I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you. – Romans 12:1-3 (ISV)
Whether you are new, just now growing, walking with your hand gripped in your Savior’s hand, or a forever-can’t-remember-a-day-He-wasn’t-there disciple – this is something God rained on me today and I feel it was important to pass along to everyone who joins me in seeking time with Jesus.
“I am so inadequate to do the job You’ve called me to do.”
As a parent or grandparent, a pastor or youth director, an encourager or a teacher, there are days when you wonder, “How much longer, O LORD?”
Our world runs itself on quanitative evaluations: How many people in attendance, How much growth from one year to the next, How many successful lives, with “success” defined by – any number of people!
I read the story of the shepherd David’s selection by God in 1 Samuel 16 to be the King of Israel. Maybe like me, you remember the LORD telling Samuel that He looks beyond the physical when He chooses who will be used in His plans. I suspect Samuel may have had the same thought I have: Am I going to second guess the Almighty, the Ultimate Human Resource Officer? Even if He decides to use me? And besides, if I believe that God made me the way I am, guides and provides me with all that I need to accomplish His plan, then all I have to do is be willing to be His teachable disciple.
“Jesus, You get all the praise for what grows from this.”
My oldest son was an MLB pitcher. He hated losing a game. I used to tell him that if he wasn’t going to take all the credit for the wins, then he also should not take all the weight for the losses. He’s a manager and coach now and still doesn’t like to lose!
Jesus said that He chose His disciples; it was not the disciples choosing Him. And no servant is greater than their master (John 15: 15-21). Do I hear His point here? Jesus is the Commander-in-Chief of His Army. He is the owner of the vineyard. I can take no credit. Jesus also said, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” (Luke 10:16, ISV)
Whatever God has called me to do, I need to be faithful to that call. Prepare myself with prayer and study. And then let Jesus’ words and His Spirit do what He does. He gets all my thanks and praise for allowing me to be a part of it.
“Faith is about mustard seeds, not trees.”
L. is a woman who has taught me a lot about being a servant-disciple. On the one hand, she has arguably been given a job as a leader which allows her to speak into the ears and spirits of many people who can, in turn, influence many, many others. She has also worked with me on several events, not as a leader, but she checked the bathrooms and replaced toilet paper and paper towels. She does both jobs with faithfulness. She does both because God asked her. She does both so that He is seen and praised.
Sometimes God may ask me to do a job that others notice. But I think, most often, He asks me to be an undercover disciple. The prophet Micah said, “He [the LORD] has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the Lord is requiring from you—
to act with justice,
to treasure the Lord’s gracious love,
and to walk humbly in the company of your God.” (Micah 6:8, ISV)
And there it is. Am I willing to walk humbly with my LORD? Am I willing to do whatever He asks of me? Do I understand that whatever “success” occurs is defined by Him and because of Him? And do I understand that if the world does not see me as successful – what matters is how my LORD sees me?
Spend time with Jesus today. He wants to talk.