Pastor's Heart 08-13-13
TRUST GOD—NEVER STOP
Times of transition are challenging. They also can be invigorating. Undoubtedly, the next few months will bring change to Gambrell Street Baptist Church. They will also bring new opportunities and exciting possibilities. So, this is a pivotal time. We should reflect thoughtfully on who we are, where we’ve been, and what we’ve always done well in the past—then think carefully about where we’re going in the future and those appropriate changes we must embrace to get there. When we come to crossroads like this, it is good to follow a biblical plan that helps us get our bearings, keeps us on track, guides our future, and holds us accountable to finish His work. Here is one way to do it.
Trust God. This is the platform from which we launch all our plans. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. (Pr 3:5-6)
Dream Big. Never limit God. Let Him do whatever He wants to do through us. Have a God-sized vision, and He will honor it and cause us to prosper in His will. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Pr 29:18)
Be Sure. Pray. Ask God to show us whether it is really His vision or just our selfish desire. Ask Him to confirm this with clear evidence. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands.” (Ps 90:17)
Plan Well. Think things through carefully. Be diligent to discover God’s plan, and follow it step-by-step. “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11) “Be diligent to show yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (II Tim 2:15)
Work Hard. Roll up our sleeves and go to work. Yes, it is important to “work smart,” but there is no substitute for pure, hard work—patient and consistent industry that produces measurable results. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal 6:9)
Stay Focused. Keep our “eye on the ball.” Stay riveted on the goal—not just the thing God wants us to do, but on God Himself. Always look to Jesus Christ as we run the race. He will keep us on track. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Ph 3:14)
Finish Strong. Never, never, never, no never give up! Always look beyond the finish line, and run through it with vigor and the last ounce of strength we have. Give of our best to the Master. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” (II Tim 4:7)
Start Over. Every day brings new opportunities to serve God. Every phase of life presents new challenges and joys in discovering how He can use us meaningfully. Whether we are 18 or 80, God can use us in mighty ways. He is constantly transforming and preparing us for new ventures. Even before we finish one thing for God, He begins to prepare us for the next thing. Don’t rest on our laurels. Be ready for God to re-create us and re-invent ways He can use us. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12:2).
Then we start all over again! Never stop! Not until we are ushered into the Father’s House and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” (Mt 25:23). We never stop trusting God—here at the crossroads or on the road beyond.
—Dr. Jim Spivey