This study will help us start thinking about being great for God.
As I have aged, my focus has become, “How can I maintain this pace of living? I don’t know if I have the strength.” I narrowed my focus; one thing I trimmed was the time I spent with God… I began to leave out the spiritual. My faith diminished: I relied less on God, and believed less that he wanted a relationship with me or thought of using me to build something great. Thinking about God’s plan helps me change and focus more on God.
God has a plan, are you willing?
When God called Moses, he was unwilling to go. Moses offered up reasons he was unsuitable: God answered every question. Their conversation was emotional and frank. Moses changed his mind, took his family and went.
Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Legacy is not just the job you are called to do, it is the joy and excitement that you bring to it.
What holds me back?
Moses resisted change. It was pressure to take his family and go; it was uncomfortable to leave his life and face his fear of what was waiting in Egypt. He thought of many reasons that God should choose someone else.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,
My age and my health make me be careful and draw lines to show God how far I am willing to go. My fear and my anxiety cause me to hide from relationships and conflict. The memory of past hurts and the bitterness of failures make me unwilling to reach out. My love of comfort keeps me from trying. These are my reasons for stopping. I no longer look to God, I only see me.
The only way I can get through these thoughts and feelings (and sins) is by prayer, by looking at the cross and what God has done, and by frank talks with brothers and sisters who will help me get back to God.
I can grow to become
You cannot change the beginning: you can change the ending. My upbringing and mistakes of the past are done; they cannot be changed. “If only” is not a game we can play. You can change how you see what has happened to you. Instead of handicaps, they can be obstacles you overcome as God helps you grow.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
Psalm 18:16-19, 28-30
Dwight David Eisenhower graduated from West Point in 1915. He was trained to fight, In the next 25 years he was given one administrative assignment after another. He watched with some envy as classmates led on the battlefield. At the beginning of World War 2 he had little combat experience. He was a meticulous planner, and constantly honed his skills; he developed character and perseverance. He wanted to lead in the field.
One day, after he had received a rebuke from his commander about wanting to go to the field, he finally expressed his feelings to his superior, “General, I’m interested in what you say, but I want you to know that I don’t give a damn about your promotion plans as far as I’m concerned. I came into this office from the field and I am trying to do my duty. I expect to do so as long as you want me here. If that locks me to a desk for the rest of the war, so be it!”
Because of his willingness to serve, he was promoted to General over the European Theater. His first job was to plan and execute Operation Overlord, the Normandy Invasion. His preparation made him ready. He did not let his past disappointments stop him from being ready to serve.
- What holds you back from being an enthusiastic participant?
- What stops you from leading in some way?
- What do the 5 people closest to you think? (Don’t have 5? You might start there…)
- If you are a parent, what do your kids think?
- Moses did not get his call from God until he was 80, Eisenhower was 52. Age is not a big concern, how do you feel about that?
Pray for vision, for insight from friends, for passion, for energy and care to grow. Decide to change something and hold yourself daily accountable with others about your progress. Keep a list of answered prayers as you move forward.
- Study out men who were called: Moses, Gideon, Isaiah, Samuel, David, Jonah, Paul.
- Books to read: Exodus, Deuteronomy, Acts
- Outside Book: Eisenhower: Soldier and President by Stephen Ambrose