September 20th, 2012
There were times in my life when I was confused over the purpose of my activities. Was it to chase a bigger big check? And then what? Was it to buy my dream house? And then what? What exactly was my goal? In John 1:31, John the Baptist said, “the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” John the Baptist knew that whatever he was doing was to prepare the way for what Jesus would be doing. Do your activities prepare the stage for God to impact the world? If not, exactly what purpose are you accomplishing with your activity? ~by Anita Carman~
At my church back in NY for New Year’s every year we go around and pick up a promise for the year. A promise is a small piece of paper with a memory verse on it. In 2010, my promise was the verse “Do not be weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not” Galatians 6:9. That day it became one of my life verses. Nevertheless, there are sometimes that I DO get weary in well doing, especially when it seems like the harvest is taking forever to bloom. It’s discouraging when you are sowing all these seeds and absolutely nothing is happening. Now, I’ve never had a green thumb, in fact, I consider my thumb black since every plant I try to harvest usually dies a slow and painful death. But what do you do if you are toiling the ground, you are working diligently, you are giving up time that was designated for something else to care for this project and absolutely nothing is happening.
For me, let’s be honest, I want to give up. I want to just say forget it, it’s a waste of time. If at first you don’t succeed, give up and try something else; I would be more effective doing something else. Oh and just so we are clear, this is within ministry I’m talking about. But that’s not how the saying goes, now is it. That isn’t the proper response when something like that happens. I believe try, try again is the correct ending. But sometimes I wonder, how long do I have to wait to start seeing the fruit God?
So God lead me to the story about the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. Yes, truth be told it was their fault that they had to wander. But in Deuteronomy 8: 2-3 it says, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So he humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you didn’t know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live on bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” This passage made me realize that this waiting period is just a test. It is just the Lord seeing, and revealing what is in my heart. The reason that I sometimes resent the Lord and get angry when I have to give up something I really wanted to do in order to do His work, is because that is what is in my heart, selfishness. Once it is revealed, I can then ask God to remove it and fill that void with the word from Luke 22:42b that Jesus uttered, not my will but your be done. The reason that I get frustrated and my pride is wounded when things don’t go the way I want them to go is because humility has not yet taken root in my heart. Once that is revealed I can then ask the Lord to get me to a place where I understand Matthew 23:12 that “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
For the Israelites, the goal was clear, it was the promise land. Their wilderness was a cleansing period, a time of refining, but they couldn’t lose sight of the goal. The activity, the actual walking toward the land of milk and honey, was only a small percentage of what God promised them, even though it was painful. It didn’t go the way they wanted it to go, since it should have only taken a couple of months, but they had to keep pressing toward the goal, the end, the result. For me, it is the same thing, even when I get frustrated, even when things are taking forever, I have to keep sight of the goal. What is it that I am trying to accomplish in the kingdom of God? The activities are just stepping stones to the ultimate destination and with each step I take if I allow God to refine my character, once I get to the promise land I can fully enjoy the fruit of my labor. Thank you Anita for that word this is how it resonated in my heart and how it is being applied.
Feel free to respond or comment. It is my prayer that as you read this blog, you too understand that the mentoring is in the message. Take the message and apply it to your life so you too can grow.
This is a blog written by an Inspire Women leadership intern in response to the daily KHCB radio segments written by Anita Carman. The purpose of the blog is to gain insight into how Anita’s message is transforming the life of a young woman and through the daily reminder of God’s Word she receives the mentoring she desires. To subscribe to the blog email email@example.com
Anita is a dynamic teacher and a sought after speaker in the business world as well as at leadership conferences and women's events.