A few years ago, studying the book of Isaiah, I was deeply impacted by the fact that God called Isaiah, not to be successful, but to be faithful. What? Yup. In fact, God warned him that his ministry would have no converts. One could ask, “Why bother?” Our human voices ask ourselves, “What’s the point?” Yet, it’s this unconditional love of God that calls us to love unconditionally without ever expecting anything in return including results.
Today I read this quote from Henri Nouwen which rings the same tune of faithfulness over and above success. I am reminded that I must seek to be faithful in God’s ministry and leave the outcome up to God, no matter how painful it is to watch those you love refuse God’s saving love.
“Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as failures.
But Jesus doesn’t support such an optimistic outlook. He foresees not only the destruction of his beloved city Jerusalem but also a world full of cruelty, violence, and conflict. For Jesus there is no happy ending in this world. The challenge of Jesus is not to solve all the world’s problems before the end of time but to remain faithful at any cost.” – Henri Nouwen
Do I worship Creator God, or the god of successful ministry? Am I more concerned with God’s reputation and His great name, or my own reputation and my own name in ministry?
Less of me, more of Him.
The song verse runs now through my mind… “Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for…”