Every time I get back from OUTCRY people ask me, “So how was it?”
As simple as that question is, it always causes a log jam in my mind. This last tour was 18 cities, and each city had it’s own personality and experiences that get a bit… blurry by the time I get home.
The strange thing is though, each tour seems to have one big idea that God downloads on to me as well. A fresh revelation that defines the tour for me.
Last year I learned God’s desire for me to be confident in His calling, not my ability. And this has been a life changing revelation for my year. It was a revelation that took a load off of my shoulders and allowed me to be confident and at ease like never before in my life.
This tour was no different. God was faithful to give me that one, tour-defining nugget.
This year we started a new gathering for pastors and church leaders, that became my favorite part of the tour. We would have acoustic worship from Jesus Culture, or Lauren Daigle or Elevation. Then I’d talk about the 5 things I felt God was speaking over us from my new YouVersion study for leaders.
But after a few cities, I had one of these “big idea” moments with God. And it became the most important part of my message for me.
It hinged on a story from John 5.
In this story, Jesus approaches a paralytic who is sitting by a pool. Now, this pool carries the reputation of having healing powers. But the rule was that if you saw the waters stir, the first one to get into the pool would be healed. This was the pool the man was laying by when Jesus sees him, they have this exchange:
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
This man had been waiting around a pool that other people told him would satisfy his greatest need. But Jesus enters the scene and provides immediate healing. In the context of healing, this is a beautiful story.
This was the story God spoke to me through, but in the context of calling.
Many of us are spending years of our lives sitting and waiting by pools that we should never be waiting by in the first place. Years of our lives waiting for the stirring of opportunity, so we can dive into a calling we don’t have.
Maybe you want to produce an album. Maybe you want to write a book, or preach in your church. Or have a nationally-known ministry. None of these things are bad, and dreams are a beautiful thing. But if these are the result of comparing yourself to someone else’s calling, or is a dream that isn’t God-breathed you will find yourself sitting by a pool you aren’t meant to.
The result will be years of striving and frustration. It will feel like there is always someone getting there first. It will feel like a grind and a competition that you can never get ahead of.
But the thing about a calling from God is that there is no racing to it. God’s calling is never dependent on beating someone else to it.[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]God’s calling is never dependent on beating someone else to it.[/pullquote]
If I’m being honest, I have been a worship leader for a long time. I always dreamed about doing something like OUTCRY…except with a guitar in my hand. But God knew my heart for the Church before I knew it. It was like he said, “Ryan, I know you have been leading worship a long time. But I have this other thing over here called OUTCRY, and you will love it!”
And there was no competition to OUTCRY. It wasn’t dependent on me racing someone else to it. The timing and provision was handed to me. I just had to say “yes” to the call.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]God knows the desires of your heart better than you do.[/pullquote]
God knows the desires of your heart better than you do. If you have been sitting by a pool for many years, Jesus may be standing right beside you saying, “I know you think you want that, but I have this other thing right over there that you will love! Stand up, and I’ll walk you to it.”
Maybe you have a dream from God, and it just requires years of faithfulness to see it through. But it may be that it isn’t a God-breathed dream. Take it to Jesus. He is faithful to lead you, if you just continue to put your eyes back on him.