As I was reading my devotions this morning I began reflecting on the life I am living. I almost said my life, but my goal is not to live “my life” but the life of Christ. The plan He set in place before I was even born.
It wasn’t until about 20 years ago that I began to change. I admit, it was a struggle within my flesh, but the only thing I knew to do was to lean on Christ and pray my way through! Oh, I didn’t do it perfectly, I made many mistakes, but the desire of my heart never changed. And God always honor the desire of the heart to please Him!
I am one of those people who “blend in” and are mostly not seen; ignored as if I really don’t have anything worthwhile to say. It took me years (and I am still learning) that there are advantages to this, and I am learning to thank God for whatever situation I am in.
I often wonder how many people who are in “ministry” were called by God to the place they are, or if they are doing what they love because they are good at it. I’ve worked in ministry for years and there are many disguises that I have seen and it has broken my heart, and God’s. The biggest is the “see how great I am” and “what I’m doing”.
I don’t want to focus on those people today. I want to talk to you, the one who God has called to a specific place and you feel lonely and, maybe, misunderstood. God knows your situation and has placed you there because of your surrendered heart to Him. Most people could not function in the place where you are.
It all comes down to one main question in our lives. That question is, “Do I want recognition from man or do I strive to please God?” My willingness to please God has brought me much pain and sorrow which I did not understand. But the last few years God has begun to show me that this was the “refining furnace” that one must go through if they are going to be molded into the finished vessel.
As I read Isaiah 49 this morning, this verse struck a cord in my heart and I could almost hear many of God’s called thinking the same thoughts recorded in verse 4, But I said, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord, and My reward with My God.” (NASB) But notice that as the statement is made questioning the impact made, the glorious truth almost shouts at us! All we do is with and for God, not for man and our rewards are not to be found on this earth, but they are being saved up for us in heaven. They are the crowns that we will lay back down at the feet of Jesus!
Look up, dear ones! The Lord tells us in Isaiah 49:16, “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (NASB) The word “inscribed” means engraved into a rock. Jesus is our Rock and Redeemer and your name is literally “cut into” the palm of His hand!
As the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians we aren’t to count the world’s ways as gain but to count the knowing of Jesus Christ as our Lord as the greatest of value we can achieve. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 3:10, most people only quote or remember the first part but we need to come into agreement with the whole verse in order to fulfill the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;”
Beloved, God knows exactly where you are and He is waiting to give you Holy Spirit revelation as to where you are, but first we need to surrender to His will and begin praising Him without understanding the reason. Continue to walk by faith and not by sight and you will see the glory of the Lord! He loves you with an everlasting love and is blessing you in ways you can’t even imagine, but one day it will all be clear.
Abba Daddy, we love You and bow down before You today and thank You that Your ways are perfect. May we learn to rejoice in our sufferings and realize that You are working in us to refine us to better reflect You. We aren’t seeking any righteousness of our own but only the righteousness that is found in Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We desire the things that are not of this earth but the things found only in the spiritual that further Your love in this world. Continue to hold us firmly in Your right hand and lead us in paths of righteousness for Your sake. May we see the banquet table set before us and join You as we dine even in the presence of those against us! You are our All in all! Amen.