Sometimes God's biggest job is keeping us believers in ourselves


Dr. Clay Perkins


By D. Clay Perkins

Saturday, June 23, 2018

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” — Jonah 3:1 (The Bible, New International Version)

What is one of God’s biggest jobs? Maybe it is related to what is, for most of us, our personal biggest job — keeping self-confidence up. It is trying to be positive about what God is doing through us and often, what God is doing in spite of us.

Like many, I struggle with this. Self-esteem and self-confidence are often strangers in my daily walk. Satan knows my weak spot. He works hard to keep me down. But I cannot allow Satan to undermine what God has done.

For many in the church, today is a hard time to keep confidence up. The world is so evil. It appears that evil continues to win. Christians are ridiculed publicly. But we cannot allow Satan to undermine what God has done and will do through us and, often, in spite of us.

At times, God’s biggest job is to keep you believing in yourself as a servant of the Most High. God has a plan for you, one that He will reveal slowly to you as you live your life in Him. Yes, we all are servants of God, and as servants we are just ordinary people. In terms of qualifications and rights, who can claim to be qualified for participation in the divine work? Who has not disobeyed — past or present? The service of God is thus, in a sense, always a second chance, always an undeserved privilege. The call of God is a sign of mercy, in that He is willing to employ the unworthy. It is also a sign of His greater purpose, His concern for those nameless masses whose drab daily existence has not yet been touched by His divine light.

We can take comfort in God’s reaction to Jonah. Jonah was a prophet who told God, “No.” But God rescued him from the great fish and came to him a second time. God invited him, as before, to undertake the mission of mercy to Nineveh. This time the prophet obeys, though there is little to indicate that he tackles his task with joy and gladness; nevertheless, he has learned at least to obey.

Do you remember the old hymn “Trust and Obey”? The words are “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The words of this hymn are still true today. Jonah learned how to obey, perhaps out of fear, but he obeyed nonetheless.

Rarely does God tell us His will for our entire life. He opens and closes doors in our lives as we submit to Him daily. Very seldom will one know the end game for his own life. One of my best training times in communicating God’s ways with others was in a very small church, where, for over a decade, I prepared a new sermon week after week after week. Nothing glamorous, just a minister faithfully serving a small group of God’s people. Obedience cannot be overrated.

Stay focused.

D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of Mid-Atlantic Christian University.