Estimated reading time: 5 minutes:-)
As I step into the world of business, I’ve been learning a lot about what it means to be a child of God.
Being an author means I have to promote myself. And I hate promoting myself! But I’ve had to learn how in order to sell my stories.
And I don’t want to sell books to only make money. I want to sell books because I want to honor the contract I have with my publisher, and I want the world to read the story God gave me, and I want the world to grow closer to Jesus.
It’s this moral dilemma I’ve been struggling with. Because my reputation shouldn’t become greater because of my work, God’s should. But not many people are interested in God nowadays.
Sorry for the rant. That’s just what has been on my heart.
But I bring this up because the picture I featured in today’s blog relates.
When I was at the creative conference last weekend, we found a beautiful rose garden at the edge of the castle grounds.
A tall black gate surrounded it like it was sacred. We stepped inside and the whole world was quiet for a moment as we walked silently between the rose bushes. I found this particular rose, and I raised my hand to touch the pedals. They were like satin.
And later that week, as I looked at this picture, the phrase came to me:
God’s kingdom over my empire.
I think the world tells you that in order to be successful, we have to build our own little empires.
“Find a targeted audience.”
“Grow your readership.”
“How many followers do you have?”
Maybe you’re familiar with these phrases. Maybe you’ve said them yourself. But they allude to the idea that growing our own empires equates to success.
But what does it look like to grow God’s kingdom?
I don’t think finding readers or posting on social media is fundamentally wrong. I do those things often. But I think growing God’s kingdom over growing my empire has more to do with my heart posture than anything.
Why am I posting? Why am I advertising my product? Why do I want more followers?
So I can plant seeds of grace and be a living witness to the power of the gospel?
Or so I can polish my own reputation and puff up my own pride?
I wore a dress the day I took this picture, and the dress had these little roses on it. And I realized if my empire is the little roses on my dress, God’s kingdom is the real rose in front of me.
What I mean is: God’s kingdom is far more authentic and real and valuable and eternal than any empire I construct. You can only make a rose so beautiful when it’s printed on a dress. But a real rose–nothing can compare.
Here’s the difference:
In my own empire, I’m the queen.
In God’s kingdom, I’m the servant.
And a servant is who I am. A child. Not a queen. Not a god. A servant.
Mark 10:44-45 says, “and whoever wants to be first must be a slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I’m tearing up over here because that’s just it. Jesus could have had everything. Have you ever thought about that before? He could have lived in luxury. He could have had the most successful, most comfortable, most praised life ever lived. He could have chosen fame or to be king or to be insanely rich and get whatever he wanted and be completely set. He could have chosen to be comfortable and get married and live a normal life. I know it’s hard to imagine, but Jesus was 100% man, too. He was no stranger to earthly desires.
He chose to die.
He chose to serve humanity in the most selfless way imaginable instead of being served.
That’s what it is to grow God’s kingdom.
To serve. To participate in growing something far greater than yourself, rather than carrying the weight of building something as big as you can get it. Because whatever you build will never be good enough. But what God already built, and invites you to keep building–that is the work that fills me up.
I know it will only get harder. As I find more readers and my following grows and more people read my story, it will only get harder.
But every day. I say.
God’s kingdom over my empire.
Isn’t that song just beautiful?
Anyway, I have something special for you this morning that a little different than most Saturdays.
I’ve been writing this blog for a long time, and I absolutely love it. But I think it’s time to give you wonderful readers a little more.
If you haven’t heard, I’m going to start writing a W.A.S.P.P Email to my mailing list every Monday and Tuesday mornings. And what the heck is a W.A.S.P.P Email?
It stands for this:
W: Wisdom. A quote from one of my favorite authors.
A: Anecdote (or a tiny story). My favorite moment of the day or a story I heard.
S: Scripture. Verse of the day!
P: Picture. One random picture from my camera role for laughs.
P: Prayer. Something you can pray about as soon as you finish reading the W.A.S.P.P. Email.
Right now, you’re only signed up for my blog (which is totally fine and great and I’m so thankful for you!!).
It’s your choice if you want to sign up to the W.A.S.P.P. Email. I won’t spam, and it’ll only be twice a week.
If you’re interested, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (or just respond to this one if it’s in your inbox:-) I’m a real person over here so don’t be scared to respond!
I’ll sign you up and send you two W.A.S.P.P. Emails a week so you can start your day off on the right foot.
Much love, and thank you so much for reading. You’re amazing and Jesus loves you! Go be a light today<3