Last night, I got an insight while reading in one of my devotions, one authored by Steven Auterburn. (I am quoting directly, but am correcting one or two places where we differ in style. I note this because I wish to be faithful to the original author.)
The point is that God will work through your life to mold and shape your talents until he calls them forth in his service. Period. Consider this both a warning and a point of praise. He will work on you, giving you hard things to do, until you finally are ready to put in the service for him that you were made to do. And when you are doing that service, your day becomes an incredible work of praise. Even so, some days are STILL hard, and you have to sit there and remind yourself, “I work for a greater Master.” But then suddenly, you get a glimpse of where you’re going, and then you get this incredible uplifting.
Remember that uplifting, because it’s a glimpse of things to come.
But until then, it is hard. And it all seems pointless. And it is long. And trying. And you must have faith that it will all work out. But keep coming to God, because he IS at work. Just like you are, day after day. Seemingly pointless hour after seemingly pointless hour. It’s tough, and you just have to keep remembering that God has the long view.
So here’s the devotion, it first begins with a quote from Jeremiah, and then ends with a prayer:
If I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am weary of holding it in!
Each of us has been blessed by God with numerous talents. Some of these talents help you run your home life. Some make your career possible. Others are utilized by God in the context of ministry. It is a privilege to have been created with these skills, but it also creates a problem. At some point in your life you have to decide between the things you can do and the things you must do. For Jeremiah, the thing he “must” do is speak out in God’s name. He has just been beaten and put in stocks for doing what God called him to do. In his prophecy, he foretells that the road will continue to be difficult. People are looking for mistakes in his words. They are looking for ways to discredit him because they don’t like what he is saying. It appears from his words that Jeremiah would like to walk away from the continued conflict and do something easier, but he recognizes that this is his calling. God has put a need in his heart to be a public spokesman for truth.
Most men are not called to be public spokesmen, but we are all called to be something. Just like Jeremiah’s responsibility, the calling is both exciting and heavy. We are honored to have been chosen and gifted to accomplish it. But the calling is lived out in an imperfect critical world, and we soon find there are many activities that are easier on us than pursuing the place of service to which God has called us. At these times the only things that will keep you at the task is the overwhelming sense that you were made for this.
Jesus, give me wisdom to clearly see what I must get done in my lifetime.