Sunday, September 12, 2010
Anything to Succeed
From Facebook's application "21 Questions," there's one that probed at me this week. Would ___ do anything to succeed? I'd like to rephrase the question, "What would __ do to succeed for God's will?" Being a person who has struggled with blind ambition in the past (and not-so-blind), I feel like I've come a long way in my filter on how I proceed with a project. After listing the verses that I go through in order to persevere or stop, I'd be curious to see what I've forgotten or am currently neglecting. Please share what your filters are as well. For now, here's what I've gathered I'm not supposed to do -
1. Work for selfish gain
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16
2. Completing my own plan As good as it may get, if it's not God's idea... it will either end with a lack of fulfillment when completed or in utter chaos. I think this verse speaks to how important it is to listen to God's ideas.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
3. Believe that B will always follow A.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
On the other hand, there are some great ways to shrug off the negativity when the going gets tough when working through a task, but I know it is something to desire each day... to be taking steps toward being obedient to God's asking. Here's that list -
1. I should seek God when I'm afraid.
You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear." Lamentations 3:57
2. I should be prepared for my work to be tested.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
3. I can look for encouragement
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father...encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13
Wow daily! Daily encouragement seems like a challenge at this point. Yet I think of Moses and his time spent seeking the Lord. There isn't a person who has done the will of God without error, but in the end, they have saught to be forgiven and they've “checked it off their list” so to speak. Keep me in your prayers as I add a part-time position next week to my plate, working for a Christian employer and aiming to bless others. Ultimately, I end with these scriptures as I do lay my work for God's will at the feet of Jesus.
The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. 1 Samuel 26:23
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray... on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5