Let No One Keep You From the Prize
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As I press on in my relationship with Christ, I’m learning that obedience is a big thing to God. Very big. Plus, obedience brings incredible rewards (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). I believe being in Christ is the most peaceful, secure and protected place anyone could ever be—a place of complete satisfaction and contentment to the heart. I’m choosing to obey out of my love for God and so that nothing interferes with being in this most awesome, sacred place.
The Lord planned our days long before time began (Psalms 139:16) . Sometimes, He calls us to tasks we feel incapable of, and without Him, it can be impossible. But praise God, He moves within us to empower and provide abilities we don’t possess in our own strength (Philippians 2:13).
Many years ago, in my dream, my supervisor asked me to write articles for publication. I was happy for the assignment, but when I sat down to write, I froze. In my mind I thought, I can’t do this!
When I shared the dream with a friend, I was discouraged by the cold silence that followed my news. But the Lord’s encouragement came swiftly as He led me to this verse:
“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize.” (Colossians 2:18 NASB1995)
As I reflected on this, I thought about several things: first, the enemy’s goal is to destroy me. He will stir up negative thoughts and may use people whose voices and opinions could derail me. Secondly, I have misplaced trust, as I tend to put my trust in myself rather than the ability of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Christ resides in me, so if He wants me to write articles, He’ll provide the needed skills and opportunities (Galatians 2:20).
I remembered heroes of the Bible who didn’t think they could accomplish what God called them to do either. When God called Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, he wondered how he could do such a thing and made excuses. But he was willing, and God empowered him (Judges 6-8). When God called Moses to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, he told God he wasn’t even able to talk to people much less lead them. Yet, he too, was willing and God empowered him (Exodus 4:10-17). When God called David to be a king, his own family thought it an unlikely choice, but with a heart so full of love for God, he willingly obeyed and the all-powerful, living God empowered him (1 Samuel 13:14).
Another prime example is the uneducated fishermen and other followers who were changed into such mighty men of God that they became apostles (fulfilling the call to start and lead churches), performed miracles, and wrote several of the New Testament books of the Bible we live by today. They were willing and obedient, and God empowered them mightily.
Are you like me and some of the men of God who delayed obedience because of doubt in our ability or lack of the encouragement we hoped for? In Colossians 2:15, Paul informs us that Christ “disarmed the rulers and authorities,” so these forces are defeated foes. What’s more is that we have the greatest force of all time with us. Almighty God can enable us to fulfill every assignment He calls us to. In Hebrews 13:21-22 Paul says, “The God of peace ... equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Dear friends, what is the assignment the Lord is calling you to? If we are willing and obedient, the Lord will be faithful to empower us. The prize is waiting, let’s go for it!
Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright, 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.
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