Don't give up, press in!
I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”
12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
Reflection: Isaiah seemed to think that his work was useless! He had no strength of his own and he felt what he was doing had no purpose. Peter told Jesus, that they had fished all night and caught nothing, but never the less, he would do what Jesus was asking him to do. Cast their net, one more time. You notice that nothing happened, until Peter agreed & then they obeyed! Even when it looks like an impossible situation, we must agree, than obey and trust the Lord, for our reward.
There are times that the Lord will ask us to do something & we might not see the purpose in it. We might pour ourselves into something for weeks, months or even years! We might think what purpose does this have? We might try to judge by the worlds standards, what we think success should look like. So when we don’t see the results that we were looking for, we get disappointed and discouraged, and we might even convince ourselves that there is no point to keep doing this any longer.
Along with obeying and walking out his word every day, the Lord gives us special assignments. God will test us, to see if we will agree & then obey. Sometimes the assignment is just for us, other times the Lord will call others to help us to complete the assignment. Most of us know when we get a special assignment, but sometimes it’s not clear, till after the fact! Wow, that was a divine appointment, we say. The Lord doesn’t always give us all the details, he wants us to step out & take that first step, and then he will start to reveal more. For example while writing this devotion today, he has taken me in a totally different direction as to what to write, then when I first started out.
So, let me ask you, what is it that God is asking you to do? Have you prayed about it, are you agreeing with Him about it? It maybe something little or it may be something big. Have you tried & maybe failed or you didn’t get the results you expected? Let me encourage you today, to allow God to shine the light on what the purpose is to the task & how He has called you to do it. Ask the Lord to give you a fresh perspective of what it means to be His servant & how to use your gifts & talents to draw others into a closer relationship with Him! When we reach out to the Lord and say, Lord, I will do what you are asking me to do, now we have come into agreement with Him. Now give me wisdom & guidance show me how you want this done. We first have to agree with Him, than obey Him, and ask for His help to complete the task that he has asked of us.
Let me also say, that not every assignment comes from the Lord. The enemy is looking for those that will carry out his assignments, his assignments always come with strings attached. Remember all the enemy has to do is get you to compromise and his plan can move forward. You will know, you’ll either have a release with a peace or be restrained with a check in your spirit! In other words, something is not quite right here! So pray, get the wisdom of the Lord and you will have a peace then a release. If you get a check in your spirit, pray & ask the Lord to show you why you have a check in your spirit. Then go forward and walk out his plan for you! So, don’t give up, just press in and watch what he will do with you as you agree and are obedient to take that first step!