Encouragement for a Potential Achiever

So many talented people in the world.  These people seem to have it all together:  beacons of light for the church (check), great job (check), great single or married life (check),  and great friends (check).  Sadly, it seems that my existence just doesn’t seem to compare.  There are so many times I cry out to God in frustration, “Why can’t I achieve anything?  Why am I the least talented person in the group?  Why can’t I get things moving along.  To top it all off, I am a terrible parent.”  Anyone else have these type of thoughts?  Hopefully, you are one of the talented people with everything together.

Times like these beg for prayer and scripture study.  Here are a couple of things that were revealed to me, and I hope these scriptures and thoughts will help.

First of all, every single one of us possess gifts given by God to serve His purpose.  Perhaps, that is why some of my ideas fall short as they probably are not in line with His purpose for my life.  This scripture in Ephesians jumped out at me:  Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  There is so much comfort in these words, because this scripture makes it clear that there are things( good works) waiting for me.  Since these works are prepared for me, then that means that I am capable of performing them.  Nothing kills working on a project faster than realizing that the project is out of reach due to a lack of skill.

How do we know the works set aside by God are good?  Check out 1 Cor 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”   So, not only are there good works waiting, but good works that no one can even imagine.  Wow, what a ringing endorsement of positive thinking.  One confession. I have a hard time absorbing these type of statements.  I know God is good, ok, but unimaginable good things is a bit over the top for me.  However, I fully believe in God’s sovereignty, and we believers should absorb these type of statements the same as “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory….”

Scripture reveals that there are things for us as believers to do.  What about the inevitable roadblocks?  How about this scripture from Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us”?  Looks like all the excuses to get something done just disappeared, since God is clearing the path for success.  I can’t think of a better “Got your back” example.

The world reeks of uncertainty and fear; especially, in regard to a person’s life and works.  People of the world view a person’s life as a set of random encounters that are explained by chance or luck with no design or purpose.  From their point of view, how can a person’s life have some kind of design when the universe was created by random events?  On the other hand, the believer has assurance from God that God has prepared good works to perform, and that while following the path of those good works, no one can stop the completion of those works.  Looks like the excuses to sit on the sidelines are over.  Let’s get to it.

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8 comments

  1. Nice reflections, Michael. It reminds me of the old preacher saw: God can’t steer a parked car. Meaning, of course, that we cannot just sit around waiting for God to hand us stuff. Rather, we need to be moving and attentive to God’s (often subtle) direction/correction.

    Also, a reflection on “success” vs. “significance” might be valuable, too.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the blog, Will. I appreciate it, and I know there are tons of things to read these days.

      Reflecting on success and significance is a good idea! Well, as soon as I get achieve some success… (lol) Actually, I hope to write more of these kind of blogs because it forces me to really study and reflect. I hope to not miss the subtle corrections from God as much as I did in the past. (Work in progress..)

      Hopefully, you will continue to stop by and offer your thoughts.

      Thanks again.

  2. Humility and success seem to be at odds with each other. How do we reconcile, or bring together the two without expressing our selfish motives? The ego appears to be the stumbling block. What do you think?

    Hello! Just wondering whilst wandering – Peace, UT 🙂

    1. Interesting that you mentioned humility and success, because I heard a sermon today while driving to work discussing success for a believer. The pastor’s name is Charles Stanley, and I visit his website http://www.intouch.org quite a bit. There is a great section called “All Things are New” that make some of the basic things easier for me to grasp. Anyway, the main idea I got out of the sermon was that success is tied to the improvement of a believer’s relationship to Christ. Christ is the perfect example of humility, so for the believer’s case humility and success are tied together: The closer to Christ (success), the more humility gained. That hit me like a thunderbolt today. That seems so simple, but I have to admit, I don’t think I define success like that without hearing that sermon or through some other revelation. Wow. How can that not be how I measure success?

      Quick admission: as far as ego, all I have to do to get taken down a few notches is sing into a microphone and hear the playback. Frightening.

      Thanks for stopping by again and commenting.

      1. Michael, I like what you said, “the closer to Christ (success), the more humility is gained.” I would submit that pursuing significance is what will reap success (Kingdom living … you called it Christ).

        Uncle Tree, humility and success do not have to be at odds with one another. It completely depends on how we define bot “humility” and “success”. I would suggest that one can be successful (in a worldly sense) without being humble, but one cannot be humble without being successful (in a Kingdom sense).

        I like this exert from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:

        “…Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all. If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” (page 128)

      2. Hi Will,
        One of the hurdles for me to clear: most of the church teaching I received focused on getting saved. I remember a few months after getting saved thinking, “Well, that’s great….Now what?” Years later it was kind of the same thing, “I am saved. No what am I supposed to do.” Of course, I don’t want to give the impression that I am laying blame on churches for my lack of development — it’s just that was my experience at that particular time, and I think that in today’s world there are tons of avenues to find help in addition to the local church. Also, I am sure there were opportunities to grow, and I missed those because I was focused on worldly things. Kingdom living is a great way to phrase “The Walk”. Like that a lot.

        I love CS Lewis (of course).

        I plan to catch up with you later to talk about pursuing significance —

        Thanks for posting.

  3. SJohnson · · Reply

    Powerful thoughts MD. Way to put yourself out there. I look foward to reading more, as I’m sure you will come to realize therein lies your talent that you haven’t quite put your finger on yet – reflecting on and spreading the word.

    1. Hi. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Come back when you can.

      That’s a nice compliment to me about reflecting and spreading the word. I miss having conversations with other people about his/her walk, and I hope this blog makes that possible. (My church attendance is not what it should be these days. I hope to get back in the groove soon. )

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