So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33 (ESV)
There are few industries where it is easier to find our worth and identity in our job than filmmaking. The fast-paced life, the excitement of creating, and the fact that no two projects are ever the same combine to give filmmaking a powerful mystique. Identifying ourselves as filmmakers (or anything else) ahead of being followers of Christ, however, is a trap that will leave us drained and empty. Only an identity found in Christ and walking in relationship with Him will satisfy.
Working for God
Having a vocational or ministry calling does not change the importance of our identity as children of God and followers of Christ first. Living in a secularized culture, we often place too great a significance on what we do, especially in ministry, to the point that we can actually lose our effectiveness.
When we act as if our service to the Lord is more important than our personal walk with Him—when we put more time, emphasis, and effort on external fruit rather than on making sure we are rooted in Him internally), we not only miss the point of why we do what we do, but we also disconnect from the Source we need to do it!
Abiding with God
In John 15:5, Jesus reminds us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (ESV) When we seek first His Kingdom, with what we do spilling out as an overflow of a life dedicated to Christ, we discover that our work has a deeper meaning, that it is not lost but a connected outworking of our highest calling (see Matthew 6:33). Rather than losing purpose and meaning, we find it.
Anything else that we place our identity in will fade. Films can fail to be produced, footage can be lost, and companies can rise and fall, but nothing can alter who we are as children of God.
Settling for Less
One of the strongest reasons we get our priorities out of alignment is that we can feel that in placing our calling and vocation beneath our walk with Christ, we are settling for something “less than.” Jesus addresses this very issue when He visited Mary and Martha. Mary chose to sit at His feet and received the better part—Christ’s teaching—in contrast to Martha, who just busied herself in serving. (See Luke 10:38-42)
In examining our own lives, we need to seriously ask ourselves: What response does this call to abandon all else and follow Christ elicit within us? If it grates against us or makes us nervous, if we feel we will lose something or miss out, perhaps it is because we have too small a view of our God and what a true walk with Him is.
To quote C.S. Lewis, “He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.” We have an open invitation to come before the throne of the King of Kings, to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, and to walk with the very Creator of all things. Why would we ever consider this to be the lesser option?