Saturday, April 14, 2012

Acts 23:11, Romans 12:11; Keep your eyes on God

Acts 23:11
But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."
Notice that God did not say, "Paul, you big loser; no one got saved! You are so useless." God was pleased with Paul not because of the results, but because he stepped out. God did not say, "Now Paul, I told you not to go to Jerusalem and look what happened!" Instead, God encouraged him. In this 'results oriented' world, success is defined by payoff, not by obedience. But God operates on a different economy. God is pleased by obedience. This is great news! You are not responsible for the results. Understand, this isn't an excuse for doing shoddy work.
Romans 12:11 reads, "Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically." NLT
You can wholeheartedly serve God without worrying that the results aren't meeting His expectations. God is responsible for the results. You are responsible for doing what the Lord has told you to do. Sometimes, God may allow you to see the results of your labors. If He does, thank and praise Him... but be careful not to take the credit. If you serve only to see results, friend, you are going to become discouraged. If you serve because God wants you to, you will be in that place of peace and joy that comes through obedience to God.
Life Lesson: Don't always look with your eyes to see the effect you are having by serving God.
Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me so much that You allow me to serve You. Please give me the ability and the opportunity to be obedient to You. Please forgive me for the times when I have not. I thank You that the results are in Your almighty hands. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee of Cross the Bridge Ministries

My Comments: When we keep our eyes focused on God, His will and follow His direction we bring Him glory. Often we turn our focus on other things or people and situations in life and then we stumble if we keep our eyes there (I urge all to quickly turn to God when things happen and let Him work it out).

When my children were teens I would keep my eyes on them and what they were doing and rarely turn to God and mean what I said, “Their Yours Father, take care of them and teach the; I can do nothing only You can.” Well, loved ones I am here to tell you within the next few minutes I would be calling their friends homes, hospitals, even the morgue a few times and was not keeping my eyes on my Abba Father. Nor did I trust in Him. In fact I rarely gave Him time (my time limit of course) to take them in hand and guide them to home or the true safety found in Him.

If my eyes had been focused on Him and I had trusted in Him I would have backed off and let Him work all out for their good and His glory. It took me many years to come to the point of waiting on the Lord. I was not a good witness for the Lord to my children or my family or even my neighbors. I called myself a Christian yet when I truly accepted the gift of God’s Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ I was so convicted by my lack of trust and faith in the Lord that my heart sorrowed yet the Lord showed me that is not where He wanted me to stay. He wanted me to trust in Him and change my life. He wanted to grow my faith in Him.

It was many years before I knew by His word what faith and trust looked like. My children did not have the stability and guidance they deserved and needed yet God in His mercy preserved them. He has brought some to His understanding and with His time He is working in the others to guide them to His glory and not mine.

Do I struggle? Of course! Do I fail, yes, when I do not lean on His understanding and trust in Him. He succeeds in my weaknesses and my strengths are as dross. He is refining me and helping me to trust Him more and more daily. I rejoice to know He loves me so much. He goes with me through the fires He allows. He protects and grows me.

Serving the Lord with all my heart, mind, body and soul,


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