The Value of a Heart Set Right
If I were going to run a long race, I’d have an idea of what it would take. It would obviously be physically taxing, but I could train for that. It would be mentally taxing, and I could train for that. I’d be able to study the route and identify the challenging spots. Preparation is possible!
If only the call to write was that clear. That’s why so many people give up before they should.
I’ve learned the path of obedience is seldom laid out clearly ahead of me. Instead, it’s filled with unknowns and stumbling blocks that you can’t imagine. How can you prepare your heart for a publisher saying no to your life-long dream? How do you press on when you can’t seem to exceed 100 followers on your blog?
For those wired to succeed, obedience doesn’t always look like success. You can feel like a failure when the numbers don’t add up, and you’ve heard more no’s than yes’s.
But are obedience and earthly success linked?
Apparently not. There was not much public earthly success in Jesus’ ministry. Basically, we follow a homeless Jewish carpenter who was rejected, abandoned by His closest friends, wrongly convicted and crucified.
Jesus’ success wasn’t marked by the fickle affection of the crowds, but the faithful adoration of the afflicted.
To stay steadfast in ministry we need a heart set on kingdom success, and that happens in quiet places, with little fanfare.
Jesus told us what a heart set right looks like when He was asked the greatest commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”(Matthew 22:37-38, NIV)
Why do we get this simple commandment wrong so much of the time? Love God. Love people. That’s kingdom success.
Obedience in our callings will come with rejection. It will come with discouragement and confusion. It may come with a blog following of 100. But that’s still ministry! And it’s still success when you love God and those 100.
We all need a heart re-set at times. When you feel yourself starting to slip into discouragement, just remember the words of Jesus. It’s really simpler than we make it out to be.