It’s Just Not the Same…
To launch off of yesterday’s post about faithfully developing your gifts, what about when situations, relationships, or circumstances change? It’s in those moments we may find ourselves discouraged and wondering what to do, but our Father never leaves us on our own to figure things out.
Mark 16:19-20 talks about one of those “now what?” times.
“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
These guys had lived in the incredible experience of living with, watching, and relating closely to Jesus. Their lives were changed in every way, but then Jesus was gone. He had given them instructions, but how could they live up to that? How could they keep the momentum that Jesus provided?
They had the same choice we all do when things change, get difficult, seem uncomfortable–they could stand around and reminisce about the good old days or they could move forward. So many times we have great experiences with God and we are caught up in the possibilities of God’s promises, but then we have to wake up day after day and do the work. That powerful time you had with Him seems miles away when you’re in the trenches, but perception is not always reality.
Jesus wasn’t physically preaching anymore, the disciples were now given that task. Jesus wasn’t there to heal the sick anymore, the disciples had that mandate. Did you catch a clue in the verse above? It says, “the Lord worked with them.” I love that!
They had to trust Him enough to move forward, but they weren’t alone. You may feel called to start a business; you may be a songwriter, a mentor, writer, or an educator. The world is full of gifts that God has given, but we have to step out and give God an opportunity to work with us.
Real faith can’t sit still. Faith compels you to act on what God has spoken or promised, not in a way of trying to achieve it on your own abilities but launching out into the impossible with Him.
Too often we wait for the “perfect” opportunity. We wait for someone to notice. We wait for someone who used to take of care of “those things.” Other times we wait for God to do something when all along God is saying, “Don’t be afraid to step out, I’ll work with you!” We have to be willing to put ourselves out there and follow where the Spirit may lead. That may also lead to criticism, uncomfortable situations, and maybe even a failure or two, but it’s okay because the alternative is sitting still and living unfulfilled.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… –Ephesians 3:20 (emphasis mine)
The Holy Spirit has been given to us (Jesus even said it was better for Him to go so the Spirit could come). There is a power and grace working in us and that’s how He chooses to do those “exceedingly, abundantly” things. I know I’d rather be working with God than groping around trying to figure out why I never reached my potential.
What are your thoughts on this?