Oct 24, 2012

Wednesday in the Word: Leaning on My Shovel & Praying For a Hole


“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

Acts 20:22-24 & 32-37 (NIV)

As Paul says farewell to the elders in Ephesus he exhorts them to continue working hard to help the weak. He wraps up his final statements with these words of Christ: 

“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.”

Why this? Why not a message about grace or sanctification or repentance? Paul also talks about the hardship he has already seen and the difficulty that he anticipates in Jerusalem or beyond. Even in the midst of this hardship he is willing to go.

Too often, I am guilty of leaning on my shovel and praying for a hole.

On that note, I just stumbled across a wonderful blogpost by Justin Zoradi entitled, Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life. He encourages us to walk in faith and take those first steps in obedience. We read as Paul takes steps that he knows will be difficult. He is obedient and he doesn’t dance around the fact that obedience is hard work, but it is work worth doing.  

Where can you step out in obedience today? 

Does it scare you that the work will be hard?

What can you do right now to move forward in God’s plans for you as you lean into the difficulty? 

TODAY I WILL STOP LEANING ON MY SHOVEL AND PRAYING FOR A HOLE.
I WILL DIG IN.

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