What do Ruth, Joseph, Paul and you have in common? Each was chosen as a vessel of honor by God. Each was required to be fully dependent upon Him as they lead* people. Each was given a position by God which just so happened to be less valued (or, in the case of Ruth, Joseph and Paul, sometimes even despised) by men.
God Himself has determined your position in life. Whether or not He has you preaching to a den full of lions, like Daniel, or preaching to lost souls in a prison, like Paul, or preaching with your god-honoring life to co-workers in a field, like Ruth, your "position" of honor is the one He gave you, regardless of how that is valued (or devalued) by men.
As I work with Christian women speakers, I frequently get emails from gals who are discouraged because they are not getting the number of speaking invitations they long to receive. I also get emails from speakers who are getting so many invitations that they don't know how to handle it. What makes the difference?
I propose that there are four things you can do to gracefully move from today to tomorrow and to, eventually, your full God-ordained sphere of influence:
1) Memorize, meditate on and pray Matthew 6:33 which explains the attitude God requires from leaders: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." In the end, it is God's choice whether He enables you to bring Him honor from a position in a castle or in a cabin.
2) Start today to live at the level of dependence on God and accountability that will be required of you should God ever grant you the position of honor you are seeking (or to which you believe God is calling you). Like Joseph, your path to prince-dome is most likely going to cost you everything you hold dear.
3) Practice, practice, practice! "Practicing the Presence of God" is the title of a little book that has impacted the lives of millions of people for many decades. It was written by a "chubby, bumbling" monk who worked in the kitchen of a monastery. If God can use Brother Lawrence to build His kingdom, are you willing to let Him use you, from where ever He has placed you? Identify your current kitchen or prison: It might be, like Paul's, a literal cell, or like Hannah's, the prison of barrenness or like Mary's, the mother of Jesus who spent her whole life convinced that Jesus was going to save the Jews. She raised His siblings (none of whom believed in her faith or in Jesus' deity), she must have wondered about His lack of motivation to get going on God's work during His 20's, and she was surely confused as she watched Him die the death of a criminal, providing not one shred of hope that He could ever fulfill His mission from her perspective.
Mary's role as Jesus' mother is only now, after her death, held in such a state of honor. For the entirety of her life, she did menial things, surrounded by unbelieving family members and a society who was convinced of her sin of premarital sex.
4) Move forward by faith! My sister taught me this definition of faith, "Faith is doing what I would do, if I knew for sure that God was going to do for me what I am asking Him to do." This faith-focus allowed her to exercise and eat right until, after eighteen years of marriage, prayers and miscarriages, God granted her a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby.
If you knew for sure that God was going to give you exactly what you are praying for right now, what would you get busy doing today? Do it!
Too many times we think that God only uses the "big" names. That is travesty! God has always, and will always, use every single person willing to be used. It is, in fact, our petty demands for power and position that often hold Him back from using us.
Join me in praying that God would simply accomplish through my life the exact and full measure of what He envisioned before He created me in my mother's womb.
Remember: Like the engineer who designs the bicycle to be ridden for pleasure, exercise and transportation, so we have a Creator who created us for a specific purpose. Anytime we try to do or become anything other than God's plan for our life, we find ourselves angry, ineffective, and full of self-pity. It is as we allow God to accomplish His work through us, whatever that is, that we find pure joy.
*Leadership: If you are over two years old, your life and choices are having an influence on someone, which makes you a leader.
Marnie Swedberg is the webhostess of http://www.WomenSpeakers.com. She is the Leadership Mentor to thousands of women from every continent. Learn more about her here: http://www.marnie.com.