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  • Writer's pictureClaire Louise Smart

Live Before You Die

Around ten years ago I read a book called 'Live Before You Die' by Daniel Kolenda. It has had a profound impact on my life, and if it wasn't for reading this book and applying the wisdom gained from it, I don't think I would be where I am today.

In the book Daniel writes about how to discern Gods will for your life and how to live the life God has called you to live, rather than burying your gifts and talents because of fear. Daniel has led millions to Jesus through preaching the Gospel in many nations, written many books, and pioneered various trainings and ministry schools where he has raised up thousands of evangelists to walk out their God given destiny.

Here is a short video from his teaching series based on his book, where he shares about the concept of talents and the biblical basis for this. I encourage you to watch it and to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what your talents are, and what fears you have allowed to stop you from stepping out into what God has called you to.

At 3 minutes and 30 seconds into this video Daniel shares a profound revelation on what happens when we allow fear to prevent us from living what God has called us to,

"One of the most tragic places you can visit is a cemetery, not because of the people that are buried here, but because of what's buried inside of the people that are buried here, think of all the books and songs that were never written, forgiveness that was never granted, ideas that were never developed, sermons that were never preached. So much potential that was never realised, so much has been buried and lost for all of eternity because someone was afraid of being hurt, afraid of criticism, afraid of rejection, afraid of financial difficulty or physical danger."- Evangelist Daniel Kolenda

When I read this book ten years ago, God had already showed me that I was called as a prophetic evangelist, to crusade evangelism and as a missionary to Africa and Indigenous Australians. After I read this book, I took practical steps to pursue these callings, so I invested in a backpack to use for travelling to remote places as a missionary and bought a journal that I used for evangelism. I wrote all the prophetic words I had received about evangelism, wrote down all the scriptures about evangelism, stuck in Gospel tracts, wrote out testimonies of when I was sharing the Gospel of Jesus, and started to write outlines for preaches.

It was around six years later that the door opened for me to preach and move to central Australia as a missionary to the Indigenous Australians, and then two years after this I had the opportunity to be trained in crusade evangelism, lead thousands to Jesus through preaching the Gospel and helped to plan 11 mass Gospel crusades where we saw hundreds of thousands of people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

There have been many other things that I have done in faith over the years, taking small and large steps in the direction God had called me to, and especially noticing that when there is fear, this is the perfect opportunity to step through it, into destiny. I learnt in this season that faithful stewardship is the key to increase in the Kingdom of God.

I was recently talking with a friend who shared his testimony of how in a season of his life, God was speaking to him that he needed to change his trajectory to fulfil the purpose God had put on his life. God sent three older men at different times who all had regret from not being obedient to the call God had for their lives from a young age. Two of these men were called as pastors, and another was called as a missionary to Africa. All three were now in their 60's and 70's regretting that they did not take up the call sooner.

Recently, when I was in Alabama, USA on mission trip I was in a restaurant, and I felt God show me that a man there was called as a pastor. I shared this with him, and his wife and him laughed and said that God had been speaking to them for a long time about this. He said he didn't feel equipped which is often a masquerade for fear. When God calls us, He equips us as we go. I had the opportunity to encourage him to step out and that God will back him as he goes.

When God speaks, whether that be directly to us, or through prophetic words we should not just sit and wait for them to come to pass. God speaks to invite us and guide us into our destiny. We are not called to live a comfortable life, but a life of radical obedience and faithful stewardship of all God has given us.

"God will lift you out of the deepest pit, but He will not lift you out of your easy chair" - Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

I once had someone ask me, what would I do if I had no fear, could never fail and if I had all the financial resources I needed? The answer to this question if answered through a sanctified imagination of one whose life is surrendered to Jesus is often what God is calling you to do! Dream big and know that nothing is impossible with God!

I encourage you to write down the gifts and talents God has given you, the things you find joy in doing, the things that you are good at and ask God how He wants to use these things to advance the Kingdom of God. Ask the Holy Spirit where fear has stopped you and repent from this. Plan what next step you will take towards what God is calling you to do and keep taking steps.

The most joy, peace and satisfaction come when you are fully walking in who God created you to be. This doesn't have to be only 'church ministry' but could be anything that brings God glory. It could be creating wealth, raising your children up in the Lord or helping those in need amongst a multitude of other things.

My encouragement for us is that we wouldn't wait until the opportune time to do what God has called us to do, because the opportune time will never come. Life is busy, and there will always be a plethora of things that can take your time and resources, but it takes all of us to fully show up for us to be unified in the purposes God has for us.

"And He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."" - Mark 16:15

We are called to GO! That doesn't look like self-promotion, but it might look like humbly asking for an opportunity where you see one. That doesn't necessarily look like moving to the mission field tomorrow unless God has told you to. What God has called you to will always align with scripture of loving God and loving others.

Humble yourself, recognise that the calling of God on our lives is not because we did something special. The amount or measure of gifts, talents and grace are not necessarily because we were initially more faithful than others.

God asks us to go in family. We must recognise that we need mothers, fathers and spiritual family who believe in the call of God on our lives, no matter how large or impossible it looks and that can give us wisdom and encouragement along the way. Pray for these people to come into your life and take action to invest in these relationships.

Above all things, we must abide and remain in the secret place in prayer (John 15:4, Matthew 6:6). All of what I have been able to do has come through seeking the Lord and seeing all of it first in prayer. All that we do is out of relationship with God, out of knowing Gods love for us, our true identity in Christ, and out of that overflow of our love for God will come a genuine desire to advance His Kingdom through loving those around us. It is possible and necessary to both rest and remain in God, and at the same time go and take action in what God has called us into.

I pray that the Lord will lead you to come away with Him, to hear His voice and calling for your life and that from this place you will take action to live out your God given purpose!


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