"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
For years I've dreamed of writing a book. Not to see my name on a cover or personal benefit. Rather, I want others to see God's faithfulness. Most days I'm motivated to press on, but other days it's difficult to maintain my "oomph."
Another rejection letter hits hard. My toes get stomped on by a hurtful comment on my blog. Or defeat attacks, making me want to quit.
But I believe this is a God-calling. These are words He has entrusted to me. A book He's asked me to write to tell others about His goodness. And so I try to push these negatives off. Colossians 3:23 inspires me to faithfully plug away another day: "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."
Maybe you can relate? For every step you take to fulfill your calling, something knocks you back three feet. Might I encourage you, as one who has been there—is currently there—to keep at it?
Here are five habits I've discovered which characterize a woman who doesn't give up:
1. She gets up each morning and follows through with her commitments, despite how she feels.
Her feet are firmly positioned in the day's tasks. While quitting may seem like an option, she refuses to become someone others or God can't count on. Her heart understands that she must be found faithful in small steps to be trusted with big steps. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much ..." (Luke 16:10 NIV)
2. She approaches the Word of God with reverence.
She opens God's Word and believes each day He has a personal message for her. She listens to sermons and teachings. Instead of automatically thinking of the friend who needs to hear that message, she knows there's something there for her. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
3. She longs for the grace of refinement rather than the grace of relief.
She doesn't have a personal agenda to fulfill when she faces refinement. In fact, she longs for the grace of refinement, rather than the grace of relief, because she trusts how God will use this season of growth. She accepts the perspective godly people offer her in difficult situations. And she embraces the process of becoming better through her mistakes. "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life." (NLT)
4. She chooses to invest in the world with joy.
Though life may turn on her, she chooses not to reciprocate. Instead, she strives to be emotionally generous towards others by investing in them with joy. As a result, when darkness threatens to loom over her she can easily chase it away by giving joy. "A joyful heart is good medicine." (Proverbs 17:22a ESV)
5. She has a spirit of unbreakable determination.
Though she may feel a little [or a lot] bent many days, she never lets the bending break her perseverance toward the things God has assigned her. In the midst of rejection, she thrives by standing firm on this verse, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10 NIV)
Though I don't have all these down quite yet, I'm working on them. And each day I can see progress ... in my perseverance, hope, and manuscript.
What about you? What has God called you to do? Start by adopting one habit today and commit your work to the Lord.
Lord, thank You for filling me with purpose, faith and determination. Help me continue to do the work You've given me. Amen.
Reflect and Respond: Have you given up on a calling God has given you? Why?
What habit can you choose to begin today and what steps will you take to begin working for the Lord?
Power Verses: Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might . . . ." (NIV)
© 2013 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org