While viewing is not necessary to follow along with the article, the brief 8-minute video below is a quick introduction to the topic and a way for me to connect with other like-minded believers.
Embrace Your Design: It’s Okay to be You
Do you have what it takes to slay a giant?
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”
Even before David stepped up to take on Goliath’s challenge, he was anointed by Samuel at God’s behest to someday be king. We see from the verse above that David already had a God-sized heart. What a great reminder that our heart for Him is a determining factor for God’s use of us, even those of us who feel smallest in position and stature. I’m glad I went back and read this prequel to David’s encounter with the giant. A later verse in the story of David’s anointing stands out as an explanation for something I’ve been considering recently: What was so different about David that he would walk onto the scene, with no recorded-in-Scripture hesitation, and ask the bold question of what would be done for the man who would kill the Philistine. Clearly, I hadn’t read David’s anointing scene recently.
1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.”
Question answered by the verses above: David had a heart for God and was walking in the Spirit. We, as believers, have the Spirit of the living God within us, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). Because we do have the Spirit, we can step without hesitation into our assigned role and do massive harm to the giant of rising evil in our midst. Remember, for every person we wake and warn, damage to the dark kingdom is the outcome. All matter: the masses, the many, and the few. And all are reached by the different gifts given to different believers.
Yet, there most stand, maybe even you, filled with more hesitation than bravery. It happens to us all. Once we learn what’s going on and how close we are to the rapture, we each ask ourselves the same questions: What is my role, and how can I help?
Recently, I’ve had to narrow in on my own role. I wrote Daybreak during 2021 to help explain the rapture and warn of the rising darkness. That was certainly an assignment from God, but I wouldn’t consider it as my one defining role. I know what my role isn’t. There are knowledgeable, trustworthy truth-tellers out there, pastors and teachers who keep us apprised of what’s going on in the world and how it can all be filtered through the lens of Scripture. I’ve shared many of their resources on my Daybreak.Team site for others to learn more, but I know I’m not to step over into their lane and begin mimicking them. That just isn’t my role.
It’s only been recently that the Lord has clarified my role and simplified my mission. It’s not a surprising one since it’s most always been my heart: I’m a discipler; I feed sheep. That’s what I do even when my methods through fiction are different than the norm. It took me years to embrace my God-given design as His unique means of using me. Because I have learned to use the gifts God has given me, it wasn’t a far stretch for me to use them here at the end, through fiction.
Now, alongside my fiction writing, the Lord is guiding my discipler’s heart to help others define their roles based on their own unique designs. Since this has been a hard-fought-for battle in my own journey of life and ministry, I have to give it to Him, that He sure prepared me in advance to write about this topic. I’ve likely spent more time fighting my design than embracing it. Many of us do.
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessel of the earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’…” (Isaiah 45:9).
It’s time to stop fighting your design and instead work with the One who uniquely formed you to serve in a unique-to-you way. I feel like I’m handing you a piece of chocolate cake as I deliver my next news: It’s okay—more than okay—to be who you are and do what you do, the increasingly sanctified version of you, of course. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of your church experience comparing yourselves with others and, more often than not, coming up short. “They,” whoever they are, are more gifted or better qualified in the ways that matter.
I don’t doubt that’s one of the enemy’s greatest tactics in keeping believers still and quiet. We don’t serve or talk because we greatly underestimate our valuable place in the kingdom and our value to the King. As it was said of David, the man who would someday become ruler over Israel, hopefully you and I can be called a man or woman after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Will you take this next statement and intentionally draw it into your belief system? Whether you do or don’t have a heart for Him now, believer, just because of who you are, Jesus has a heart for you and will help you grow your heart for Him.
Here’s a personal example of me undervaluing my role in the kingdom: I’m a major talker, like, I almost literally can’t be quiet. In my early years of learning and trying to walk steadily with Jesus, I would leave small groups or Sunday school classes berating myself each week, reminding talkative Lisa that she needed to learn to shut up and that no one wanted to hear what she had to say. That wasn’t just my own voice trying to stifle my passion and enthusiasm; that was the whisper of the enemy, hellbent (Can I say that word?) on silencing me before I could ever get started discipling and building up believers. That’s exactly how he operates. It took a pastor’s wife inviting me to speak at a conference to help me to see “me” differently. She said, “People listen to you.” I sure hadn’t noticed that.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the same defeating voice. He tells you you’re not smart enough or well-versed enough in the Bible to talk to people about Jesus. He belittles your area of service and your area of giftedness. Like for me, the idea of fiction writing seemed equal to me offering cotton candy to a soul in need of meat. What the Lord eventually showed me was that He made me “me” with purpose and has gifted me in such a way that I’m able to tuck even the deepest of concepts into the pages of a fiction story in a way that will sweeten the taste and create a yearning for more.
It’s the same with you: He made you “you” with purpose. The Potter knew exactly what kind of pot you needed to be to carry Living Water to the thirsty in your community. Right now, in today’s world, a thirsting-to-death people have no idea of what’s coming. Since most pastors are silent, how will the lost and found know if we, the awakened sheep, don’t sound the wake-up call? This role we’re being thrust into is frightening, but don’t panic just yet. Our next session will offer a little help for you to find your own voice and how to use it. For now, in this portion of our series, you will do some internal and external investigating.
To get your mind going, I’ll list a few examples below of how people are shaped uniquely and perfectly for their own role. None are wrong. In fact, they are all right when God uses the real and true us—the one He designed us perfectly to be—to serve in His kingdom. I was reminded this morning through song lyrics that what we call our or my design is more accurately to be called His design. He’s the Designer and Crafter of who you are and who I am.
When I stopped fighting and surrendered to His design for me, I became the truest version of myself, something I know has pleased Him over the years. On a more selfish note, I was given permission to do what I love, what brings me the most joy. Isn’t that proof of His heart for me, that He would create me and gift me in a way that He would eventually call me to serve?
Maybe you love to host gatherings at your home. It’s nothing for you to invite a dozen people over and make food. This is no exaggeration here: The idea of cooking a large or even small meal for a gathering is one of the most stressful thoughts for me. No kidding, I would rather talk in front of a thousand people than to figure out what to feed ten. What if, however, you use your gift and partner with someone like me, someone with a different skill set? You host the gathering and allow someone else to speak.
Maybe your spiritual gift is to play golf. (I know that’s not really a thing.) On the golf course, you can build relationships that will allow for you to speak into their lives over time. On a good day, that’ll give you eighteen holes to warn someone of what’s coming, even if you only start with the basics like the failing economy and the break-down in the supply chain.
If you enjoy getting together with friends over coffee, extend individual invitations and tell what you know. Unfurl it slowly and over time. We who do see the signs of our times need to draw others in and help to wake them slowly to our final series of daybreaks before that final Sonset of the rapture.
A word of encouragement here: Don’t panic thinking He will call you to get up on a stage and shout about all these last-days happenings. Well, unless that’s how he’s using you now. Then you can panic just a little. Yes, if you have a sizeable platform where you can reach people, it is very likely He will call you to use that platform. He has blessed you with abundance for such a time as this. But if you’re now a baby rocker, then God will more likely use you to whisper softly into the hearts of the families of your little ones by opening conversations.
Allow yourself, through prayer, to not only look at your current giftings but also at your history and circumstances. Look for common themes of how and where you’ve served, especially those areas that brought you joy rather than those areas where you’ve served out of need or obligation. Many of us twenty-percenters, those who serve the eighty, have had to step up into roles when someone else wouldn’t. We have abilities to serve outside our area of giftedness, but just because we can doesn’t mean we should. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and how God designed me by serving in areas where I’m not actually gifted. No one told me early in my walk with the Lord that I didn’t have to say yes to every opportunity. So I did. Ugh! You probably have too.
Here’s a personal example of the can versus the should. I didn’t understand this about myself until the last few years, but I’m a major introvert. I just happen to have extrovert abilities that allow me to never meet a stranger and work a room when needed. What I’ve come to learn over the years is that I can hop on a stage and talk about Jesus until someone drags me off, but smaller interactions drain me. Oddly enough, I love people so much that I spend my days, even my waking hours in the middle of the night, doing all I can to pour into them and help lead them closer to Jesus. Just don’t make me people in person. I’m my most energetic when left alone to study and write.
The quarantine happened in 2020, and I kept telling people I had been training for this my whole life. While other people were climbing the walls and longing for human interactions, I never missed being out and about. One lingering result of that scared-of-each-other season, grocery pick-up and delivery, is this hibernating writer’s way to not people indefinitely.
So, what did God do? He designed me to love and need the solitude it takes for written words to pour onto a page. Otherwise, I would be out amidst the clamoring of the world and not hear what He has to say to me to say to you. It’s more than okay to be me; it’s expected. I don’t know what your design is, but you can and must figure it out. Whatever it is, it will suit you and energize you when you do it. Can you even fathom a God who would love you enough to call you to serve in a way that might bring you joy? Can you imagine that your joy in embracing your design would bring Him joy and satisfaction? If the Potter creates a pot and that pot is used as He had planned, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Potter would rejoice in that?
We must—absolutely must—get the notion out of our head that the least desirable area of service is where God must want us to serve. Do we all have mundane tasks that go along with our joyful gifts? Yes. But can we serve and find joy where we’re gifted? We’d better.
No matter your size, no matter your station, you have a role to play, maybe more than one. David was a shepherd who, through his shepherding years, fed and protected his sheep. Once sent to the frontline for what he thought was feeding his brothers, he ended up answering a call he likely never expected, using skills he had developed over time, a thought that leads to: Don’t get stuck where you think you belong or where you’ve always been. The Potter is well known for dousing the clay with water and reshaping it as needed for His new-season purpose.
My own role has shifted in a way that still perfectly suits me. I’m the same me, just using different skills He has led me to learn over the years up until now. Fishermen became fishers of men. They were still them; it was just that their mission shifted. They began to confidently tell of Who they had been with. Now, we need to confidently tell about Who we know is coming.
Check out my interview with Daybreak team member Kim Lazenby as she recounts her own journey of embracing her design to step into her current role. Apologies for the formatting and black lines around the video.
Before you begin your internal and external investigation, take the time to read Acts 4:13. With your own abilities in mind, remember that your proximity to Jesus makes all the difference in how you use your God-given gifts. Peter and John were able to speak with confidence, though they were uneducated and untrained men, because they had been with Him. If you’re not one who has a quiet time each day, in prayer and in the Word, then you must start. If ever there was a time to get to know the One who knows you and your design, it’s now. In order to answer your own unique calling for such a time as this, you have to meet with the Father who oversees this kingdom family business. He knows your role and longs to see you step into it.
Your rising up will look different than others around you. That’s more than okay; that’s the point.
Learn to ask in prayer and explore within and without questions like:
- How am I wired, and what is my God-given, Spirit-driven personality?
- Am I an introvert or extrovert?
- Are my skills more geared toward written, online outreach, or in-person communications?
- How has God used me in the past?
- What fuels my passions and stirs my heart?
- What experiences have I gained over the years that make me uniquely qualified for service?
When looking back, you may recall a long-ago dreamed dream of what you had hoped to accomplish for the kingdom. In that season and since then, you may have faced nothing but closed doors. Is it possible that your dreams have been valid all along and God-inspired? Maybe you happened to arrive at the door a minute or ten too early. I’ve been exactly there, in front of a door I was certain was supposed to be open. I’m only now learning to stand still at a closed door and not jiggle the handle. Implicit trust and years of walking with a faithful Savior have taught me it’s wise to accept His no, or no for now. Timing is everything. I also know that there are times when perseverance whispers and tells me to stand at that door and knock without giving up.
What if this is your dream-come-true season? The point is, don’t discount old dreams. They could possibly be a clue to your role in our final hours here on earth. They have been for me.
Now, use your past experiences and longings and your innate design to narrow in on how God has intentionally shaped you for your role. Who are you really, and what can you offer? “Nothing” isn’t ever an answer. We all have an offering to lay before the feet of the King, none any lesser than others, just different.
Here are some “From Kim” thoughts for you to take along on your next-days journey. They are great conversation starters you can open with the Lord, ones that give Him praise and encourage you along the way.
- You, My Designer, love me and know me perfectly, so I can trust Your plans for me in these last days. Your plans for me are not just good, but perfect.
- As I do what You created me to do, I find true peace.
- You’re the One who gave me these gifts to be used for Your glory, Your purposes.
- My design is good, perfect in fact for me.
- When I’m doing what You created me to do, it pleases You.
- As I’m doing what You’ve called me to do, I feel You stretching me, pulling me at times, yet I can trust the shaping-into-my-role process. I can rest in Your hands that never let me go. I don’t need to be afraid.
- Because You love me, You actually allow me to enjoy that which You’ve created me to do for You.
- Nothing in my life is wasted in Your hands. Everything I’ve been through, the good, the bad, and the ugly, You have used to shape me.
- You determine my design, not any man, so I offer it back to You alone, regardless of what anyone thinks or says.
- My design isn’t bad or less than.
- It’s not only okay to be the me You created me to be; it’s good, and it pleases, You, my Father. I don’t need to try and be anyone else.
My closing prayer for you is taken from Colossians 1:9-12, quite possibly the longest one sentence in Scripture.
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining for all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritances of the saints.”
Note that final phrase: “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share…” You are qualified—I am qualified—because He is the one doing the qualifying. Let’s trust that and embrace our unique-to-us-designs.
Final thoughts: Bear in mind that this investigation is a continuing process and will take time. Yet, you can’t wait for final conclusions before you get started. We do what we can when we can. Then we hone our skills and refine our roles along the way. When we know a little, we share a little. When we know more, we share more. Share what you can as you can. I hope your next step will be to read Elevate Your Voice Parts One and Two when they’re available, the final two installments of the Prepare for Your Role series.
I am blessed to join your journey.
Other Entries on This Topic: How Do I Share What I Know? Series
The Daybreak ebook is always offered for free here: Daybreak Free Download
In this ripped-from-the-headlines action adventure, Paige discovers the world isn’t what she thinks it is. After an urgent phone call from her dad, she sets out on a mission to find the absentee father who walked out of her life only weeks after her mother’s untimely death.
Wyatt, the soldier her father sends to protect her, sounds just like her dad, raving of conspiracies and warning of impending doom. This team, these loyal-to-her-father men, will stop at nothing to locate their leader.
Nothing about Paige’s life will ever be the same after that knock on her door and Wyatt’s two-minute warning.
As an author, Lisa Heaton is a storyteller with a heart for truth. Her greatest desire in her fiction and nonfiction work is to challenge the reader to discover the truth of who Jesus is and who they are to Him. Now, here as we wait for the any-minute arrival of Jesus for His church in the rapture, Lisa’s latest mission is to warn the lost and wake the found and to help others discover their unique voice to share the truth of our times. More at LisaHeatonBooks.com and Daybreak.Team.