Have you ever watched a gerbil on his wheel? He runs and runs and never gets anywhere. Do you ever feel like that? Like you are spinning your wheels? Today we celebrate Labor Day in the US, so I wanted to talk about where our efforts should be, and what their result will be. With almost every decision we make in life there is uncertainty about the outcome. Yet there is one course we can follow where no matter what happens, we know that in the end it will not be a wasted effort. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58)
No matter what our work is here on earth, we can be assured that we are walking where the Lord wants us to walk. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Prov. 16:9)
So no matter the tasks we are given to use the gifts we have received, as long as we are walking in the Spirit, we can be assured we are put in our positions to do the Lord’s work. “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:7-9)
God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own special roles. We can become useful members of God’s team by setting aside our desires to receive glory for what we do. Don’t seek the praise that comes from people–it is comparatively worthless. Instead, seek approval from God.
And we need not worry if we are able to do what the Lord sets before us, because He is able and will equip us for His purpose and glory. “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb. 13:20-21)
It doesn’t matter if we can see a harvest from our labors today, next week or even in our lifetime. We are to continue in the steps the Lord has laid out before us. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Gal. 6:9-10) As we walk with the Lord and witness to His presence and power, our lives are not in vain! We can be sure of that.