Supposed To

Have you ever thought that you were made for more? This feeling that where you are now is not your destination but a stepping stone or that you are just in a waiting period. Not an I want more feeling but an I am supposed to do/be more knowing that you just cannot shake. I separate these two things because “I want more” can change depending on feelings and distractions but a “supposed to” hardly changes. The difference is between feeling and knowing. If you just have the want more my advice would be to figure out what the supposed to is and then focus on that. Wants are a good place to start but they are not strong enough to drive you. They are not concrete enough to strengthen you. You can get distracted and carried away by something else and that is ok if you are still trying to figure it out but a supposed to that’s a different story. A want to makes you say I’ll try while a supposed to makes you I’m all in.

I think it is clear I want to take a minute and talk about the supposed to. A supposed to is usually birthed out of a desire (I want), but it has been refined. It has been honed and shaped. It has been tested and its weight is known. It has gone through the fire so to speak and has come out harder. The very nature of a supposed to is to be hard. It is hard to make, hard to have, and hard to break. They are too hard to make because you cannot just wake up with it. You start with a desire and then test it out a little. You see if it can hold up. It is hard to have because it will push you. It does not let you settle for less. It needs to be hard to break because people and the world will try to break it.

Joseph and David are good examples of having a supposed to. The story of Joseph, in particular, is good to look at because his started with a clear want to and was tested over and over. David is also good to look at because he was tested by those closest to him.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. I have four younger brothers and I contemplated selling them into slavery many times but I never actually went through with it. His brothers, on the other hand, had little issue with the idea. Joseph was the family favorite and because of his dreams and big mouth he went to Egypt. Joseph was good at everything he did. God’s favor was always on Joseph you could say he had the Midas touch. Every position he was put in he excelled at. Yard work? Check. Financial management? Check. Cooking? Check. Leadership? Check. It did not matter what he was doing he did it well. When he was thrown into prison he excelled there too. He was literally running the place in no time. Joseph was great at all of these things but these were not the things he was supposed to do. There is a very important lesson here and I am afraid that it is only half given a lot of times.

The first part is that you need to do well in whatever position you find yourself in. If you are a clerk be a great clerk, if you are a janitor be a great janitor, if you are a Sunday school teacher be a great Sunday school teacher. Whatever position you find yourself in do it to the best of your ability even if it is not where you are supposed to be. This is the part of the lesson I think we all know. We have heard it a thousand times but there is more and it is not hidden. It is right there in Genesis 40:14 and it where Joseph says to the cupbearer “but when all goes well for you, remember that I was with you.” Joseph was doing the things he had to do but he never forgot what he was supposed to do. He excelled where he was at and looked for opportunities to get to get to his supposed to. If your supposed to is not hard then you will settle and if you settle then you lose it. Joseph was not supposed to be in prison he was supposed to do great things. On to David.

David was a wonderful shepherd. He protected his flock by fighting a bear and a lion. That takes guts. He was a talented musician and I would imagine he was pretty good armor bearer (even though I am not sure what that means). He was a great poet and he was a wonderful friend. David was good at all of these things but they were not his supposed to. David was anointed by Samuel to be king and his destiny was not to be a shepherd. His first big test to his supposed to or you can think of it as a “meant for” was not against Goliath but against his brother and Saul. If your supposed to is not hard then you will let others determine your position and worth. His brother questioned his motives and suggested he was irresponsible (1 Sam 17:28). Saul tried to make him more like him (1 Sm 17:38). Saul is a great example of what will often happen to you when you try to live out your supposed to. People will kind of get on board with you and help you but first, you need to conform to their idea of how to execute the plan. If your supposed to is not resolved (hard) then you will break and end up coming up short. David put the armor on and then realized that he could not do the job dressed up like someone else. He needed to be who he was and do it the way God had taught him.

In both Joseph and David, we can see examples of how a supposed to is made and tested. These things are great to look at but unless you apply them to your own life then nothing will change for you. Unless we can take this and ask ourselves if we have our supposed to then they are just nice stories. If you already have your supposed to then take this as encouragement to keep going. If you know your supposed to and are living it then find someone who does not have theirs or someone who is working towards theirs and be a blessing.

Don’t settle for less than you were made for. Jesus did not come to save you and leave you stuck. He has great and wonderful plans for you. Jesus says in John 15 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” God wants you to bear much fruit as be a disciple of Jesus. That does not mean wealth or health but an abundant and full life. Why settle for less if God wants more for you?

Just a thought,

Where are you supposed to be?

I was thinking about David and Bathsheba yesterday.  Specifically about what lead up to the whole roof top, baby, and murder incidents.  There is something we can see that started this chain of events and something that also happens in your and mine.  The phrase I am referring to is “but David remained in Jerusalem.”  That one little phrase set of a chain of tragic events and devastating consequences.

If you do not know the story of these two then I recommend you read it.  There is a lot to going from understanding the story and seeing God’s great love.  But right now I want to focus on that phrase “but David remained in Jerusalem.”  This phrase is so very important because it succinctly shows how the rest of David’s life was set on a path he would have never chosen nor wanted all because he remained in Jerusalem.  You see David was supposed to be somewhere else, he had a place he was supposed to be but instead he was where he wasn’t supposed to be.  I do not like to use phrases like always, or never, but in this case I am going to.  If you remain where you are not supposed to be then you will always have some degree of trouble.  God has appointed a place for you to be.  Maybe it is locationally, emotionally, or spiritually, know this God has somewhere you are supposed to be, and if you are not there you will find trouble.

Let’s say like David, it is locational.  He was supposed to be in 20 miles east of the Jordan in Rabbath but he wasn’t there.  Instead he was in Jerusalem doing what he wanted to do.  This caused him to see something he should not have seen, and since he was already not doing what God wanted what is one more thing.  After all he thought “I am the King”.  Sorry David wrong answer.  You should have been where you belonged.  I got into heaps of trouble as a kid because I skipped school.  I was not in trouble for skipping school, it was the things that I was doing while I should have been in school that got me into the most trouble.  I was not where I belonged.

Let’s say it is emotionally.  You should have forgiven your father, brother, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, cop, pastor, or whatever.  You should have let that burden go and moved on with your life, but you don’t.  Instead you stew on it and let it fester.  You think about it all the time.  You start to get in a good mood and then let it bring you back down.  How could they, how dare they, don’t they know, don’t they care.  You list all the reasons over and over again until finally it completely consumes you.  Guess what though…You don’t belong there.  You have somewhere you are supposed to be.  God has a place of perfect peace for you.  You are in the emotional land of Strife, but God has intended for you to be in the land of Shalom.  Shalom does not just mean peace, but peace, prosperity, completeness, and welfare.  That is where God intends for you to be.

What do I mean by spiritually though.  How can you be in the wrong place there?  Maybe you are not spending time with God.  Maybe you ignore him for whatever reason (usually something to do with the two above).  God has a place that you belong, and it’s called Relationship.  Perfect relationship actually.  Christians usually call this fellowship , but that just means spending time with and enjoying company.  God wants to spend time with you and wants you to enjoy time with Him.  Jesus did everything He did so that this could happen.  He wants you bad.  If you’re not in the right place here you will continually look for a place to be and find more and more trouble.

The tricky part of all of this is sometimes we honestly do not know where we are supposed to be.  I myself have struggled with this for years.  I am starting to get there but it is hard.  Spend time in prayer, ask God where you are supposed to be, and then go there.  Once you know where you are supposed to be it all gets better.  I am not saying you will never have trouble.  Jesus says in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in Me you will have peace.  In this world you will have trouble,  but take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  Life can always be hard and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.  Take heart my friend Jesus has overcome and made a place for you.

Just a thought,