“When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.” (Jeremiah 7:27; see also Ezekiel 3:7)
Picture this… you have a message from the God of Heaven. You KNOW it’s from Him. You are certain that it is God speaking to you. It comes directly from the Throne of the Most High… given for the people of earth to hear.
And then God tells you the unimaginable. “Tell them what I have to say… but they will not listen to you. You will talk… but they won’t listen.”
How pointless. How senseless. How meaningless. Why bother?
Why proclaim a message that no one will heed (a message from God, no less!).
Yet, this was often God’s little insight for His prophets. “Guys… here’s what I need for you to tell My people… but, sorry, you will fail to get the message across. They just won’t listen to you.”
How would we respond to God’s little insight? Would we go… knowing that we will fail.
I am finding that, as Christ-followers, each of us must come to grips with the idea that success and failure are completely out of our control. Even our faithfulness does not mean that we will see a mighty move of God. We do not control God, even by our faith.
Results are always the responsibility of God.
And it just may be that what we do will look more like failure than success.
This week’s lessons have been mostly for me. They are the lessons with which I have been wrestling for the longest time now. We all want our lives to be a success. We want recognition for what we do. We crave someone (lots of someones!) to come along and tell us just how important we are. How gifted we are. How essential we are. How what we do matters so much.
If we are not very careful we will find that there is so much of US in the equation that there is so little room for God.
It becomes all about us – when we were just certain that it was all about God.
I’m sure you’ve noticed… the Kingdom of God has built-in assurances for humility.
We don’t really like them. We try to avoid them. We tend to think that we will be different from everyone else. That somehow every thing we do will succeed.
But the same principles apply to everybody. It is never about us. Ever. Even when we think we are doing amazing things for God. Even when we look at what we’re doing and admire our own efforts. And expect everyone else to admire them too.
Our job description is extremely brief… BE faithful. Leave everything else to God.
We each have to be willing to sacrifice all our hopes and dreams to trust in God’s faithfulness. We have to be willing to abandon all measure of reward and recognition. In short, we have to leave every bit of success in God’s Hands – even if we never get to share in the recognition for that success.
I think, for me, that is the hardest lesson of all.
Maybe, for some of you as well…