“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
No matter how flawed a human being or what he or she did before they were called by God to spread His Word in the world, God insures that His intent and purposes for it will be accomplished. So often I think that we are unsure that we’re doing a good job for God. That we don’t see the results of what we do and say in other people’s lives. And still there is this assurance in Isaiah that what we say and do in Christ’s name “will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” It’s probably good for us, for our egos, that we don’t see the benefit of what we say and do in another’s life, because we might begin to delight in what we did rather than in God using us for His purposes.
There are no perfect people, but there are people who do their best, their utmost to serve God in the ways He call us to do. The benefit in others’ lives is not for us to know, but for the Holy Spirit to manage and insure. Our job is to serve the people that God puts in our lives, to carry out our purpose as God directs us, to be faithful in serving God with as much of ourselves as we are able. And, finally, we are to let go of our own expectations for how that should look, or even that we would know the result of what we are called to do. Our egos are very self-serving and could pull us off our devotion to God, if we were allowed to see all the effects of what we do in Christ’s name.
This is so important to our humility, to just be one of the many Christians who serve their Lord with faithfulness and love. Not one of us is more deserving than another of God’s love. Not one of us is called to sit at Jesus’ right or left hand, ahead of all the others. The kingdom of God is a level playing field in which only the Trinity is elevated among all others. It doesn’t matter if you are a pastor or a minister, or someone who serves in the soup kitchens, or writes about God, or who helps others whenever they can, or teaches, or heals or whatever. We are called to serve God in all that we do. The outcome of what we do and how people benefit from it is not ours to know. We just give in service to the Lord and He takes care of all the rest.
Here is our reward for serving God faithfully:
“You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:12-13
As we take in that joy and peace and continue our lives in service to the Lord, it “will be for the Lord’s renown,” not our own. Amen.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I serving myself or God as I spread His word? Do I see the effect of God’s Word in my own life? Do I count on seeing how good a job I am doing in others’ lives? What has God told me about my purpose?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who serve the Lord willingly and without caring about how effective we are. May we live, speak, and do the Word of God throughout our days. May we be love in this world.
For the month of March I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments which is designed to deepen your faith in God and in these Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will email you a pdf file of the guide.
See more blog posts and offerings at patsaidadams.com.
Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts every month. 2.22.21s is entitled “Prayer.” Sign up to receive these as monthly emails at the website.