Saturday, February 11, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Don’t quit, Amigos!
Following God is not always easy. Last week, I spoke to someone who believes she is called to the ministry. She said, “I can’t believe how much resistance I am getting!” I was reminded of my first official assignment in ministry after one year of Bible school. A friend wanted to introduce me to one of the patriarchs of the Charismatic move in our city. I was brand new, feeling inadequate, and I really wanted this guy to like me. This pastor, who didn’t’ know me or anything about me, looked at me and said, “You won’t make it. None of you guys do. You’ll quit in
a year.” Well, that was 36 years ago, but then he was a pastor, not a prophet. He did have a point, however: Most folks quit. It’s just too tough. Whether they are called to preach or cook or sweep or sing, the enemy will try to stop the work of God.
My point is that not everyone will be supportive, or even neutral, toward your attempts to obey God in your life. The question is, who do you want to please? As Christians, we each have divinely assigned functions, and grace-given gifts. When you take steps to find and fulfill your function, there will always be resistance. This frequently takes the form of negative responses from people, especially family and friends. Your job is twofold. First, every one of us needs a clear sense of our gifts and callings. If you don’t believe you are on a mission from God, you will quit. Second, you have to know whom you are striving to please. I love people, I serve people, I am polite (most of the time) to people, but I obey God. His approval is the only thing that really counts in the long haul. What did God tell you to do? What did He put in your heart? That must be your priority. He won’t quit loving you if you quit, but you will miss the joy of a race well-run, and the blessings that go with it.
Somebody Said: I always want to listen to people and receive good criticism, but I just don’t have to answer to them; I have to answer to God. Joel Osteen
Scripture Reading: So they called the two apostles back in and told them that they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus. Peter and John answered, “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20 CEV)
There’s no question in my mind that God called me and gave me an assignment. There’s also no question in my mind that I’m human and can miss God’s intent by mixing in my own thinking and desires. Because of the God part, I refuse to quit. Because of the human part, I seek input from trusted advisors who know me, know God, and who have demonstrated that they have my best interest at heart. That’s a pretty good formula.
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Got some difficult people in your life? Check out “Diagnosis and Treatment of Fools” in our online Bookstore.