Is you is or is you ain’t….
Shannon’s challenge to me to remind people I’m not after success, but instead, am chasing after Father, left me pausing in thought all day long. After much pondering, I think I’ve come up with an official stance: I am.
I am? I am, WHAT? What kind of answer is that?
I AM…..chasing after Father. I want what He wants for us more than anything else. I can feel every fiber of my being stretching ooooouuuuuuuttttttt – trying to reach for the goal of being told I’ve done well as His servant.
I AM…..chasing after success. I want to make certain that what I offer my Father, from our business, is worthy of a gift to give a King. I want to offer my Lord nothing that cost me nothing.
Are these two things mutually exclusive? I don’t think so. And here’s why – In Matt 25, in the parable of the talents, the Master gives his servants talents, according to their abilities. The servant that took the 5 talents that were given to him and made 5 more heard the very words that woo me, “Well done, good and faithful servant. (and the piece de resistance??) Enter into the joy of your master.” OH, that phrase drives me – ENTER INTO THE JOY OF YOUR MASTER.
For what, does this servant earn such a commendation? He takes the talents his master has given him – talents that were given according to his abilities and he doubled them. Here’s what else captures my attention about this – he went at once. He didn’t sit around and think about it, he didn’t ask all his friends what to do, he didn’t go to the internet and check the stock market, he didn’t even buy a copy of the Wall Street Scroll – he already knew JUST what to do with those talents.
The other servant, however, is not successful. He takes the talents that are given to him – he only had the ability to handle one – and he returns to the master the one talent that was given unto him. The master’s response causes me to cringe – literally – “You wicked and slothful servant!…. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.” Those words send chills up my spine.
I want to pause here and note, while I believe it possible that those who are successful with the talents that that Lord has appointed unto them, to gain wealth (Matt 25:29) THAT is not the measure that I choose to use to determine whether or not we have succeeded at the business the Lord is laying before us. If He should so choose to bless us financially, I will, with fear and trembling (for to whom much is given, much is required) offer it back to Him with open hands! We are not our own, we have been bought and it is for His good pleasure that we are in this place. (As opposed to something that we have “earned” or done based on our own “value.”)
I pray that you hear my heart concerning this, as I have wrestled long and hard with Father over this very question. I have spent days praying and meditating on “Seek first the Kingdom of God” and sought to understand what that meant in conjunction to our business. I have begged Father to allow us to grow in our understanding of what it means to do all things as unto Him. I have spent many, many an hour in my prayer closet, allowing the Holy Spirit to change the way I think. (At times to the point that my head literally ached from the things that I was learning.) I have cried at the mere thought of failing my Lord at this task. While I want this new thing SO much I can taste it, I want only and exactly what the Lord has for us….and not one crumb, not one ion more or less.
Yes, I DO want success – I want to stand back and watch my husband stand before “kings” (Prov 22:29) and I DO want a heart that is broken and contrite – easily molded by the Holy Spirit. These things are both markers of success, to me.
AND when the day comes that my Master returns from His journey, the indicator to measure our success will be whether or not we are found faithful. For entering into His joy will be all that will be of any value…on that great and glorious day.
(Shannon, honey, you keep asking me those hard questions! It is people like you, who care about my soul, that will become the needed slap in the face, if I start to lose sight of the goal….the very purpose of where we’re going and what we’re after. I love that you are willing to challenge me and sharpen me! You are a gift to me! I love you!!)