Are you up to the task?

HAVE YOU been given a task to do? Do you hold a place of responsibility? If so, do you ever feel like you want to run away from it all? I know I have. Sometimes things can get so tangled up and difficult.

In a place of duty, you might see things you don’t want to see. You have to do things you don’t want to do. You think to yourself, “I didn’t sign up for this.” So what do you do? Run away? Hide?

Your own fragility might complicate things. You’re not up to the task, you think. You’re too weak. Your own ugliness might surface when you see something wrong. But you’re also deeply involved — so you wonder — how do I get out of this mess? How do I break free?

The Lord gives you freedom. You can certainly step down. The last thing God wants is for you to be miserable. So there’s the exit, right in front of you. What should you do? What will you do?

You go to the one who has the words of eternal life — you go to the Lord. And I think his first response might be, “You are free, my child. If you want to go, you can go.” Yes, we must obey the will of God, but obedience isn’t his main concern. Instead, it’s love.

If I remain in a place of responsibility purely out of obligation, then there’s a problem. If there is no love, then God is absent. Then I should go. I should step aside. If not, I will only end up tired, bitter, and drained. I will only end up hurting myself and others. 

Now don’t get me wrong. When I say love I don’t mean everything has to be nice and pleasant all the time. We make sacrifices and work hard for the things that matter. We deal with nasty situations. Everything of value comes with a price.

So when things get tough and the earth beneath you begins to harden, pull out the pick and shovel. Start digging deep into why you are there. Excavate and expose everything along the way. Make no mistake, it’s hard, even painful, to dig down like this.

Are your motives mixed? Is there any selfishness, ambition, or pride hiding down there? How about vanity or a desire for control? Does an old wound drive you to continue in an unhealthy way? Do you want to ‘set things right’ for the hurt that was caused to you? Have you lost any notion of mercy?

We face all kinds of temptations when placed in positions of responsibility — since they are usually places of power. Our motives — to remain or to leave — might not be as pure as they should be. But that’s okay. If we admit it, then we are just being honest and human.

If you are willing to explore this, then let the Holy Spirit purify the process. Do not be afraid to face your own ugliness as it’s the only way to get free of it. With pick and shovel, strike against the cold, hard ground. Break through the rocky places, clear out the muck. 

When facing tough responsibilities, dig down. Explore your soul’s desire. Take a close look at why you are there in the first place. If you find only impurity, then let it go. Let it be, and break free.

But after digging deep — after moving past pure emotion — if you find love there, then you’ve discovered a treasure more valuable than diamonds or gold. You’ve discovered a pearl of great value. 

That is where you gain spiritual strength. Your soul cries out and says, yes! Your core motive is love. So it’s worth it to stay. It’s worth it to persevere in faithfulness — even if it gets tough and toxic sometimes.

You will remain to serve, forgive, and love. It’s not that you want to suffer, but sometimes it comes with the package. And you know, deep in your heart, someone who depends on the Spirit of God must be in that place. No, you are not the Messiah, but you are his disciple, and in his love you will thrive come what may.  

Jesus showed us the only way to the resurrection was through the cross. He trusted fully in his Father’s will, in his Father’s love. And as you lean upon him more and more, the Word becomes flesh in you. Christ lives in you. You rise above the difficulty. You see things from a heavenly perspective.

Satan will not take over that place. No matter what he throws at you — you will remain firm and steady. The enemy will not stand as a child of God is there to say:

“I will not retreat. I will not run away. By the grace of God this broken soul has been restored to strength.

So I will stay. I will continue. I will serve and love faithfully. And I will bless this place in the name of the Lord.

I will seek to be cleansed and filled by the Spirit of God. And I will bless my friends and enemies alike.

I will invoke the name of the Lord. I will appeal to his goodness and mercy, as by my efforts alone, there will be no change.

I will trust and wait upon the Lord for his promises to unfold.

And I will sing joyfully, in praise and glory to God.”

. . . . . . .

 Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.

Matthew 24:45-46

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