Thursday, September 18, 2008

Measured of God

We are always being measured: God is measuring us, and people are measuring us. When it comes to evaluating Christian service and servants, other people can make mistakes, and we can make mistakes. Most Christian workers are prone to think either more highly of themselves than they should (Romans 12:3), or less than they should. Both attitudes are wrong.

God is the only One who can measure us and our work accurately, but He doesn’t always tell us what He thinks. John the Baptist thought for sure that he had been a failure (Matthew 11:1-9), and more than once Moses wanted to quit because he was sure he couldn’t endure another day of listening to people complain.

When God wants to encourage you, and let you know you are measuring up, here’s what He will do:

#1. He will prompt other people to encourage you. Just when you feel like you have blown it, and when you least expect it, some person will walk up to you and say, “thanks.” Maybe they will send an e-mail, letter, or give you a phone call. That is God’s way of communicating to you that you are “measuring up.”

In my office I have a file that contains dozens of letters of encouragement that have come to me in just the nick of time. They are treasures to me. And this doesn’t even count the hundreds (maybe thousands) of phone calls, e-mails, and verbal communications of encouragement I have received over the years. I don’t recommend you start a scrapbook, or a fan club, but do be thankful for these honest expressions of gratitude and accept them humbly as from the Lord. When God prompts people to encourage you, it is His way of encouraging you Himself.

#2. New doors of opportunity will open for you. Another evidence that you have been measured and approved of God is when new doors of opportunity open for you. If you have been faithful with a few things, God will give you more things. Of course, that means more work; but God has measured you and is sure you can do it. I’ve experienced this in my own life, and as a pastor, it is very exciting to watch other faithful servants grow and expand their ministry to the glory of God.

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:12).

#3. Fruitfulness. As any vineyard or orchard owner knows, dried up, dead branches do not produce fruit. On the other hand, if the branches are healthy and properly connected to the vine, they will produce fruit as healthy as the vine to which they are attached. In the same manner, if you are properly connected to Christ your ministry and life will produce spiritual fruit (St. John 15:1-8). This too is evidence that you measure up and it’s God’s way of validating your ministry.