We’ve all heard the old adage about the “two dogs fighting.” The basic premise of the story is one represents living for the Lord and the other our “evil desires.” These dogs battle within and the one that wins is the one we feed.
In my own heart these warring dogs are “Success:” Christ’s design vs. the world’s. I thought I was “feeding” Christ’s definition. Then the Lord led my family into one of the hardest seasons we have ever been through, literally. Not one area of our lives has gone “smoothly:” Health, Finances, Relationships, Ministry, Marriage, and Location. We have even been through a “history making” hurricane and blizzard. It has been one of those times in life that borders on the ridiculous and causes you to question EVERYTHING. It’s when I had a revelation:
In my heart of hearts I believed I could “work” up the “Jesus” ladder the same way you do in business.
I was doing what I believe many of us do, I was focused on “getting ahead” in ministry, and calling this my relationship with the Lord. If you called me out on it I would have denied it. As Jesus led, I would move from a small ministry, to a grass-roots one, then leading one, then eventually I would be the “next big thing” in ministry. While I do believe Jesus can and will use me any way he wants I thought he OWED me this for journeying in relationship with him.
He showed me some of my “heroes” and the truth about them:
- Noah spent over 100 years building an ark. During this time the hope was others would see and believe. In the end only his immediate family and their wives joined him in Salvation.
- “Saul” was well educated, rich, religious, from a good family, had status and well respected. “Paul” was flogged, imprisoned, exposed to death, shipwrecked 3 times, lashed within an “inch of his life,” five times, beaten with rods three times, hungry, thirsty, cold, naked, and pelted with stones.
- Moses spent at least 80 years of his life in the desert: 40 as a shepherd and 40 wandering with his nation. The majority of his life was spent fighting the enemies of Israel. He got to see the promised land, Â but never enter it.
The world deemed NONE of these people successful while they were alive. They were considered crazy, zealots and wackos.
Here’s what I also saw:
- Noah was saved due to his faithfulness to the Lord.
- Paul wrote a majority of the new testament and spent his life in pursuit of “finishing the race and the task “of taking Christ into the world. He only wanted to be faithful to the Lord.
- Moses was buried by God himself and there was no one else who “knew God the same way face to face.” He was rewarded for his faithfulness to the Lord.
In my flesh I want to be noticed. Jesus asks me to redefine success as being faithful to journeying with Him. All of these men were saved not of their own doing nor did their rewards come because of what they DID for Him. He said, “Come be my friend, in the end your reward is Me.” They messed up along the way, they could do nothing to “earn” the Lord’s love and he owed them nothing. However, he chose still to use them mightily.
Yes, I have two dogs in me. The truth is sometimes I feed the one in the world. It feels better with more accolades ringing in my ears. It feels like I AM DOING SOMETHING GREAT. However, the end game isn’t about that at all is it… it’s to hear, “Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant.” It’s not about faithful to what… it’s to who…
The question is: Am I willing to believe this is enough?