Recently I was talking to a friend who is in ministry. She was discouraged that her ministry was so slow-growing and that while she was faithful to obey the Lord’s leading, some of her efforts seemed to fall flat.
We can all have days when we don’t bring our A-Game. And sometimes we need to brush up on our skills. However, sometimes on those flat days, the message the Lord is sending through us really isn’t for the masses, but for a few, specific people—maybe even just one.
We serve a very personal God. He is willing to leave the crowd to pursue the one sheep who is lost or hurt. We are part of a flock, but we are individually and personally loved. He died for all mankind, but He also died specifically for us.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?” – Matthew 18:12.
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?~Matthew 18:12 NIV
In some fields, we plant. In others, we harvest what was planted by another. It is the Spirit of God that draws souls and causes the seed to grow, and not we ourselves. To believe otherwise feeds our ego, which sets us up for disappointment and a fall (Pro 16:18).
Our mission field can be a coliseum full of people or a nation. Other times it may be one solitary person. We make a mistake if we focus too much on numbers or observable responses as our measure of success. There is more than meets the eye. When it comes down to it, only the Lord’s opinion counts. And if we are obedient, we are successful.
Are you willing to forego the accolades of the multitude to obediently pursue the one? Pursuing the one may not make the evening news, but to that one, a timely cup of living water, in Jesus’ name, can refresh a parched soul about to expire in the desert.
Are you willing to forego the accolades of the multitude to obediently pursue the one?~Julie Souza Bradley Lilly, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
To obey is better than sacrifice, beloved (1 Sam 15:22). “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.~Galatians 6:9 NIV
Don’t give up. Rest in God’s approval before you see numbers if ever, reflect that truth.
Father God, we love You. Encourage your weary servants. Pour out a blessing for service in both abundant and lean fields. We ask for a change of heart, that obedience will be our passion, and Your glory, our reward. Fill us with wisdom, that we will not hunger to draw in the praises of man, but to be vessels that pour out glory at the feet of Jesus. With that joy in mind, may we serve You faithfully, whether ministering to multitudes, or washing the feet of one. When You call us, may our spirit respond, “Here am I, Lord. Send me” (Isaiah 68:1).
In Jesus’ s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2020: The One: Author Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Julie Souza Bradley Lilly is the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, a self-professed chief cooks and bottle washers at Gift of Thorns on Facebook.
When asked about who she is, Julie is quick to tell you that she is a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God.
With thirty-plus years in healthcare, Julie is passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the Creator. Through her own multiple injuries, PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, she has found the generosity of God to be true to His Word, in turning all things together for the good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, it is one of Julie’s greatest joys to see the discovery of the treasure the Father hides tucked in among the thorns. Julie shares that God is good and His mercies endure forever!
It is Julie’s prayer that the body of believers will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth and mountain-moving faith. Julie is grateful for the privilege of being a servant writer at VineWords.
For more encouragement visit Julie’s websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, Julie shares encouraging articles with prayers. At Gift of Thorns, Julie shares powerful and life-changing input from writers who are passionate about pursuing God.
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