14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Saturday I took a road trip to meet my mom and claim my long lost children. They've been with one set of grandparents or the other since school let out for Christmas break. God has often used my driving time to talk to me, and today was no exception. As I drove along he reminded me of the delights of the heart he had fulfilled for me this past year.
He also quickly pointed out to me these desires were given for a purpose, and were meant to be used.
We all set New Year's resolutions, and it seems its about this time every January when the reality of accomplishing a goal sets in. Quite frankly, the delightful call to my heart that appeared so clearly with the verses on Saturday has already been fought with sucker punches to the gut and huge clouds of doubt and fear. I've already had the "are you sure about this?" conversation with God this week. He replied with the message I am sharing now.
So I direct you back to the verses above and some great advice from Paul, the writer of Timothy. Accomplishing a goal, and accomplishing the call God places on your heart, isn't something that always comes easy.
- Don't neglect the gift that is in you. God gave you a purpose and a plan. He expects you to share your gift, not hide it away because you think it is too hard to put into action.
- Practice is not something for just athletes and musicians. Practice makes perfect, or in the words of a dear friend, practice also makes permanent.
- Along with practice comes commitment. We have to be diligent in keeping the goal in mind, and committing ourselves to carrying it out, no matter how hard the going gets.
- Paying attention means keeping your eye on the prize. It also means keeping check on your progress and making sure you are moving in the right direction.
- Persevere: The dictionary defines "persevere" as "To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement." Paul tells us to persevere, for this is what will save us and our hearers.
God has a plan for us. He always equips us with the tools for the task, and he will bless our efforts. Don't let post-resolution blues keep you from doing the good work God created for you to do.