“I always try to give one hundred and ten percent to my job.”
Have you ever said something like that when applying for a new job position? Those of us who have a strong work ethic usually try to give our very best every day. We may come in extra early and leave late, especially when there is a heavy workload. We may also go the extra mile when a special project comes up. Some of us want to produce beyond the expectations of our employer. This is the kind of person that companies are looking for, and promote to new levels of responsibility.
When it comes to spiritual things, however, it may be a different story altogether. So many believers today can’t even get to church on time, let alone early. They read their Bible once in a while, take little time to pray, and give only occasionally in the offering. Some may be more diligent in these areas on Sunday, but almost nothing the rest if the week. This varies from person to person and it depends a lot on their level of spiritual growth: the more spiritual they are, the more devoted they are to the Lord.
D.L. Moody was one of the greatest revivalists of the 19th century. Early in his ministry a friend said to him, “It remains to be seen what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him.” Those words gripped Moody’s heart. After pondering that statement for a moment, he said, “Well, I will be that man!” From that day on, he gave himself passionately to the Lord to use him in any way He saw fit, and God mightily used him to win thousands to Christ.
God is still looking for people today who will be completely consecrated to Him. These people may not necessarily be in the limelight on the church platform or behind the pulpit. They may be people who work behind the scenes and never in the spotlight, but God notices them. Their devotion to God starts in their personal walk with Him.
The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son, Timothy:
“Meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15 NKJV)
A man or woman who is fully devoted to God will spend hours meditating on the Word before Him in prayer. Nothing will satisfy that person but complete surrender to everything that God wants them to do. When someone has this kind of commitment to the Lord, it soon becomes evident in their lives and ministries. It isn’t long before that person is noted to be a true man or woman of God. That is the kind of person God is looking for!
Paul wanted Timothy to be this kind of man. He wanted him to be someone who would shun the distractions of the world and be completely sold out to God:
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV)
He challenged him to forsake all the things that the world had to offer and pursue everything that God had in store for him. This is the mark of someone who is ready to abandon everything else for the wealth of the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Here is a secret about how things work in the Kingdom of God: Faithfulness brings promotion. If we are faithful to pursue God in the little things, He will entrust the greater things to us. The Apostle Paul expressed this when he wrote:
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1:12 NKJV)
When Paul was found faithful in his dedication to the things of God, he was promoted to a greater level of ministry. This did not only happen on one occasion, but several. When he was faithful in one level, God raised him to a whole new level. It may surprise you to know that Paul was not always an Apostle. When Paul was known as Saul of Tarsus, he was only recognized as a prophet and a teacher:
“Now in the church that was at Antioch, there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” (Acts 13:1 NKJV)
Saul was at the very bottom of this list of men from the church at Antioch. It was because of his faithfulness that God elevated him to the office of an Apostle, and he became known as the Apostle Paul. Eventually, he would write over 25 percent of what would be called The New Testament. Like D.L. Moody, he became a man who was recognized as someone who was completely devoted to God.
God wants us to be this kind of person. We need to devote ourselves entirely to prayer and the Word of God so that God can use us in ways that we cannot even imagine.
You are holy, dear saint!
What things might you change in your life, so that you are completely sold out to God? Let me know in the comments below!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New Kings James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]