Have you ever done something where the results were better than what you expected? How did that come about? Luck? God showed up? Coincidence?
Usually it happens when the thing we did lined up with who we are. When we engage in activities that draw from our inherent value and worth, we will experience better than expected results.
But why should we focus on ourselves like this? Well, better than expected outcomes are not only about our satisfaction but actually, they are indicators of our calling. God did not wonderfully create us only to benefit ourselves. We have profound purpose which is intended to bring meaningful blessing to those around us and even the world. We all have a transcendent calling. This calling becomes clear when our inherent value and worth (our design / purpose) connect with the significant needs of the world. Our passion driven skills are channels for inspiration, redemption, and transformation. It is essential to really know who you are, what you're worth, and what your life is intended to be about, so that you can show up in the world to do according to what you were made for.
What can one person do? God showed how He can leverage one person through His Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, He was and is divine but the Bible reveals that He is the first-fruit of God's renewal of mankind. God showed what happens when His Word becomes flesh and blood - it changes the world! Through Christ, we too can be part of God's renewal of all things; we are the harvest of which Jesus was the first-fruit. And this harvest is exactly what God intends to leverage for His purposes.
So practically, how do we become a lever for God? The answer plain and simple - abide in Christ. Remain in Him. The times where we experience better than expected results are when we have abided in Him. The times when we get lost and out of control are when we decide to do things outside of who He is, one fully loved and accepted by God the Father. Those times are when we forget the precious truth and listen to lies which tell us we're not enough, we're alone, we're small and insignificant, that no one cares. Those moments are the ones that kill us. Those lies make us feel angry, betrayed, hostile, depressed, dejected, and painfully lonely. When we listen to those lies and believe them, we are not abiding in grace and truth. So this actually brings us to the place where we must decide what do we really believe and what are we going to choose - life or death? This is a critical junction because it will determine whether we live out our high calling or resort to die for the lie.
So it does boil down to belief. We're saved by grace (God's part) through faith (our part) so that God can leverage us, the real us, hidden in Christ but revealed as we daily abide in Him. Because we may have heard this message too many times, it seems too simple. But don't mistaken simple for easy. It isn't easy. Real belief in Jesus and abiding in Him when the other voices are screaming at us, is serious, heavy lifting. It is being in the war zone of our own liberation, bullets / arrows are flying all around us. It requires incredible courage and compassion to navigate this battle field. It can't be done without prayer and it can't be done alone without another person in whom the Word (ie. Jesus, God's grace and truth) is becoming flesh. We will need to revisit painful, shameful history but with divine objectivity in order to see things truthfully rather than through the bitter, deceitful lens of atheism. We all have that lens and use it when the persecuting voices raise their ugly heads. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us authentic objectivity to view human pain and shame as things to embrace because of their ability to drive us towards perfect love and freedom. When we courageously and vulnerably risk to believe in this amazing truth, the real us shows up.
This is God's passion! He wants to leverage you because He knows if / when the real you shows up, you are not only in His image, but your heart, soul, mind, and strength will be one with His and together, the two of you will continue to do things with better than expected results!
"When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!" Isaiah 64:3-4