“…Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
Reflecting upon our early days of being called by God, there was an excitement from which we might have thought that we would “burst” if we didn’t get to the business of ministering for God. We enjoyed a clarity of His call along with some generalized direction of what He wanted us to do along with the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to confirm it all.
All of that was new to us, and that is what generated the excitement within us. To think that God would use “me” for anything was almost beyond comprehension. We enjoyed a freshness, a challenge, along with a strong hope for how God would lead with an expectancy of what God would do in, and through us, for His glory.
Years have since passed then. The exuberance seems to be “gone”. It is not because it is “gone,” but that it may be not as new and exciting as it once was. In the meantime, as the years have passed, we have had experiences and struggles, battles in which we were victorious, and battles where we found ourselves wounded and bruised, perhaps even defeated. Wounds and scars now mar our trail of service, and some of them may still leave us “smarting” from the experience.
Despite our wins and losses, disappointments and failures, God remains as faithful now as the day he saved you. More than likely our perception of things has changed. May I suggest, the experience, the increased knowledge, and the wrong perceptions, the casting away the unprofitable, a learning to treasure the tried and true, all of which has brought us to where we are today.
We have grown and continue to grow older in our physical years. We should be able to look back and see some spots and blots along with the leading of Christ. Don’t be discouraged. We all have them. They serve as learning points, and as reminders that if God has done anything for us, it was not because of “us” but because of Him. It is inconceivable that God has called us to serve Him, and that He has not accomplished something worthy for His name’s sake. Whatever that may be, all is accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit, and it is all to Christ’s glory. We may boast, but only in the power of God.
But where are we right now in our thinking? When a young man and woman get married, there is love between them and as time passes, that love changes. They get “used” to one another, but they are still in love. It is “different,” but it remains vital and working. In like manner, our perceptions of serving Christ change. That is normal, but it is safer if someone else to confirm this. That’s why I’m writing to you.
The Christ who saved us remains the same. He is not like us. He is consistent. Our own responses to Him may have become different. Perhaps we are more or less emotional. We may have a deeper trust. Our depth of our thankfulness should have grown. Humility may now clothe you as the winter snow covers the earth. True love for Him should mature through the experiences of serving Him as we serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. We ought to be able to love in a more worthy fashion than when we first began. Faith remains the principle of life. More than ever our God-given faith has continued to provide us with stability and grace. Some of the mysteries of this faith have been made plainer instead of a mystical thing of wonderment when we lacked an experience of it.
Stability and a settledness should have come upon us so that we are not always looking to find ourselves somewhere else. A deeper perception of what God reveals to us in Scripture and how those things relate to life should provide us encouragement in understanding His ways. The ongoing development of physical weakness ought to strengthening the inner you in Christ. Hope for heaven should be firming up, and the anticipation of looking directly into the face of God in Christ should be ever increasing. However, that does not mean that we should accept a quasi-defeatist attitude about serving Him until He calls us home.
In our later years, we should be able to look back and see a path that is clearly marked with the pieces of evidence of His working in our lives and labors. It ought not to matter to us “what someone else has done,” but we should see our own walk as a walk of faithfulness to Him who has called us for His own glory. Continue to honor Him in your life through purposeful ways of pleasing Him. Each of us is special to Him. It behooves us to be sure that we are available to Him to serve Him. His call upon our lives has not changed. Glorifying Him continues to be our chief ambition. To be used of Him is our highest honor.
Don’t fret over negative things. Take a positive view and be thankful for the positive that He has enabled you to do through and for Him. Your life of faithful loving obedience has lifted His name before those who know you. There is no higher purpose for your pilgrim’s journey in this life. Continue to point men, women, and children to Christ, if need be, without words. Your life in Christ is a living letter for all to read. Yes, life is worth living and serving our Master Jesus, is your highest calling.