For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Since my son, John, was a young teenager, he earnestly wanted to make a difference for God. The Lord led him to start a Christian web site, “Jesusfreakhideout.com,” when he was only 16 years old, and it has steadily grown and reached more and more people each year. Even so, he has wrestled with feelings of discouragement and frustration from time to time. When he shares these feelings with me, I do my best to encourage him, and to help him persevere. On one of these occasions recently, he was pouring out his heart to me and asking questions like--"How can I make a real difference when the grand scheme of things is so big? Is all of my seemingly endless work worth it? Does it have a point? Aren't there plenty of other people doing the same thing--and better? If they're getting more rewards than I am, does that mean I'm not on the right track? Sometimes I feel like I'm going against the wind--uphill!"
I not only sympathized with my son, but I empathized with him, too. I've often wrestled with many of these same feelings and questions, and I was painfully aware of what he was going through. After all, what am I doing for God that millions of other people aren't? Not only are countless people doing the same thing that I am, but many of them are doing it better, and achieving bigger and better results. Sometimes I feel like just one more little fish in a big sea of other little fish. On days when I let these things get me down, I try to remind myself of some uplifting truths that the Lord has taught me over the years. One of them is that I have been created by God with a very specific purpose in mind, and that He has prepared good works for me that only I can do. The Bible says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 NIV) The Lord has prepared for me achievements that only I can accomplish in this life. Even the most gifted person in the world cannot accomplish my personal God-given assignments. It's entirely possible that there are lost people on this earth who will only be reached by me, as I carry out my God-given purpose and destiny. That fact alone is usually enough to keep me going when I'm tempted to quit and give up.
I've discovered that it's easy for me to lose my focus if I concentrate too much on what other people are doing. But if I stay focused on fulfilling the call of God on my own life, I can persevere in the toughest of times. I remind myself that God didn't create me to copy or imitate anyone else. He created me to fulfill my own unique God-given purpose and potential. And I can only do that by earnestly seeking His will for my life--by living each day in total dependence upon Him, and being sensitive and obedient to His Spirit's leading in all things. Scripture says, "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me." (Psalm 138:8) As I concentrate on living for God and doing His will, I can count on Him to guide my steps in the paths that He has marked out for me. And I know that it's only in these paths that I will find the peace, joy, fulfillment, and success that are mine in Christ.
One thing's for sure--the devil does NOT want us to fulfill our God-given purpose and potential. He knows that if we do, we will wreak havoc on his kingdom of darkness, and we will be able to keep his interference in our lives to a minimum. He also knows that God will move heaven and earth to see that we receive all the good things He has in store for us. If it's your heart's desire to become all that God created you to be, and to accomplish all the things He prepared for you in advance, please know that He will equip you with everything you need to succeed. I can't promise that you won't experience times of doubt or discouragement. But I CAN promise that if you'll keep your eyes on God and follow His lead, He will move mountains to make sure that His highest purposes for your life prevail!
Prayer: Lord, today I offer You all that I am, and all that I have. I ask You to equip me with everything I need to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential. Help me not to focus on what others are doing, but to focus on You and Your call on my life. Send me special encouragement when I get discouraged or doubtful. Thank You that as I continually seek to follow Your will for my life, I will enjoy divine favor, victory, and success!
- J. M. Farro