Pastor Steven Furtick was describing a member of his congregation, Tonia Bendickson, when he said, “If it’s necessary and it’s never been done before, she seems to assume that’s because God intends for her to do it.” What an amazing thing to have said about you. How many of us react exactly opposite of the way Tonia does? We see a difficulty and give up before even trying to overcome it. We see a perceived impossibility and believe it instead of trusting God to do what others say cannot be done. Tonia has the proper attitude, the one all followers of Christ should have. She looks at situations through the eyes of Jesus rather than trusting in her own fallible vision.
Why are we so quick to become discouraged or give up when working for God? We’ll spend hours practicing our favorite sport or instrument. We’ll avoid sleep rehearsing for a play or performance. We’ll move heaven and earth to pull together a presentation for our jobs. But when it comes to serving Christ, we too often put forth too little effort and leave the job done poorly or not at all. There are at least a couple of things wrong with this. First, pleasing God is infinitely more important than pleasing ourselves or another person. Second, we have all the power of God at our disposal, so why would we think any task would be too difficult to complete?
Our culture attempts to convince us that we need the approval of others to validate our own existence. We take our identity from what others say about us rather than what God says about us. Living for the praise of those around you is fleeting at best and will leave you broken, desperate, and confused in the end. Our only goal should be to please the One who created us and gave us life. He has incredible plans for each of us, but we’re too busy pursuing the pleasures of this world to see them.
Few of us ever recognize the power of God in our lives, and fewer still ever choose to utilize it. Do you realize that when you surrendered your life to Jesus that He sent the very spirit of God to live inside of you? All the power of God is available to you if you would only ask. Jesus said that we would do even greater things than He did (John 14:12). That’s incredibly exciting until you realize that we rarely if ever choose to live out His promise.
What if instead of bailing at the first sign of trouble we instead chose to see problems the way Tonia does? What might God do through us? How might we be used to further His Kingdom if only we would recognize problems as opportunities for God to glorify Himself? We all need to see the world through the eyes of Jesus and begin putting the power He has placed within us to work for the glory of God and His Kingdom.