On Usefulness

imagesJD7FHJG8Do you ever wonder if God is using you? Going a step further, do you sometimes fear that when you cease to be useful, you become insignificant?

If our performance determines our worth, why would Jesus tell us to seek first His kingdom and not worry about the rest? Would He really have told Mary she did the only necessary thing by simply sitting at His feet and listening to Him, if it wasn’t true?

Rather than call us into His office for a dreaded performance review, Jesus instead beckons to us to sit and chat with Him. To enter into relationship. To cease striving to do and simply be with the one who loves us most.2013-12-27-relaxinginfield

Why do we so often buck the rest Jesus offers in our never-ending quest to measure ourselves against some standard of service? To try to  control the outcomes?

When I was on staff with Cru, our mantra acknowledged that success in ministry did involve our participation (simply taking the initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit) but we had no control over the results. We could leave them safely in God’s hands. We merely had to show up. To show up, not in our own faltering strength, but in His.

Sometimes God calls us to be light and salt for Him in the middle of a most ordinary life. It may not be obvious how He could possibly use you, but if you’re rightly related to Him, He can. He will. You don’t need to try to figure out how or when.

Just simply live your life. No need to worry about results. Or question your usefulness. (Are you taking a deep cleansing breath of relief now, as I am? Or are you thinking there must be a catch? This sounds too easy. Too enjoyable. Too . . . free.)

We’re called to live connected to the life-giving vine. Accepting each day, as it comes, as a gift.

If that’s your priority, it will show. Maybe not with the acclaim of thousands or stellar performance reviews. Instead, the obvious mark will be an attitude of calm. A caring smile. A joyful countenance. The fruit of the Spirit is tangible. It’s real.

Listen to what Oswald Chambers had to say about our usefulness in My Utmost for His Highest:

 Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God….The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us. If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live— yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.



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