As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. EPHESIANS 4:1 NIV
One story in circulation claims that a mother and son were eager to attend a concert by renowned Polish pianist Ignacy Paderewski. When the house lights dimmed, the mother discovered that the child was missing. As the curtain rose, the mother noticed in horror that her little boy was sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a tense situation into a wonderfully creative experience. Whether this story is true or not, it is a perfect example of the relationship we have with our heavenly Father. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. But with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen for the voice of the Master whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are there, turning your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
The title of today's post sort of comes from a sermon that I gave years ago.
What we achieve in this life isn't going to be viewed as success in the eyes of the world. We will look like we blundered. Like we were foolish. Like we just made a stupid decision. When we aren't selfish or self-centered of course we will look like a failure in this world.
We also probably end up working for companies that are very self-centered. Promoting their name and products as if they were the only valuable things on Earth. Some go as far as to demand wholehearted devotion to their name.
Our only way, as believers in Christ Jesus, to be successful is to try our best at what we are given to do by Him. To try and not give up, regardless of the scoreboard. Regardless of what inning. Regardless of how it looks.
We are told in advance that the world isn't going to understand. That the world will consider what we believe as foolishness.
Family and friends will mock us and even turn against us.
Point in fact is what Jesus said. The darkness did not like the light. Those in sin don't want to be told what that means.
We are given a work to do that's for us to do in Christ. While we are in training, as we are being changed from the inside out, we are given work to do. We are His workmanship. The Disciples were His workmanship. They were chosen by God the Father. You too. They were given assignments. So are you. Theirs was small at first then they moved onto bigger things. So ought you. The world had tried to silence them. The world will try with you. God got them through all things. He will with you and I as long as we don't give up.
I was seen as a failure by many who called themselves Christians at a Church that I used to attend because of the many jobs that I had been through.
They never stepped closer to find out what God was doing in my life. They never asked. They assumed and moved on. There's a parable of the good Samaritan. Of the Levite and the Priest who shunned a man who needed assistance. The Samaritan did what was right.
In the end of my time, the first time around, at Honeywell, I suffered a nervous breakdown. I was that injured man. Those whom I went to Church with were the Levites and Priests. What God was doing in the ensuing years was to heal me. Heal my confidence, heal my heart. He knew that I wanted a further education but affording it wasn't a possibility. I indeed went from job to job. But I was learning. I know everything there is to know about wiring all the lights on an ambulance. I learned how to build fork lift charging stations. I learned how to do circuit board inspection from the microscope level on up. Learned how to build and test x-ray tables...and got paid to do it all. A paid education. Now I am back at where I left. God is indeed building me up at the place that I was torn apart. He has kept His promise to never leave me or forsake me. The world didn't get it but then again they aren't going to. My job in all those places isn't what you just read that I did. My job was to be the light of Christ in those places.
We often miss what the mission is because we're looking for worldly results.
We will look like we succeed or failed by what we see. Not what God sees.
If I listened to Satan years ago I wouldn't be here now. If I listened to the people who groaned and sighed at my prayer requests for my job I would have believed myself to be a failure.
The only one whom knows me is my Savior. He knows what He is doing in my life and your life. He may make me look like a failure in the eyes of the world but never in His eyes.
Don't always expect people to get it. It's not up to them to get it. Scripture says to seek out Godly men to consult. It is also very explicit to avoid the company of fools.
You may be given a small task to do, my friend, do it with all your heart. Do it for all the right reasons. Don't give up. Your part is important. A good friend of mine was working on his God given assignment right up til his death. He never believed in retirement in this world. I have known people who died while reading their Bible. To be found doing is what Christ hoped for in His people.
Small compromises are what began the fall of just about every single King in Israel and Judah. What seemed a small compromise was the off ramp of the path God wanted.
Stay the course. If it seems you failed and got knocked down. Get up. Brush yourself off. Ask for forgiveness. Start walking again. Get back to your mission. Jesus is still there.
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