So God told the Israelites he would bring them into the Promised Land. If you read my previous post, you know from the Israelites’ “but,” that they had their doubts. Their main concern was that the people who were currently residing in this Promised Land were stronger and greater in number than they were.
Yet God stuck true to this word (as he tends to do) and instructed them, “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.” (Deuteronomy 18:9)
This is such an appropriate warning – for the Israelites and for us. How easy it is to “conform to the patterns of this world.” (Romans 12:2) But God is telling us that if we follow him, he is going to lead us into prosperity, into success, into a land of abundance. And when we get there, we are called to stand apart, to stand up for what we believe, to stand firm in our ways, the Lord’s ways.
Of course I immediately think of my acting career. I don’t know what the Lord has planned for my life, but should he choose to bless me with success through acting, I know he is preparing me now.
When people achieve success or make a ton of money, especially quickly, it is common for them to lose sight of who they are and where they came from and what they stand for. You know that saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything?” I think that’s so true.
I’m nowhere near “making it” in Hollywood. These days I don’t know if I will get an audition much less book a job. But these days I am putting my full trust in God’s plan for my life. These days I am learning every day more about what it means to be a follower of Christ and trying to live more like him every day. These days the Lord is building my faith as my foundation to stand on no matter where he leads me.
I know that if I have success as an actress, it will be by the grace of God. Sure, I have worked hard, gone to classes, done my networking, read books, done showcases, workshops, rehearsed, worked for free, etc. But here I am with this experience under my belt and the confidence in my ability to act… And my career in completely in God’s hands. I can’t just say, “Enough of this. I am going to go out a book a job today!” Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy. There are so many factors that come into play.
Just the other day I was watching an episode of Nashville for which I auditioned, and the person who booked the role was a six foot tall African American male. Can’t really compete with that when clearly they just didn’t know what they were looking for.
I believe most anyone can decide they want to be an actor, put in the work, be prepared, be skilled, be ready… But there comes a time when there is only so much you can control. As for me, I believe my career is in the hands of God. And should he decide to bless me with success, I know there will be temptations.
But I know that I am not called to conform. I am called to stand firm in what I believe, in who I am in Christ. I am called to remember that it is through God and his grace alone that I am able to do anything. The only reason I think the Lord would want to bless me with success is to make his kingdom greater, to spread his love, to share the hope that I have in him.
I believe that life is a “practice.” We are never done. We are always practicing, we are always evolving, we are always improving. No matter if we are at the beginning of our journey or the end, if we are at the beginning of our career or at the end.
But especially if we are at the beginning, let’s start practicing now to be the person we want to be when we do reach that position of power or level of success. Because it’s not going to get easier. It will only get harder. The temptations will be greater. The things of this world will be thrown at you. They will tug at you. They will try to bring you down, to get you to conform.
But remember, we are not called to “conform to the patterns of this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind. Then [we] will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)