This is an excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional. Like many of Bill Keller's devotionals, this one really spoke to me as a reminder to keep writing--regardless of how I am feeling about it at the moment. Regardless of how many books I sell. There is no failure unless you don't try.
As a child of God, we have all been commanded, not asked, to serve Him. It
is part of the responsibility of being in the family of God to serve. One of
the issues that I get hundreds of emails about each day is people who are
serving the Lord and because things didn't work out exactly as they planned,
feel like they have failed. There is a word I want to impart into your life
today that I don't want you to EVER forget. THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD!
***THE ONLY WAY TO FAIL GOD IS TO NOT SERVE HIM!!!
Let me share something with you. When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever
always works out the way YOU planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God
planned! Please, let me repeat that one more time to insure you get this.
When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever always works out the way YOU
planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God planned. You see, when you are
truly serving God, it is God, not you, who is in control. You are the clay,
not the potter! Does the clay tell the potter what to do?
The key to serving the Lord is two things, our obedience and our
faithfulness. Those are the two things that we have 100% control over. We
can obey and we can be faithful. When God has an obedient and faithful
servant, He has a servant He can truly use and work through. Again, that is
what we are, God's servants. When it is us, when we are doing it, it is
simply a work of flesh and blood and the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit is
missing. When it is God and we are yielded to Him, the supernatural power of
His Spirit can move and incredible things happen.
The problem we have in serving the Lord is getting caught up in how the
world defines success. The world says a church of 5,000 is a huge success
and a church of 50 is a failure. The world says the pastor of the church of
5,000 is doing great things and the man who pastors the church of 50
obviously doesn't know what he is doing. However, God says that if the
church of 5,000 is simply a Christian country club where people are coming
to be entertained for an hour a week, having their ears tickled, never
hearing the power of the Gospel but simply being coddled, yet in the church
of 50 the people are being fed the Truth of the Word, equipped to serve,
challenged to holy living, using their lives to serve God, it is the church
of 5,000 that is not measuring up to God's standards and the church of 50 is
the one He is proud of.
The world says that if you have huge palatial buildings, brand new private
jets, live like the ruler of a small nation, and are famous the world over,
you are a great success. Likewise, the world says that if you have no
building, drive an older model car with 120,000 miles on it, live modestly,
and nobody knows your name, you are a failure. However, God says that if the
person experiencing great financial success is simply using the Gospel as a
business and is being served, and the person with very little materially is
using the Gospel to minister to the lost and is serving others, the one
being served is getting his rewards now and the one serving others will
enjoy the crowns and rewards in Glory for all eternity.
That is what this really boils down to my friend, service. We are called to
serve the Lord and when we answer that call there is no such thing as
failure despite what the world says. Part of being a servant is having the
faith in the One you serve to go where He says go and do what He says do,
and not worry about the outcome. Of course, when you walk by faith you have
to take the first step. That is why you spend time in prayer, get wise
counsel before you start. But once you start taking that walk of faith, God
will open and close doors along the way to guide you so that you are exactly
where He wants you to be and doing exactly what He wants you to be doing.
For those who serve the Lord, that is why it is so critical that you stay in
that close, intimate relationship with the Lord each and every day. That is
why it is critical that you be yielded at all times to the Holy Sprit so
that it is His will and not your will you are seeking. Trust me, God will
guide you each step of the way. When you get a bit off course, He will guide
you back. When it is time to be doing other things, God will close doors and
open new ones. Life is made up of seasons. Some seasons are longer than
others. We are always serving God until the moment we take our last breath,
but we usually will serve Him in many different ways along our journey
Let me give you some counsel today on being a true servant of the most high
God. First, remember it is ALWAYS Him and never you. Second, always be
obedient and faithful. Third, give your very best to the Lord every second
of every day. Fourth, follow the motto of the great revival preacher from
the 1800s Charles Finney who said, "I do all I can like it all depends on
me, then I pray like it all depends on God!" Fifth, you are to be a servant
to others, not served by others. Sixth, never forget that there is never any
failure with God. Seventh and last, let your only goal in serving the Lord
be to hear those words when you stand before God, "Well done thou good and