Stay In Your Lane

I recently read an interesting quote by Kenneth Hagin that both blessed and challenged me. It also made some things very clear to me about how to prioritize my life so I can maximize my productivity. I want to share the quote and then a key lesson we can apply about how to walk in the will of God for our lives.

“Charles Finney was the greatest soulwinner and evangelist since the New Testament days.  When he was about 80, he wrote, ‘I know many things, deeper things of God, than I am able to teach.  If I do teach these things, I lose the ability to win souls.’

Why, if he knew these things, couldn’t he teach them? (Of course he could share them with others individually, but he didn’t teach them to the Church at large) because that was not his calling.  Let the teachers do that.  His calling was the evangelistic office.  His calling was to win souls.  If he got over into the wrong office, he ceased to be a blessing .

Part of my calling is to be a teacher.  I get more people saved by teaching than I ever did by preaching evangelistic sermons because that is what God told me to do.”

It’s important that we find God’s specific call on our lives and learn to walk in it.  Everything about us was designed to fulfill God’s specific plan for our lives.  There is a unique place in the body of Christ we fit, the same way my right hand was designed to fit my right arm.  If it tried to be a liver because it thought livers are important, it wouldn’t function properly and my entire body would suffer.  The same holds true for us when we don’t find God’s specific plan for us and get in it.

There is a principle in the business world called the 80/20 rule of time management.  It was based off the work of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that says approximately 20 percent of your efforts produce 80 percent of the results. Why is this?  It’s because we all have things we are naturally good at and we easily flourish in those areas.  The 80/20 rule says we should focus on the 20 percent of our work that we flourish in and learn to maximize that and become exceptional in those areas.  This will lead to more productivity than if we equally focus on every aspect of our job and are mediocre to average at everything.  

Let me illustrate it this way.  Would a football player who is naturally 6 feet 6 inches tall and 300 lbs of muscle be better to focus developing his strength and technique to become a GREAT offensive lineman or would he be better to focus on becoming an all around player by losing 40 lbs so he is faster and can play both offensive line and linebacker?  He would certainly be better at linebacker if he lost the 40 lbs, however, if his frame is designed to carry 300, Jesus didn’t design him to be naturally fast or athletic enough to be GREAT at linebacker. At best he would be average. Losing the weight would also probably make him a mediocre to average offensive lineman because he wouldn’t be strong enough to be GREAT! When you think about it, its pretty obvious he’d be better to focus on becoming a GREAT offensive lineman than becoming average at two positions.  People don’t get multi-million dollar contracts and go to the Hall of Fame for being average.

This same principle holds true in life for each of us.  What are you called to do?  God wants you to find your place and then stay in your lane.  This is where you will have the maximum productivity.  Before I look at a scripture on this principal, I want to help you determine if you are maximizing the talents Jesus has given you or if you trying to develop in areas outside of the calling on your life.

You’re focusing to much outside of your calling if the following statements are true:

  • You’re working on tasks other people want you to, but you have no investment in them.
  • You’re frequently working on tasks labeled “urgent.”
  • You’re spending time on tasks you are not usually good at doing.
  • Activities take a lot longer than you expected.
  • You feel drained at the end of the day and no overall fulfillment.

You’re focusing on your calling if the following statements are true:

  • You’re involved in activities that advance your overall purpose in life .
  • You’re doing things you are passionate about and have always wanted to do. 
  • You’re working on tasks you don’t like, but you’re doing them knowing they relate to the bigger picture.  This is key. We are always going to have to do things that aren’t fun and we don’t like, but if these things advance our life purpose, we should do them because they will ultimately lead to fulfillment.  For example, Michael Jordan used to lift weights every summer to get his body ready for the next season.  I’m sure he’d have rather done other stuff, but the weight lifting advanced his overall life purpose so it was part of his calling. 
  • You find yourself smiling a lot.  

Jesus has called us to excellence! We are called to focus on one main thing we are good at and do that.  According to Andrew Wommack, multitasking leads to doing multiple things poorly. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians 3:13:

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

In this passage, Paul said he did one thing!  He forgot the things of the past and if you study his life he ignored the things of his present that didn’t fit with his high call to be an apostle.  He went on to say that he pressed toward the mark of the high call of God in Christ.  Each of us have a calling and a high calling.  Our calling is to be born again, but the high calling involves becoming a disciple (devoted follower) and fulfilling our life’s purpose!

You were born for purpose and Jesus wants you to fulfill your purpose!  Once you find your lane, stay in it!  This is how you maximize productivity in your life!  I hope this article has encouraged you. If you’d like to more about how to find God’s will for your life, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.

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