I received a Yeti coffee mug for Christmas this past year. Even though I had no idea what it was at the time, our Yeti has become an important part of our morning routine in the Henry household.
One morning before work last week, I opened the refrigerator to find our Yeti sitting inside with the lid on. I giggled a little and asked Josh, “Why is the Yeti in the refrigerator?” He confidently replied that he wanted his drink to be iced that day, so he was cooling off his freshly brewed coffee in the fridge.
I laughed again to myself because it became apparent in that moment that Josh did not understand how a Yeti worked. It’s unique quality that makes it so sought after is that they are designed to hold the temperature of the beverage inside of it, regardless of the temperature in the environment around it.
Its very selling point is its ability to protect what is inside of it, irrespective of the elements surrounding it. So, because Josh’s coffee was hot when it was poured, no amount of cold air around it was going to change the temperature inside of it.
One of the key elements to a thriving life in Christ is the ability to operate from what lies inside of us, regardless of what is happening around us. When we understand the urgency of operating from within, we will see the significance of protecting what God has placed inside each of us.
When God has told us that we will change a nation, but we are still in school and unsure of what the next step is, protecting what is within will directly impact the decisions we make.
When we sense God’s call to the mission field but there are attractive opportunities for promotion, protecting the calling in our heart will determine how we move forward.
Every person has dreams, ambitions, and goals for their life. When we feel inspired and passionate about pursuing these dreams, often our first reaction is to take action--creating a plan to turn our dream into reality. I would challenge us with the idea that our number one responsibility to our dreams is not to outwork them, but rather to protect them. To protect what God has planted in our hearts and the destiny he has spoken over our lives.
There are beautiful seasons specifically set apart for strategy and action, but there are also critical and often underestimated times for protecting and stewarding. It is the seasons of protecting that will release us into the seasons of outworking.
God never asked us to rationalize our dreams, explain them, resource them or develop them in our own strength. He asks us to protect them and allow Him to outwork the miracle.
In the gospels we see an incredible picture of Mary, the mother of Jesus, protecting what God put inside of her, irrespective of what was taking place around her.
Right after Jesus was born, the wise men came to see the newborn king and to bring him gifts. When they arrived, they began lavishing him with extraordinary compliments and exclamations of His heavenly royalty. Mary was still a young woman at the time and though she knew Jesus was marked by God, a lot of the details remained a mystery to her.
In that moment, when a small glimpse of heaven’s plan was revealed to her, the Bible says that she “treasured all of these things and pondered them in her heart.”
She did not take action. She did not create a website or tweet about it. She stored it in her heart. Mary carried around the collected clues of God’s promise for 30 years, until the day Jesus revealed himself as King of Kings. During those 30 years, she raised him, fed him, and was faithful to serve the promise even though she had no evidence of how it would unfold. In every element of her actions, Mary protected the promise and God outworked the miracle.
Although Mary and I live in different cultures and are active during different parts of God’s greater story, guarding different callings, we both found this truth at the center of our lives.
When I was 18-years-old I studied abroad in Paris, and came face to face with the brutal reality of human trafficking in our world for the first time. In the moment that my sweet southern mind was intruded with harsh facts of what is happening to millions around the globe, a seed was planted. It was a seed of calling, a seed of passion, and a seed of what would one day be a key element of my destiny.
I became a Christian when I was 21-years-old. The day that I got saved, God set me free from my past, and I stepped into a new life and a new beginning. In that moment, when the chains were broken, I felt a sense of calling and purpose on my life.
In the weeks and months that followed, I knew nothing of what God had for my life but I did know that I was now free, called, set apart and I never wanted to go back.
Operating in freedom began to unlock the door for me to walk into my destiny.
As I grew in my faith and my relationship with God, I became protective of my freedom and hence my calling. There were places I would not go, things I would not watch, and elements I would not expose myself to, not because I wanted to follow any set of rules. Quite the contrary- I was free and I was pedantic about protecting the calling that lay deep within me.
As I continued on the journey of discovering who I was, where I was going and how to protect my calling, God unfolded his purposes in his perfect timing.
When I was 22-years-old I had just graduated from college and snagged a great full time job in the corporate realm. While corporate is spectacular and necessary, I knew it was not what God had for me. I still carried around the seed of passion for justice in my heart but the timing was not right. I continuously read articles, gave to thriving organizations, and prayed for God to protect and steward what I knew would one day turn into a reality.
When I heard Christine Caine speak about The A21 Campaign, I made the leap to intern with the organization, and I knew it was the first phase of seeing life breathed into this dream I had been guarding.
Protecting what God has put inside of us and operating from within rather than around, will unlock the door to step into everything God has purposed for our future. When we step into all that God has for us, we enter realities that reach beyond us and into lives we have yet to encounter.
Kayla is a Texas native, newlywed living in California. She started working at A21 in their Sydney office four years ago. She loves anything outdoors and is determined about the fight against human trafficking. Connect with her on her blog.