Last month a cousin of mine gave a sermon that I found myself referencing in conversation and I knew the thought to be so true. The main concept was that we often want to try and accept a good gift, a good achievement, and good result now instead of waiting on the great thing that God truly has planned for us in the future.
I have recognized at too many instances in my life I have been presented with what looks like a good deal. They have been great opportunities to accomplish something worthwhile, fun activities with friends, a new ministry to be involved in, etc. These would all be God honoring pursuits for me to pour myself into. The problem comes when I know these are not what God would have me to do with my time at that moment. Many times, God puts me into motion to partner with Him toward greatness, as He repeatedly does with all of us. He has a vision for our life and sets us on the path to accomplishing just that. However, the path will often be lined with obstacles and snares, which upon our successful defeat of these setbacks will produce fruit in our character.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 NIV
This plan would not be as difficult to journey through, if we did not have an enemy. Our enemy, the devil, is a brilliant evil mastermind who wants nothing more than to hurt God and hates us for the way God loves us. Therefore, his aim is to take us out — BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
I have now discovered something… The enemy will go as far as to offer me good things to keep me from the great thing, the God thing. As a brilliant strategist, he will present these alternate choices at times when I am up against a wall and struggling with an obstacle. The temptation to accept the pleasant seeming route is so strong at those moments. It makes sense to do ALL good things, right?
Here is the issue. Did God call you to goodness? or greatness through Christ?
Following your personal desire to do good is many times feeding the idol of acceptance and people pleasing and fighting to do what God has called you to is feeding the desire to please God.
If you are someone who is aware of what God has called you to in this season of your life, don’t change directions until the cloud moves, Oh Israel. Keep doing the mission that God has you here for. There will always be good to get done and do all that you can to help those in need and be a light in the darkness. However, do not neglect the task the Lord has given YOU for things that others may be very well called to. You might, not only find yourself burning out trying to please God and man, but you are robbing someone else of the opportunity of stepping into God’s will for their life.
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 ESV
When the Devil tempts you with seemingly “good” works this should be your response. Echo the words of Nehemiah, who had a vision for rebuilding a wall to protect his people.
“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down” (Nehemiah 6:3a NIV)