Do you, as a Christian, feel you have nothing to offer for the Lord’s service? Perhaps you’re feeling somewhat worthless. You look around at others and say, “Wow, why can’t I be a successful Christian like them?” Or maybe you’re thinking, “They have so many talents. I can’t do anything.”
We see others with ministries on television, great websites glorifying God, authors of books, great musical talents, artistic gifts, great speaking abilities, and on we go. Well, allow me to give you the conclusion of this article now, instead of at the end. Did you ever stop to think that it isn’t what you do? It’s what Christ does through you. Now sit back for a minute and think about that ……. When we understand that, we realize that what we actually should do for Christ is to simply be faithful to Him and allow Him to do His work in and through our lives. At that point, we get our eyes off other people, and especially off ourselves, and on Jesus Christ, where they should be.
Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger about this insecurity issue. We have all been guilty at one time or another of getting this whole thing backwards. Listen, there is no power in you and me. All the power rests in God. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NASB)
Let me offer some advice. It has helped me. Maybe it will help you too. Quit looking at what others do, and live your own life. In the Gospel of John we read where Peter wanted to know what Jesus was going to do in John’s life. Here is what Jesus said to him, “…If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” (John 21:22 NASB) That’s it in a nutshell! “You followMe!”
Some of these people you see who you think are successful are piling up stacks of wood, hay and stubble, because they are not following Christ. They are “doing they’re own thing”. Others you see who are gathering gold, silver and precious stones are successful for one reason. Instead of occupying themselves by trying to be like someone else, they are following Christ. They are being obedient to His will.
I’ll break it down even more. If God has called you to rake up the autumn leaves from the church yard, then do the best you can to please Christ. You are successful. If you love children and are great in the nursery at church, then do your best to tend to those children for the Lord. You are successful. If you are outgoing and love to speak to people, then make everyone you come in contact with, enjoy being in your presence. You’re representing Christ. You are successful. Raise up your children as unto the Lord. You are successful. Love your spouse greater than yourself. You are successful. Be the most diligent employee your employer has. You are successful. Has it registered yet?
Live your life as unto the Lord, and you will be no less successful than those who author books, stand behind the pulpit, have a beautiful voice, etc. It isn’twhat you do. The key is what you are doing is your best for Jesus Christ. That is success. There are no important people and not so important people among God’s children. We are all equal. We are all important in His eyes. We can all serve, because the power rests in God, not us.
In Judges chapter seven, we read the account of God using Gideon to go up against the Midianites, Amalekites and sons of the east . Gideon started out with 32,000 warriors, but that was too many for this reason, “The LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.” (Judges 7:2 NASB) So God reduced the military force down to 300. Even though the enemy was as numerous as locusts, the 300 man army of Gideon soundly defeated them. And as God said, there was no way Israel could take the bragging rights. Only God could pull it off, and did He ever!
The same is true with you and me. Our strength comes from God. “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights…” (Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV) We can do nothing in our own power, but in Christ we will produce fruit for Him, as the branch produces from the vine. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NLT)
Our success, if you want to call it that by the way, comes by and through Jesus Christ. “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” (Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)) When we focus our life on His will, He will lift us up. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10 NIV)
Notice in the following verses that God loves to take a “nobody” and do great things through them, simply because there is no glory but that which is in God. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31 NIV)
Do any of the following give us an edge in doing great things for Christ?
· Our background
· Our circumstances
· Our education
· Our environment
· Our country
· Our family
· Our looks
· Our personality
· Our talents
· Our “other”
The answer is absolutely, without question, “NO”. None of these things, or anything else we would care to add, gives us a “leg up” with God. I cannot say enough, that our “success” in serving Christ is not about us, except for one, and only one issue; obedience. Follow Him.
There is no doubt in my mind that when we all convene before the Bema seat of Jesus Christ, millions of Christians who were known by practically no one in this life, will be richly rewarded by our Lord for their obedience to Him with gold, silver and precious stones. Just as many, who perhaps were known by thousands or millions while on this earth, will be shamed for their stack of wood, hay and stubble.
You and I say;
“I can’t do this”. God can.
“But I just don’t have the means to get this done.” God does.
“But you just don’t understand, I don’t even know where to start.” God does.
“But I’ve messed up my life so badly no one could put the pieces back together.” God can.
So many of us Christians want God in our lives, but we want to do the driving. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Once we Christians realize that we don’t have to “carry the load,” which we can’t lift anyway, a whole new world of freedom and opportunity opens up.
One final thought, in everything we do, let us do it in obedience and thankfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV) May we stop trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” so to speak, and just live our own life as unto the Lord. Peter needed to stop concerning himself about what Jesus was going to do through John, and take care of Peter. He needed to live his own life as unto the Lord. That is the same message to you and me.
I don’t think Jesus will ask us how much or what we have done for Him, but He will ask us, if we have been faithful with what He has given us.