So often in life we fail to accomplish some goal that we set for our self, or we fall short of getting that pay raise or promotion that we worked so hard to attain. When we try in our own efforts to succeed, we often fail to achieve the desired results.
As branches, connected to the Vine of Christ, we produce the fruit of “repentance from our sins” (Matthew 3:8). We bring God glory with every obedient step we take. Regardless of the outcome of our efforts, He blesses us more than we can imagine.
The disciples gave us a great example of obedience. After they fished all night without any success, they returned toward the shore. Jesus called from the shore and instructed them to go back out and to throw in their nets on the right side of the boat.
They were tired, hungry and discouraged; yet they obeyed. As a result, they had to get help hauling in all of the fish they caught (John 21:6). The disciples were successful only when they obeyed the Lord.
They followed His instructions explicitly and reaped the rewards. Sometimes, we cannot see how the task God gives us fits into His overall plan until years after the event. We suddenly find out how we made a difference.
At other times, we will not even know the effect of our obedience until eternity dawns for us, and God opens the eyes of our understanding. This is not important, however. God always blesses our obedience in many ways.
Deferred satisfaction provides a way of gaining assured pleasure in the future. It is like making deposits into our savings account. God wants complete devotion to Him from a dedicated heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:33). Sometimes, that is the only result for which He is looking.
Father God, the multitude of humanity, who fail to take advantage of the opportunity You give to us to live in Your joy and peace on earth, will spend eternity suffering more than they are ever hurting now (John 3:18). Incalculable anguish and desolation is inevitable in this life, as well as in the next, whenever we live outside of Your unique will for us.
Sometimes, people give up after making a few attempts to follow Your will, because they believe that they missed out on some imagined blessing that they counted on receiving (Ecclesiastes 5:1). If they only waited a little longer and walked with You a little further, the effort of their obedience would bring more lasting rewards than reaping the results they were looking for (1 Samuel 13:13).
Thought for the Day:
God does not receive pleasure or praise in the results of the humanistic efforts of our plans, goals and accomplishments; instead, He only delights in our obedience to His will.
– 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 51:17; Ephesians 2:8-10