eternal life that God has given to us.” You might say, “Okay Ashley, I get it. I know that I need to serve, but I don’t know even where to serve. I don’t know how to put my passions together with my purpose. I don’t know just where, you know, kind of how to fit that in.”

So I want you to start by asking yourself some questions. What makes you angry? Whenever you think about this world, and maybe you think about injustice in this world, or something frustrates you, or you just are really angry about something, like a holy anger, think about that. On the other side of the spectrum, what makes you really joyful? What gets you excited? If you are part of a ministry and you just feel really excited about it and you just … You know those times whenever you’re working on a project and you just have to stay up all night because you’re so excited about it, and it doesn’t even feel like work because you’re just going after it and you’re just pushing forward, and you’re enjoying it?

In other words, I want you to really think about what you’re passionate about. I know there’s women in my life who, they’re very passionate about dealing with human trafficking. There is such an epidemic in this country of human trafficking of young women and young children, and they have this kind of holy anger about it, so they’re working to do something about it. They are passionate about stopping that. I know other people who are passionate about abuse. About maybe child abuse or spousal abuse, and so they are working with government agencies to stop that, and with their own churches to stop things like that and to create support for the people who are coming out of that.

There might be someone who is passionate about homelessness and starts a soup kitchen, or starts a homeless shelter. Or there might be someone who is really passionate about encouraging marriages, and Christian marriages. I know that there are several people at my church and just in my community that are serious about strengthening marriages, so they’re giving tools, and they are giving resources and teaching so that they can impact that part of the kingdom, because that’s something that they are really passionate about. Many times our passion comes out of something that we have gone through ourselves. So really think about, sit and kind of do an audit of your passions and what really drives you.

The next thing, not only do we need to talk about what our passions are, but we have to talk about what we’re talented at. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Are you good at writing? Are you good at photography, or speaking? I know someone who is excellent at putting on events, that’s where she’s really talented. The key is to kind of combine and figure out where to ser – The best place to find out where to serve is to couple your passions with your talents. If you can find a way to take something that you are extremely passionate about and couple it with something that you are very talented in, that is going to show you and be kind of clear to you where your purpose is.

You can ask God to show you a need, because there are several places that you can serve, and he will show you if you just ask. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 33:3, and it says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you wouldn’t otherwise know.” I love that because what is says is, God is saying, “You know what? I know everything. I know everything. If you call to me, I will answer you, and I’m going to show you these things that you might not see.” So you can ask God. You can say, “Lord, show me where there is a need. Show me where I can serve.”

There’s a lot of different places that you can serve. For myself, I know, I’m not just running this podcast, but my passion is to help women, and especially women leaders, grow in their own faith. So I have my blog where I share weekly, I give tools and resources there. I have this podcast where I’m sharing. I also have a Girl of Grace Facebook group that is for women, they don’t necessarily have to be in any type of leadership, but I am consistently pouring into people online so that they can experience growth in their own leadership and in their own faith with their families and their health.

I also saw needs at my local church. Even though I’m doing the majority of my ministry online, that doesn’t exclude me from ministering to the people that are around me right now. I teach several classes at my church each week. I teach all across the spectrum. I have spoken at events at my church, I teach every week these kindergarten through second grade little girls, I also teach a pre-school class, and I lead worship at my church. Now your schedule might not look that full, but you can ask God to show you where you’re needed. The truth is, ladies, that God wants you to discover your passion and your purpose even more than you do. God wants you to know what he has planned for your life. It might be a little bit at a time, but he’s not trying to hide it from you.

The truth is that your purpose isn’t just about you. It’s about what God wants to do through you. If you ignore or neglect your passion and your purpose, you’re not just hurting yourself, but you’re really hurting the mission of God being lived out through your life. There are people that only you are going to be able to reach. There are people that God has put in place for you to speak to, for you to mentor, for you to minister to, that if you’re not actively and intentionally living out God’s purpose for your life, you’re going to miss those opportunities. And those are opportunities that we can’t afford to miss, because they impact eternity.

I’m not trying to kind of give you a hard time or put you on a guilt trip or anything like that, but I want you to see the seriousness of service in your Christian life. We are not called just to get saved and then just do our own thing, and only benefit from what we’ve learned. We are called to impact the world, and to change this world. That’s just such a huge, important task that we’ve been given, and that we been given the responsibility to reach, and so we can do that in ways that really excite us and that really encourage us. I think that as soon as we start to realize that God has called us with a purpose, and that he wants us to walk in it, we’re excited to do that.

It is my prayer for you that you will seek him and find out where your passion and your talents mingle together so that you can start living it out. Because the truth is, when we’re called to a purpose and we start to walk in it, other people benefit from it and it’s almost like this ripple effect that happens. But also, we benefit from it. You will never find someone more joyful than someone who is living out God’s purpose for their life. My husband and I have a couple friend that they are going to be missionaries. The area that they are going is in completely dangerous, and it’s definitely a sensitive country. They are so excited. I have not seen them more joyful, more excited, than they are preparing for this mission that God has given them.

God has opened every door for them to go, and they are taking their children, and they are excited. They feel blessed because they are living out this mission that God has given them. Even from many years back he had called them to be these missionaries, and they walked in faith, and they are finally able to see, okay, this is the right time. They did everything they were supposed to do. They were serving while they were waiting for this calling to come. Once it finally came, they have never been more joyful. Because God is the one that has called you, he is completely able to reveal his purpose to you, and he will reveal it to you as you diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 says that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Once you do that, once you are seeking first his kingdom, he’s going to make sure that everything is added on. That verse in Matthew that talks about seeking his kingdom first doesn’t just mean all these treasures being packed on. Or all kind of material things being added on. But it means joy, and it means purpose, and it means knowledge, even, and wisdom, so that as you diligently seek him, he will reveal his purpose to you, and you can trust that he wants you to know what it is. Not only for your sake, but for the people around you.

I know you might be thinking, “You know, Ashley, my passion has nothing to do with spiritual stuff. It has nothing to do with God. It’s a very secular passion.” Maybe your passion is with numbers. Well, you could volunteer as the bookkeeper for your church. Or you could help to start a fundraiser and really kind of do all the back work of the numbers and accounting for that, if you are a numbers person. You might say, “Ashley, my passion is being an event coordinator, or a wedding planner.” Well, you could do so many things. They were just flying through my mind just now, I couldn’t even say them quick enough. You could help with special events for the kids’ programs at your church. You could plan weddings for couples who, they maybe can’t afford a wedding planner, and they go to your church, and you can kind of jump in and help them do that. You can set up an event that raises money.

I just went to an event a couple months ago that they were raising money for a home for girls who have come out of sex trafficking, and they set up this entire beautiful banquet, and people paid and kind of donated money for the places at these tables. The person who set all that up definitely had a passion for decorating and for putting on an event. You might say that your passion is clothes and fashion. Well, I can tell you that there’s a lot of fashion blogs out there, but maybe you want to consider doing a modest fashion blog. So you can say, “Know what girls? This is a way that you can honor your body by not wearing things that are completely inappropriate.”

You can show how women can wear clothes that are modest but still in style. That can definitely be a ministry for you. You might have a passion for cooking. Well, you could set up a program with new wives and moms at your church and teach them how to cook for their families, or teach them how to cook on a budget. Or you could create a … I’ve heard of these freezer cooking clubs where women come together and they each make, like, four types of one meal, and then they give three out and other people in the group each give one back, and so you have all these different meals. You could do something like that. If your passion is fitness you could teach a class at your church for women. You could help women figure out how to create healthy meals for their families.

Whatever your passion is, you can live out God’s purpose through it. There are so many different things, and in fact, it’s been kind of a challenge and a joy for me to help women who say, “You know what? This is what my passion is. I have no idea how I can use it for the Lord.” If you have a passion but you don’t know, really, how to live it out, then I want you to feel free to email me. You can email me at [email protected] Or even better yet, go over to the Girl of Grace Facebook group, I’ll leave a link in the show notes, but you can go over there, share your passion there, and let, not just me, but other women come alongside you and help you brainstorm ideas for that.

We’re called to do this together, and so it’s definitely okay to go to other women and say, “I need help with this. I want to live out God’s purpose for my life. This is what I like to do. These are the resources that I have. Help me brainstorm of how I can live this out.” The Girl of Grace Facebook group is a perfect place to do that. Like I said, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing it there, just email me. I check all my emails and usually respond within 48 hours or so. I would be happy to brainstorm with you and really just help you to learn about God’s calling for you. I truly believe that every person who has accepted the Lord is called to ministry, and it is definitely non-negotiable. I’ve said this before, but I want to say it again because I just feel it’s so important.

If you are serious about living like Christ, and if you are serious about being a reflection of him to the people around you, then serving can’t be seen as an option. It can’t be seen as just something that, “Oh, it’s okay if you do, and it’s okay if you don’t.” It has to be a non-negotiable. It has to be something that is important, that is not an option for you, because it’s really the heartbeat of the Gospel.

Whenever we are saved, we’re not just saved for ourselves. We’re saved for the people out there that we can reach alongside us, and that we can walk with, and encourage and mentor and minister to alongside us. So I want you to be encouraged today that you’re called, and God has already put passions in your life that he has a purpose for. Well, that is all I have for today and for this episode of the Graceful Life Podcast. I encourage you to connect with me over on Facebook or Instagram, and like I said, you can email me or jump over to the Girl of Grace group where the discussion will continue there, and I can’t wait to talk to you next week.

 

Thanks so much for joining me!

Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to get to know you through your comments and I hope you’ll join the conversation in the Girl of Grace Group!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more women by heading over to iTunes and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send an email to ashley(at)ashleyvarner(dot)com or connect with me over on Facebook or Instagram!

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