Another round of Netflix. Sure, I’m still watching. I convince myself I’m multitasking and keep my eyes and ears glued to the screen after watching another round of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt while attempting to finish my checklist. The permission I’ve given myself to operate fully in my God-given gift set is put on hold by a cast of characters that I can’t seem to pull my attention from. [Don’t sit there and judge me—I know you have been here... And if you haven’t, well, you’re a better, nicer, more accomplished person than I. And this isn’t a competition, so, if no one wins, then I guess we are just in good company together.]
I am stuck here, thinking I am still in need of permission. Of freedom. Of options.
In considering whether I can actually do what I sense in my heart God asking me to do, I know the answer is always a “yes” as I am equipped in Him (though in my own strength so completely inadequate… praise Jesus for His grace on my life!). Still, I look to a thousand reasons why it won’t work. The doubts fill my mind: no time, not enough skill, where do I begin, why does what I create matter, what would people who know me think (I’m a full-on people-pleaser—anyone else? It’s a blessing and a curse. You don’t like my bangs? Ok… I’ll grow them out… ugh why?! Also, the bangs question is the bane of female existence. Are they in style? Should I cut them? Ugh.).
The question—what would people think?—haunts me. I’ve seen people go after their dreams only to have them crushed by the opinions of others. I’ve experienced what happens when you say what you deeply want to do in this life, what you feel called to do, and it sounds so self-centered and people judge your motives and intentions. So you back off…
Out of fear.
What is there to fear?
Rejection. Opposition. A potential conflict. Things to just be hard.
To be honest, I think I didn’t truly go after my heart-desires of being a songwriter and a musician because it felt too selfish. And tbh, I was afraid to fail.
Now, as there are other pressing things God is stirring in my heart, I realize that the difference between me getting up from my wakeup-work-home-Netflix-sleep cycle and me entering fully into a rhythm of health and wholeness that God intends relies on permission.
The difference between distraction and discipline is found in permission.
Then comes the biggest question:
f r o m w h o m a m i a s k i n g p e r m is s i o n ?
Is it my spouse?
Is it my family?
Is it my friends?
Is it social media and online perception?
Is it my community?
Is it my church family?
Is it me ?
Here is the thing: if you and I have already been given all we need in Christ, and then even more than we could possibly understand or imagine because we are co-heirs with Christ, and the Holy Spirit has been given fully and completely to us as Counselor and Advocate and Reminder of all Jesus’ teachings, then we have every permission and gift according to the grace that has given us!
The truth is that you’re not asking permission from anyone else other than yourself.
After Pentecost came, the Church exploded. The Church didn’t have permission from people; they had full equipping permission from God, the fire burning in their bones to act according to His purpose. The apostles got in trouble often because of this Spirit-fire, and at one point when on trial, one of the big-deal Pharisees declared of their purpose:
“Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
This means that no human opinion can matter in the graces of Jesus. When you sense the Spirit-fire pressing you to go pray for that person in the grocery store, to care for a neighbor, to be so kind and gracious to that person who has hurt you in ways you didn’t know you could be hurt, to work on the heart-call that He beckons to you to utilize your gifts for His glory.
You don’t need permission.
Y o u h a v e i t .
***P.S. To all my grammar nerds out there: my proper use of “from whom” instead of “from who” was for you all. Kisses and hugs to all of you. I love you more than you know.