Tuesday, January 15

I am but a tool in the hands of the Craftsman

2 Corinthians 10:12b "but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

1 Timothy 6:12 (Amplified Bible) "Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses."

Two verses, from two different devotionals I read, that God brought together for my instruction today.

I am guilty of judging myself against others, especially those I come into contact with in Kingdom business.

My brother in arms, that companion of the fight to which God has called us, remarked about my comment concerning a meeting we both attended recently. He asked how I liked the content and I told him it was great, a true valuable and instructional meeting, but that I didn't know what I had to contribute to the group as a whole.

He sighed and said, "You never do, but you have so much to do so and already have."

That is one of my weaknesses, that low self-image that I have of myself. But that is one of my greatest assets to, I think.

Hence the second verse to young Timothy and to me. Despite the fear that I am not 'good enough', I still move where God prompts me to go and where avenues open up, remaining focused on the task at hand and the ultimate destination of this suddenly wonderful, dangerous, and arduous journey through the fallen and broken landscape of a creation run amok. I fight the good fight, usually blessed with brothers in the fight with me.

Of course, there aren't always those who would help me achieve the call that come alongside me in this walk in the valley…..some question my ability to do the job (I don't have that ability, God has that ability to have me do the job). Some question my passion (I am no longer satisfied with weak, watered down milk. We were made to hear the Word, the whole Word and nothing but the Word. Partial messages and good words aren't the true Gospel.) Some point to the weaknesses that I have in my life, my struggles, and say God hasn't called me because they aren't gone (I say God has left them in place, having me in process with them and thus creating in me a total reliance on Him and….I AM NOT PERFECT. I will never claim to be.)

They measure me by the standards by which they see in Paul's writing, in their own church leadership,and thereby limit God in His desire to have them move alongside me to overcome those struggles……ministry should never be done alone, but in relationship with others who share strengths and gifts you do not have and weaknesses you do not share so that, together, a balanced application of the total is applied………

I am content, though, to let God do what God will do. I am growing in my understanding that I may never be enveloped by the wonderful and blessed arms of a congregation of a church group or even be blessed with a job as a writer. I understand that the day may come when I am in the midst of doing what I am doing now…..barely getting by financially, working in marriage struggles, yearning and straining to be the man God designed me to be, becoming mature in my love, knowledge, passion, and desires, and even trying to overcome my own shortcomings when I am called not to the stage, but the grave, to stand before my Father. It is not the end result of my efforts, but that I heed the call of God to the effort and do my best to give Him my all. The end results are His to enable, create, or reward.

I will fight the good fight, with brothers in arms by my side, and I will confess before the world, my friends, my family, and MY GOD that JESUS CHRIST is my Lord and Master, my King, and my Savior!

To do any less would be to bury the money given in the sand because of fear of losing it all.

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