Saturday, April 17, 2010

Effective Working in the Lord

The Word of God clearly tells us to never put our confidence in things the world considers to be our protection, defense, or strength. One clear illustration is, "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save" (Psalm 33:16-17). The Bible is full of others besides this, front to back and cover to cover. However, the man or woman who does not perform well on the job, or in the world, is left behind in today's competitive world. This is this typical area of the world at large, but even many Christians promote the importance of identifying our strengths and encourage us to move in them to accomplish God's will. Yet, the Bible is clear that we are discouraged from depending upon our own strengths; and we are urged to rely totally upon the Lord.
God wants us to depend upon Him, and He demonstrates this throughout Scripture. Clear Biblical examples include: Judges 7, God wouldn't let Gideon fight against another army until he reduced his own from 22,000 soldiers to 300, so that Gideon could not boast about his army's strength. In Joshua 6, God told Joshua to walk around Jericho and blow trumpets instead of relying upon the army personnel to overpower the enemy. In 2 Samuel 24, God judged David when he counted his troops to determine the size of his army's strength, apparently because David took the census out of pride or overconfidence in the strength of his army, instead of relying on the strength of the Lord.
On the other hand, Jesus instructed the disciples through the parable of the builder, to to consider the cost before beginning to build. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish'" (Luke 14:28-30).
Will you be able to finish? Have you counted the cost? Have you began to lay the foundation of your life and now everything is unclear? Maybe you have laid the foundation and now feel the heat of ridicule and conviction as your foundation was laid in your will and your strength; and not the Lord's. Today, bring all you have and all that you are before the Lord; this includes everything. Every desire, dream, job, chore, project, and endeavor. Bring it all before the Lord as you ask for His power, His strength, His blessing, and His grace to accomplish it. This allows for the using of all of your God-given natural gifts and skills with your spiritual gifts, within the power of the Holy Spirit. This will allow you and God to work together, totally in Him.

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