Itís Not Exactly Like Baking Cookies
Cookies on a baking sheet.
 
Writing this column isnít exactly like baking cookies. I can pick out a recipe based on the ingredients I have on hand. I can chose the right size utensils and get out the necessary ingredients; preheat the oven and follow the directions of the recipe. The result is cookies! I willed it. I did it. I met my goal.

But when it comes to this column, the element that is beyond my control is the will of God. Am I just mixing together words to fit the theme? Or is God actively involved? Iím never quite sure. I ask him to be. I hope he is and that at least one reader will benefit. But the result is totally under the control of the will of God. My will wonít get the job done.

The same is true for all those who set out to be witnesses for Christ in daily life or in mission work. The human will and effort is not enough to get the job done. We can choose a goal, determine how to reach it, and take all the necessary steps but God alone produces the results. (I Corinthians 3:4-15; James 5:15)

We are assured that our labor does have a reward. We are also assured that even if the work we build on the foundation laid by Jesus Christ cannot withstand the test of time, we wonít lose the salvation that leads to eternal life. (I Corinthians 3:15) Our life in Christ is not based on the result of our labor.

Peter has an exhortation for us: ďEach one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Godís grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. AmenÖ.So then, those who suffer according to Godís will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.Ē (I Peter 5:10-11,19)

We do have a goal in our witness: To praise God through Jesus Christ. We do have a ďrecipeĒ: Use Godís words and his strength. We do have a method for reaching our goal: Commit ourselves to God who is faithful and continue to do good. Another element is also necessary.
 
Have you become discouraged because your effort seems to be without result? Listen to the words of James: ďBe patient, then, brothers, until the Lordís coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lordís coming is near.Ē (James 5:7-8)
Crops in field.

These servants of God remind us:

  • To be patient
  • To stand firm or persevere
  • To continue to do good
  • To use Godís words and strength
  • To fully commit ourselves to bringing him honor and praise
Then we trust him for the results because we live by trusting him not by what we can see and measure. 
(II Corinthians 5:7)

By Scarlett Stough

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