Today’s Scripture — 11.14.2014
He must become greater; I must become less. ~ John 3:30
How to Live Out Your Calling Boldly
I met her at a retreat in Arkansas.
She’d come from Canada. I’d come from Iowa.
She was 20. I was old enough to be her mother.
She’s s a Starbucks barista. I’m a farmer’s wife, raising crops, pigs and kiddos with my husband.
But we hit it off immediately, and we walked with our arms linked down the streets of Bentonville, Arkansas. Her eyes were pathways to an old soul, shimmering with a deep wisdom. She had an unusual confidence in who she was — not an arrogant “I’m a real somebody,” but a God-fidence that made her more courageous than I was at that age — maybe even than I am now. It was so beautiful to see her whole self agreeing with God — that she was made in His image. She wasn’t afraid to unleash her gifts in the world, and I believe that’s how God intended it.
She was walking gospel.
Her name is Aliza.
Aliza is the blonde woman next to me, front row.
In the months that have passed, Aliza and I have stayed in touch. She’s half my age, yet manages to mentor me with her life, her words, her art. (Scroll down to see the beautiful image she created to illustrate this post!)
A couple weeks ago, Aliza posted some words on Instagram that have stuck with me:
“I am imagining a world where we live out our callings to their fullest potential, where success doesn’t look like huge numbers or giant followings but a life lived out in humility, patience and love. I think Jesus measures success differently than we do. I want to live out my calling in the biggest way I can, but in the smallest way possible – the kind of small where I always find myself in front of Jesus. The soundtrack playing in my head this morning: patience, humility, love. I hope we live our callings big but always go back to being small.”
Her words bubbled to the surface again this morning, when I spent time in John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.” John the Baptist was saying, in essence: “I was the opening act, but I’m going to give up the spotlight now, because the Main Attraction is now in the building.”
I love John’s words. They model great humility for all of us.
But those very words are dangerous, if they are interpreted in a way that encourages us to be so small, as to disappear.
It can be easy to shrink into timid ways. It can be easy to misinterpret humility. I’ve gone through times where I’ve hid my lit under a bushel, afraid to shine.
But the gospel doesn’t call you to run into hiding. You are light, the Bible says, like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
We ought to be small in the right ways — humble, but not hidden. John 3:30 is a call to step out of the spotlight, but it’s not an excuse for timidity.
So how do we live our lives more boldly?
1 – By using our gifts without timidity or apology.
2 – By never robbing the spotlight from the Main Attraction.
3 – By giving God all the glory.
4 – By remembering that while a person can climb too high, she can never bow too low.
I think Aliza nailed it:
“I want to live out my calling in the biggest way I can, but in the smallest way possible — the kind of small where I always find myself in front of Jesus.”
I want to be found facing Jesus, looking to Him, and no one else.
Dear God, Grant us the courage to be big in You alone. May all we do bring You glory. And may You make Yourself the Main Attraction, so that when people look at us, they ultimately see You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Meet Aliza Latta | Artist, Dreamer, Adventurer
Aliza has an online shop called choose brave where she sells her hand-lettered art. Most of her prints sell for only $10-12 a piece.
It’s a joy to share some of her work here. We are so delighted to watch her step boldly into her calling, while keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing. Aliza Latta? We see Jesus in you.
Find Aliza’s shop by clicking here.
Learn more about Aliza by clicking here.
Say hello to Aliza in the comments. And tell us what John 3:30 means to you.
A few of my favorite hand-lettered prints made by Aliza
You can find all of these at her shop.
This post is part of our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
How You Can Be a Part of This Movement:
1 – Print out the Scripture sheets. (Click here for printable versions.) Each of the 30 daily Scriptures are quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back in some way to our identity in Christ. (You don’t have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you’re welcome to!
2 – Find the passage assigned for today’s date.
3 – Consider how God is speaking to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 – Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you.
5 – Share your insights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your blog, to add more soul to your scroll. #MoreSoulLessScroll
Tag me, so I can find you. (Or feel free to follow along silently! No social-media presence required.)
I’ll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you’ll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for all of November, God-willing.
Studies show that the best way to form a habit, is to NOT break the chain. Habits form if you keep at it, one day after the next after the next. After our 30 days, we may have created a new habit of Scripture before Scrolling – a habit that can take us into the Christmas season, and beyond.
If you want to follow along, visit us here every day. Consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here to get these reflections in your email inbox.
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.