The Lord has gifted us with a task....Work in your purpose.
I lived in Atlanta for 25 years and in that time I battled many hours, days, decades of traffic. If you have not experienced I-75 North at about 5:00 PM on a Friday afternoon, you haven't lived. Lanes and lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. If you get distracted, adventurous or pressured to move from the lane you know to be in, you may end up moving in a direction that you aren't supposed to go and your purpose for being there is somewhere behind you.
Today this just hit home.
Two of my favorite characters of the New Testament are John the Baptist and Paul. They were amazing men with two different backgrounds. One (John the Baptist) was uneducated, unsophisticated, without worldly means and a pretty rough guy. He lived in the wilderness, was clothed in camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey. He was confrontational, fearless, committed, passionate to his calling and annointed even before his birth (Matthew 3:4; Matthew 3:7, Luke 1:41).
He was totally committed to the one calling God placed on his life and did not stray.
Paul was just as zealous in his love of Jesus. He was different in that he was a Hebrew among Hebrews, well-educated, sophisticated, a Jewish man who was also a Roman citizen but one with a checkered past. He vehemently persectuted believers for their faith - looking for the Messiah but believing Jesus to be an imposter. After coming to his Damascus road experience with Jesus - he became a passionate, committed believer with one calling....
He worked in the purpose God had for him. He stayed in his lane.
In I Corinthians 3, Paul was speaking to the church in Corinth and said
....as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
They are given one task....and one purpose. The Lord assigned it.
According to this passage in I Corinthians 3....God has assigned me....Cindy Collier....something to do. I will be rewarded according to my labor in my purpose. If I have been given the task of watering or encouraging and building up others but stop because I want to join the crowd and do something a little more flashy and fun and go pick fruit -- well then the seedlings may die because of lack of water and God may have to find someone else to do it.
That's just what the enemy hopes that I will do. The enemy hopes that I will buy into the the many things that make this a battleground area for me. Because, to be honest, sometimes....
I get pulled in too many directions and away from the task that I've given. I work so hard doing other stuff that when I get back to my own purpose I have nothing left to give.
I see so many areas of need with volunteer gaps that need filling that I get overwhelmed
Other people suggest that I join in on something they are involved in - and I'm torn between wanting to please while making sure that I continue in my own purpose
I may be qualified with my education and background to do something that I don't feel called to do
I don't feel that I'm making a difference when I see others gathering the fruit of the seedlings that I watered and I get discouraged
I feel peer pressure to join a crowd and feel guilty when I don't
I feel unqualified doing what God has placed in my heart to do and afraid of looking stupid
Reading in Mark 1, the job of John the Baptist was to prepare the way. He was created for that purpose. God tasked him with that job. That's it. One job. And He did it with excellence. In Colossians 1:28-29 Paul's job was to grow the church and present everyone mature in Christ and he worked hard: For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
God has tasked us all with a calling and we are to work at this calling with all of our energy and focus. We are to stick with that calling and purpose until God gives us other directions.
If I feel pressured to go in a different direction - I will stay in my lane
If I feel that my focus is watered down doing other things - I will stay in my lane
If I feel that I'm not qualified to do the task God assigned me - I will stay in my lane
If I don't feel that I'm making a difference - I will stay in my lane
If other things look more exciting - I will stay in my lane
If the crowd is going one way - I will stay in my lane
I will stay in my lane, doing the task the Lord has assigned to me and work with excellence. God knows what He's doing, He has given me a purpose and a calling and He is responsible for the rest.
My prayer today:
Father God, sometimes I don't have a clue what I'm doing -- but You do. I hope that I'm doing what You want me to do and I trust You to move me around until I'm in the right spot - doing the right thing. I know that we all have a task that has been assigned by you and what an honor that is. I Corinthians 3:10 says that we are to do our jobs "wisely" and "each one should build with care." Help me to stay in the lane I'm to be in and do what you've called me to do so that my life will be pleasing and Your plan will be complete.
I love You....an awful alot. Amen.