Don’t have a care in the world — in spiritual sense
Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Gillian Rea
GCU News Bureau
Hands in pockets. Wide-brimmed black hat. “Eat. Sleep. Preach. Repeat.” T-shirt. Frequent references to his audience as “family.” Key points punctuated with “watch this.” Yep, Dewayne Hawkins is as relatable and down to earth as a public speaker can get.
And then the Lead Pastor of Life Givers Church in Goodyear delivered a message about the earthly life that quickly got the attention of the Chapel audience Monday morning when he began with this:
“Your life matters way too much – yep, to you. Your life matters way … too … much.”
Hawkins said he wanted to say something that would resonate with Grand Canyon University students, and this was what God put on his heart:
“You spend your waking hours and, for some of you in here, even your resting hours wrecking your brain over the next exam, the next paper, the next class, the next internship, the next this, the next that, the next relationship. … My hope is to free you today. Your life matters way … too … much.
“If you’re honest with yourself, more than half of the stuff you stress about – watch this – is stuff that may never even happen. Yep. More than half of the stuff that wrecks your brain are things that aren’t even promised to you yet, yet you give your waking energy today to it.”
The apostle Paul certainly didn’t think that way. Hawkins noted that Paul had more than his share of struggles, but “his thoughts and his emotions leaned into the person and the work of Jesus Christ.”
Paul wrote in Acts 20:24:
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.
The point, Hawkins said, is this:
“News flash: Jesus did not die so you could have your best life today.”
But that is far from what we constantly see and hear. Hawkins said it even goes beyond the secular existence and extends to our prayer life:
“This is the problem with our culture and our world today: We have taken Jesus, and we worship Him and we pray to Him and we get in The Word and we ask Him for things hoping that we wouldn’t get Him but we would get the life that He would give us. The truth of the matter is, you would rather the gifts – ha! – over the Giver.”
It’s all a matter of focus.
“When’s the last time – and this is so dear to my heart, family – … you grieved over a soul not being saved?” Hawkins continued. “When’s the last time you grieved over you having missed an opportunity to be all that the Lord has made you to be to God’s glory and the good of others? …
“There’s a discrepancy here. And that discrepancy in your life informs you well that you care more for your life going the way you think it should go than you do the assignment of the Lord on your life. CARE … LESS. CARE … LESS … ABOUT … YOUR … LIFE!”
Hawkins asked the students to think about which one dominates their lives – schoolwork or the Gospel. This does not mean they shouldn’t care about their grades. But it’s a matter of priorities.
“Watch this, watch this,” he said. “It’s not that Paul is saying, ‘Don’t care at all about your life.’ Paul’s not saying that. It’s not that he’s saying, you know, you should just go out here and fail your classes because the preacher said today that they don’t matter anyway. If you run out of here and do that, that’s on you, that’s not on me – I didn’t say that.”
What he was saying, instead, was this:
“Care less about your life in light of caring more about the cross.”
And on that path of life, Hawkins declared, we are charged with being good stewards of whatever God gives us because we never know how He’s going to use us. Case in point: Hawkins took four years of Spanish in high school simply because it was a requirement. He didn’t think much of it at the time, but …
“Little did I know that the Lord would call me to not just plant one church but multiple churches in a state with a dominant Hispanic culture.”
God never stops pursuing us, Hawkins reminded. In Romans 5:8, Paul wrote:
But God gives His love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“Translation,” Hawkins said. “When you wanted nothing to do with Him, He gives you everything.”
Hawkins broke that down further by emphatically clapping his hands as he said, “You are not … as … good … as … you … think you are.” But then, in a moment of introspection, he added:
“OK, maybe not you but me. Catch me every single day, peer into my heart, and you will see that there is a part of my heart that always wants to lean into sin – can we be honest? We are not talking about the committing of behaviors; we are talking about the desires of the heart.”
He closed with this:
“My hope is to free you from stressing and creating anxiety over the things that by right may never even happen. Save yourself, free yourself, don’t stress over it. It may not even come. The one thing you should lean into always, first, is the fact that you are loved by a perfect God, and He has given you a life and an assignment to flesh out so that it would point to the cross of Christ.”
● For a replay of Chapel, including the music of the Worship team, click here.
● Next week: No Chapel because of Presidents Day holiday
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.