by J. D. Quinn
A significant group of church members work zealously in the Lord’s harvest fields. These fortunate people enjoy a sense of purpose and find deep satisfaction in fulfilling Christ’s commission to connect with others while sharing the gospel. In contrast, many people are profoundly frustrated from lack of purpose and a seemingly meaningless life. I speak with these suffering souls daily as they call 3ABN’s pastoral department. People like Irene*:
“J.D., I’m tired of struggling with this. I feel I should be working in God’s vineyard in a foreign land, but I don’t know where. It’s like my feet are stuck in a bucket of glue! This wears me down to the point that I question my relationship with Jesus. I don’t even know if I’m saved. I want to be zealous for God, but I’m ashamed of my past.”
Irene was a regular caller in her late fifties and admitted to being a spoiled “daddy’s girl.” The lack of enthusiasm in her voice was a telltale sign she was on a downward spiral. She lived alone, rarely attended church, and had a tendency to stew over negative feelings. Over the years she had matured in her Christian walk, but often isolated herself.
I reminded her she had confessed her sins, and that God had granted her the gift of repentance and cleansed her of all unrighteousness (Acts 5:31; 1 John 1:9). This quieted her salvation concerns.
Then I shared how a lion on the hunt is most successful when it can isolate its prey from the herd. Once cut off from community support, the poor creature has a greater chance of becoming a victim of the hunt. The same holds true for Christians. As Scripture suggests, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. I counseled her to return to church.
“Thank you, these were much-needed reminders,” she responded softly, “but why am I so impatient?”
I explained that the Christian walk begins with an intimate relationship with the Lord. As He pours His love into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), our natural response is a desire to help someone else. It’s a sign that we’re developing His characteristic of self-sacrificing love. Our duty is to set our feet in motion and listen for God’s directions.
“Irene, Galatians 6:9 in the Amplified Version tells us, ‘Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap,’ ” I said. “God wants to save you. He wants you involved in church and ministry to others. Hebrews 10:36 instructs us to endure, so that after we’ve done God’s will, we may receive the promise. Be faithful in small things and God may increase your assignment to foreign territories. Ask God daily to fill you with His Holy Spirit and make you persistent in zeal and earnest endeavor—just as Paul instructed in Romans 12:11. Pray for divine appointments and ways God can use you locally. You don’t have to go overseas to be a missionary. People in your own community need the Lord.”
After prayer, Irene seemed encouraged and determined to kick the bucket filled with the glue of inactivity from her life.
Ever feel that your feet are stuck in a bucket of glue? Step out in faith. Ask God to wipe the sticky stuff from your feet and set them in motion. Pray for His leading to minister to lost and hurting souls.
The Lord may have you write a note of encouragement, or send you to your neighbor with a loaf of bread, rather than to a distant land. Whatever His assignment, you can be sure God will use you to bless others. His double-portion blessing of joy will be your reward.
*Irene is a pseudonym.