November 19, 2015

1 Chronicles 22:13 “Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave to Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

We all have a tendency to be anxious when embarking on a new project, and the bigger the project, the greater the anxiety. At this point Solomon hadn’t descended into the conceit that was later his undoing, and his father David’s instructions were probably very much to the point. They were certainly to the point in the first part of this verse, and that is exactly where Solomon later fell flat! These instructions are repeated in various forms throughout the Bible, and they all boil down to: obey God and trust Him. That’s exactly what a well-loved hymn says: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.” This really is the key to success, regardless of the field of endeavor. If our focus is on ourselves or our circumstances, rather than on God, we will be either cocky or anxious, and if we fail to make obedience to God our first priority, everything else is futile.

Right now I am working with someone who is at a major crossroads in his life, and he is in a panic. The Lord had me remind him yesterday that if he will seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, then everything he needs will be provided, whether it is material or emotional or spiritual or whatever. (Matthew 6:33) I don’t know how well he received that! After 60 years of claiming Jesus as Lord I have learned that God is absolutely faithful, even when I blow it. He has again and again used even my sins and turned them around for blessing (though it would have been better still had I not sinned). (Romans 8:28) As I minister to others, I must not come across as talking down to them, but rather as someone who has been through it and discovered that God is everything He says He is, and His promises are absolutely faithful. Actually, I’ve got to keep remembering that myself! Just as Solomon started well but finished badly, I am all too capable of getting off track even now. I must walk in both humility and trust, not thinking that I can do it but never doubting that He can do it through me, whatever the task might be. Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster, but He is able to get me through those as well. I have quite a list of things I either need or want to get done today, and He is more than up to that as well. I need to help those around me understand that I can do these things not because I am capable but because He is, and He is just as available to them as He is to me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for what You allowed us to go through yesterday, as further training in trusting You. Thank You for those You sent to be Your agents in the situation. Thank You for the privilege of being Your agent to someone else. May we indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, so that Your will may be done in and through us on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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