Has God given you the vision to fulfil a particular assignment? If so, what’s your attitude and response been towards this? The reality is that some of us appear to embrace a number of incorrect attitudes which translate into the actions we take (or don’t take). To start with, some of us may bulk at less glamorous assignments. If it’s not one that puts us on a ‘platform’ or brings instant power, recognition, or success, for instance, we tend to want to resist such.
Debunking The ‘Big-Bang’ Theory
But our challenge does not end there. Some believe that if their assignment is not all singing and dancing with whistles and bells especially from day one, then something is amiss. Huge, extravagant, and glamorous seems to be the order of the day. We get frustrated when we don’t move from 0 – 60mph in less than six seconds, like a fast sports car. We pick up false notions that God can’t possibly be involved in anything less than our own humanistic expectations. But God does not always operate in the way we think. In fact, if we were to take a peek into the lives of some people who answered the call of God on their lives, some of them had nothing spectacular or fast-paced happen early on. These include Joseph, Moses, David, and Elisha though they went on to achieve great feats later on. And there was Jeremiah, who in his years of ministry, did not see a positive outcome at all though he continued to deliver Gods messages.
Hence, as a result of our attitudes coupled with a barrage of other factors including influences from our present day, some of us either don’t get beyond the starting line or abandon the race shortly after. Let’s take for example a man or woman who feels called by God to start a ministry of some sort. It is not uncommon to find a barrage of assumptions and expectations showing up such as expecting an easy ride or great feats to happen from day one (though this is not impossible with God). This is compounded by popular measures of success which tend to be limited to the likes of church/ministry size, income generated, popularity, CD sales, congregation/audience size, etc. They look over the fence and see others who seem to be making progress – according to their own definitions – and want to be like them overnight. When they measure their own progress against their own preconceptions and seem to fall short of it, there is a tendency to become disheartened. Some even pull back from what I can only refer to as humble, small beginnings. Their expectation is to experience what they define as success from the onset.
Gods Definition of Success
Whilst our aspirations to do great things for God are admirable (though one needs to keep a check on one’s motives), God has His own measures of success which includes our obedience and commitment to the call, regardless of what we face. It also includes the likes of determination, endurance, perseverance, reliability and focuses to seeing it through. God honours these and it is the heart He uses to gauge us. He knows when we gave our best shots, when we do things halfheartedly or when a hidden agenda lurks beneath the surface. I am so convinced that when we get to heaven, we will be shocked as to those who have amassed the most crowns.
Therefore, Gods measure of success ought to be our own too. Deviate from this and you are likely to take the wrong turn. Therefore, our real mandate is to “obey God and leave the consequences (i.e. outcome) to Him” as Charles Stanley says. We must be faithful with the little God places in our hands. Moreover, it’s about sowing and watering our seeds in the form of our daily actions and stepping back to allow God to what He does best – bring about growth and elevation (which could come in various forms). For when we persevere with Him, He makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
So to help you along, ponder on the following principles:
Just Get On With Your Assignment
God loves it when we put our hands to the plough and get on with things. Our obedience pleases Him. Zachariah 4:10 states that God “rejoices to see the work begin” in reference to Zerubbabel and the returning exiles rebuilding the temple. They demonstrated their commitment to the call by taking consistent action till the job was done. So get on with your assignment. You will be amazed what God will do with the little in your hands.
Fix Your Attitude
Have you been complaining at the lack of progress, growth, resources, etc. concerning your assignment? Your sentiments may have been, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose…” (Isaiah 49:4, NLT). However, be assured that nothing we do for God goes unnoticed and unrewarded. Whilst you may not see the fruits of your labours (even in your lifetime), your obedience and diligence are accomplishing Gods plans and purposes. So change your attitude and see yourself as a vessel of honour being used by God. Better still, count it a privilege.
Don’t Try To Outrun God
At times, we feel Gods pace is too slow and so we try to hurry things along. This could be as a result of us feeling under pressure to ‘perform’ or looking over the fence where the grass seems to be greener. We get anxious and want to make things happen. But one thing you can be sure of is God is never in a hurry. Psalm 37:7 encourages us to “be still” whilst waiting for Him to act on our behalf. Moreover, your assignment is an opportunity for God to work on you, as a person, as you take each step. And this takes time. So resist the urge to want to speed things along, recognising that Father has a plan. Instead, tune in to get direction (Isaiah 30:20-21, 42:16).
And so in closing, don’t get hung up on your success or even failures of yesterday. As long as you remain obedient and committed to the task, God will bless the work of your hands (Job 36:11). Don’t look down on where you are today because it’s the platform God will use to elevate you tomorrow. So get on with your assignment.