Mother Theresa once said that “God calls us to faithfulness not to success”. The apostle Peter puts it this way (I Peter 5:6) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” We are simply to do our best and leave the results up to God.
A story from Chuck Colson illustrates this principle. Chuck had been given an invitation to speak at the infamous San Quentin prison and over 300 inmates had signed up to attend. But the day before Colson arrived, prison officials discovered a hidden cache of weapons and had ordered a lock-down. Every prisoner was confined to his cell.
When Colson arrived he was disheartened to find that only 6 or 7 men would be allowed to come and hear him speak and most of them were already Christians. His spirits flagged and his enthusiasm vanished. He thought to himself “maybe I ought to just give them a 10 minute devotional, have prayer and go home.”
But then he spotted a video camera in the back of the room and he thought, well maybe they are recording this for the chapel library, so I guess I better go on and preach my message. The Holy Spirit began to convict him about his attitude and so he tried to preach as if thousands were listening to him.
A few weeks later he mentioned to the prison chaplain on the phone how disappointed he was that he didn’t get to preach to all the men who had originally signed up to come. The chaplain responded Didn’t you hear. Because of the lock-down the administration agreed to let us video tape you. They have shown it on closed circuit TV to all 2200 inmates about two dozen times. As a result there were numerous conversions.
Colson says that he learned three lessons from that incident.
- Mother Theresa was right
- When our goal is to change the world, we often fail. But when our goal is to simply OBEY GOD, he blesses our efforts more than we could ever imagine.
- Finally he says I learned that we should “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
So my advice this morning is to hang in there. Keep serving. Keep obeying. Who knows what God might do!
Have a great week!