Updated: May 6, 2019
“People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
In my devotional “What success looked like for Jesus”, I talked about the paradox of counting our ages BC- Before Christ and AD- After Death, when by today’s standards of success (high numbers both in terms of people and money) - Jesus’ balance sheet, simply did not measure up.
I also mentioned that the definition of success according to the dictionary is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” and in terms of this, I guess you and I plus some 2.4 billion others are the proof that Jesus accomplished what He came here to do.
You might think like I did, “Talking about revival and living the way Jesus did is all good, but where should “little me” even start? I love Him with all my heart and I have this great desire in me to see a change in my world, but there are so many needs and I am only one. And most of the people, don’t even want to hear about Jesus when I want to talk to them about salvation. So where do I even begin?”
I guess by the now our message here at Doodling Faith is clear- start with seeking Him first. That will not only alter you forever and give you all the resources you need to do the job required of you, but He will guide you which way to go, what need to address, what words to say and how to put His message of love across to that person so that it will go straight to their hearts. You must start with Him because “apart from Him you can do nothing”.
If you come across a problem, we encourage you to go straight to His Word and start seeking with a prayer on your lips “what does my Father think about this?” and don’t stop until you get your answer. Our motto or statement if you wish “Live according to Your Word” was born of this. In His Word we found our answers on anything and everything- someone hurt you, someone disappointed you despite everything you invested in them, how do you love someone, how do you care for them, how do you “give an answer when asked for a reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15)…everything you need to know is already available to you and nothing will be done to you that has not been done to Him first. So, failure is not a word in your world. Not if you measure it by His standards rather than the standards of the world.
The sum of Jesus’ message was this “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)
We challenge you to use this as the criteria to measure your success at the end of a day- Have my actions today been out of Love or intended to lead to the ultimate triumph of Love? Why? Because “Love always wins”, so there’s your success guaranteed.
He asked us to be his witnesses, not the witnesses of our pastor’s last sermon, regardless of how beautiful or inspiring some of them are. Don’t hide your light under a basket, tell the world what He did for you, what He still does! And trust me, not even the most cynical out there will ever be able to argue with your personal experience.
How do you tell “the world”? One at a time, and in complete trust that the One who lives in you put that the one person, sitting in front of you, there for a reason. Remember, success is “the accomplishment of a purpose”. Believe that your Father living in you is purposeful and nothing in His world happens by accident. People who encountered Jesus were transformed forever, because for as long as they were in front of Him, they had His undivided attention and full heart. Yes, the needs we see around us are overwhelming, but some of the most liberating advice I heard on this was from pastor Andy Stanley,
“Do for one what you would do for the whole world if you had unlimited resources.”
I tried it and I learnt this- people will always be grateful when you give them something, but they will always know when they had your undivided attention and full heart. Why? Because when you are like that you tend to do eccentric gestures and with a degree of abandon that comes across in your actions. So, my own personal aim became this- I will give to the person in front of me according to their need, as if Jesus was in front of me. Some will need your time, others your arms and a shoulder to cry on, others a warm meal, others that nice coat in your wardrobe, while others a kind encouraging word. Remain in love and the One who remains in you, will tell you what to do. You just have to pay enough attention to step out or turn back around and go to that person He is pointing to. Yes, especially when your heart begins to beat faster, but your logic tells you to stay put because they are so many, and you are only one and you will never make a difference. It is no more complicated than that. And you can do it, because of the One who lives in you.