Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.
- Mark 6:45-53
“We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
“What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish — His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.
“God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
“God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Again, Oswald Chambers takes an old story and gives it new meaning. Jesus prepared His disciples, but it was not until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost that they were fully prepared.
Jesus is preparing us too. If Jesus told me fifty years ago that I would be writing a blog today, I would have been totally befuddled. Blogs did not exist then, but that little fact changes nothing when looking at how Jesus prepared me.
To ask Chambers’ question regarding the direction Jesus has guided me, is the blog successful? I don’t know. The people that need to read what I write are directed there by God and they may never “like” anything. Thus, I may never know that they viewed anything.
I must simply have faith that God is using the blog.
What is God placing as a burden on your heart?
If you get this powerful burden to cook a meal for the hungry and only three people show up, was it worth it? The per person cost of the food might be astronomical, but it may have meant eternal life to those three people. And the odd thing is that it is possible that none of the three accepted Jesus as their Savior during the meal. It may mean that ten years later, they look back and remember someone who loved them so much that they prepared a meal.
The way we measure success and the way God does things do not always coincide.
But don’t forget Chambers’ words. In preparing the meal, you accomplished God’s goal in you for your journey of faith.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.