Thursday, April 9, 2020

Going to an Interview for a Job You'll Never Get

Suggested Reading: Ezekiel 2:1-3:1

Several years ago, my family was in a time of transition and weren't sure where God was going to lead us. I had been putting out resumes and got a call from a church in central Texas to come down for an interview. It was odd because, from the very first, I felt very certain that God was not going to move me to that church, but I also felt a very distinct leading that I just had to go to that interview and do the best I was capable of. So I went. The interview went well and I enjoyed a time of fellowship with other people seeking God's will. I wasn't surprised though, when I was notified that the search committee was going in a different direction. Like I said, I already felt fairly certain that God wasn't going to move me to that church. Only several months later, when I unexpectedly crossed paths with an old friend, did I find out how God used my obedience in going to an interview for a job I knew I wouldn't get. 

Similarly, God commonly calls us to undertake tasks for which success - like getting the job - is never the point. When God calls us, God does not call us to a result. God calls us to obedience. In Ezekiel chapter 2, God called Ezekiel to be a messenger to the Israelites. But the point, as far as God was concerned, was not that Ezekiel's message be accepted. When God called Ezekiel in this passage, God did not want Ezekiel to be concerned with whether or not the people liked him, or even "whether they listen or fail to listen" but so that "they will know that a prophet has been among them" (Ezekiel 2:5, HCSB). Success, if you defined it by people listening and changing their ways, was not what Ezekiel was called to. 

When God calls us to a particular life of service, all God wants us to be concerned with is obedience. Whether people respond to the message God gives us or the love we demonstrate is beyond our control. All we can control is whether or not we are obedient and whether or not we hold back out of fear.  At times, God calls us to very scary places, but even there we are expected to obey ("though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions…" Ezekiel 2:5, HCSB).

Whatever life God has called you to, stop worrying about whether or not you will be "successful." Stop worrying about whether people will listen to you, much less respond to you. Stop worrying about whether or not you will even survive. None of those things are ultimately our concern. Our concern should be obeying God and trusting God enough to do so.

Whatever God has called you to, are you willing to live that life in obedience or are you paralyzed by questions and fears? God has promised to never leave us and never forsake us. The only question is, do you trust Him? If you can, there will come a time when the task God has assigned will taste "as sweet as honey" in your mouth.


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