Friday, September 16, 2011

The Only Tool You Need For Success In Everything You Do

You are more than what people think you are. In fact, you are more than what you think you are. We live in a time where people must possess skills in order to succeed. These are either skills that we were born with and perfected over time or they are skills that we acquire through training. Once we have these skills we begin to market ourselves so that we become a commodity to our potential employee. It is our thought that the more skills we have the greater the value we have so the greater pay cheque we will get. This is how the world works.

In considering this we also need to recognize that there is a flip side because of the inequalities that exist in our society.Not everyone has the same opportunities to improve or acquire their desired skills. Unfortunately a lot has to do with what parents we were born to and what economic situation our family was in. This is not always the case because some people are able to rise above this but most allow themselves to be defined by it. Those born to difficult economic positions often end up with low motivation and fewer opportunities. They have a "get by" attitude. This too is how the world works. But I am here to tell you that this is not how God works.

You are not defined by your strengths and weaknesses in the Body of Christ. Oh I know that there are many who operate in the Church as people operate in the world, assessing a person's skills and abilities. This is dead wrong because God does not call us according to our strengths and weaknesses but instead by his will. Our strengths don't matter and neither do our weaknesses because Jesus is our strength. This means that he calls us and those he calls he equips, not according to our preferences but according to his will.

We are doing such a poor job of teaching this and living it in the Church today as we model ourselves after a secular business model instead of according to the Word of God. We are doing really well at producing attendees of our churches, in some places at least, but a rotten job at making disciples of Jesus. We assess a person's skills and place them in wrong places in the Body. We set them up for failure and heartache instead of listening to the Spirit. We assess in the flesh instead of in the Spirit.

Some of you reading this gave up a long time ago following what was placed on your heart to do. It was laid on your heart, confirmed in the Word, and probably confirmed by at least one other source. But you gave up because it was hard or other voices told you it wasn't for you or some great discouragement came in. I am telling you, you weren't wrong and it is still on your heart. Listen, the Word says this about our calling and gifts:

... for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

Now let me tell you something that I think you always knew but were afraid to act upon: Jesus is all the strength you need. It doesn't matter if you feel weak and the task is overwhelming, you are able to do it through Jesus because it is not about you, it is about Jesus. It is not about you, it is about the world coming to know Jesus.

The apostle Paul was reflecting on some of the things he had been through in his calling and he was thanking the Philippians for their support. He told them that even though he had experienced having plenty and having very little he has learned the secret to contentment. I think this is also the secret to faithful service in our calling:

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

The greatest tool we have in our service to Jesus is knowing that it does not depend on our skill set but instead living in the knowledge that he is our strength. Knowing that he uses our weaknesses and strengths should be a great encouragement for us to press on in our calling, even if other people doubt us. Let them doubt but we cannot doubt our calling or our Lord.

The Word does not say that we can do some things. It says here that we can do everything, I said everything, through him who gives us strength. That covers talking to people about Jesus to weathering the latest dark storm to hit us. This means that we succeed with whatever we have, using whatever he has given us today instead of waiting around for a million dollars to do something. The skills, the finances, the equipment don't matter. All that matters is Jesus in me. He is everything, the total resources I need, my arsenal of strength, my encourager, my hope. Don't look in the mirror and give up. Instead look to Jesus and soar with the eagles in your service to him. It is possible to faithfully serve him in your calling because he has made it possible. To God be the glory!

1 comment:

The Manic Chef said...

Amen, I do agree with you in this entry. Our duty is to know in what the Lord calls us too. It will be for his purposes according to His Will, even if it looks like nothing is happening, one gives seed, and another waters. We may not necessarily see how God used us, and it is none of our business. We just do that which He desires of us, through Him and like you said, in His strength.