Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Intentions Or Best Effort

As this year closes, I started to ponder a question, "What did I do for the Lord this year?"  "Did I give my best intentions or my best effort?  Intentions can be completely pure as white snow but if there is no effort; it's meaningless desires.  Christ advised the disciples to "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41

For faith to function properly it has to be put to work.  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. (James 2:17 NASB)  Without works our faith will have no ability to grow, reproduce, or exist.  Visions are important for they will bring clarity but faith brings it to reality.  Nehemiah had an enormous burden to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; it wasn't a small vision.  Yet, Nehemiah didn't just envision the completion of the wall; he used his hands to complete it.  With either a sword or shovel he worked diligently with the resources, God's people, and focused on the task.

 "Instead, I devoted myself to the work of this wall.  All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land." Nehemiah 5:16

Although his enemies tried to attack his work with their wicked schemes; Nehemiah stayed devoted.  He stayed faithful at the task until it was completed.  He never left the work or the people for the honor due him.  So, how are you feeling about the year 2012? Did all your goals get accomplished?  If so, praise the Lord!  If not, praise the Lord!  Why?  The plans of God can't be stopped even if we were unfaithful in the journey.  "If we are unfaithful, he REMAINS faithful, for he cannot deny who he is." 2 Timothy 2:13  God's faithfulness will never end but it doesn't give us a reason to be lazy with His call.  We are to be faithful so we can produce fruit that will last.

I admit, some of my goals for 2012 didn't get complete.  Am I disappointed in myself?  Of course.  Yet, I will not allow disappointment to give birth to discouragement for it will prevent clarity to the road ahead.  We all will face disappointments or failures but we have to make an appointment to start over.  Satan longs for us to be discouraged, so we don't finish the race.  The finish line hasn't moved; it's always at the end of the race.  It will keep me focused to the end but perseverance will ensure I finish.  If regret is knocking at your door; it's time to answer with God's grace.  So, rekindle the vision until 2013 by brainstorming, write down ideas, seek godly counsel, and pray! Commit the ideas to the Lord, seek His face.  He will direct your steps to His perfect will; He will give success.  It's not impossible!  Faith and works must be married for the fruit of labor to grow. 

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

It's time to brush off disappointment, cast off past failures, and pick-up the tools.  Get back to work!  Time wasted is forever lost but time invested in eternity will last.  Whatever vision God has given; it comes with a wonderful guarantee-He never leaves us!