Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 25:21 – His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (NIV)
Luke 13:6-8 – Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'" (NIV)
I had been trying for at least six months to make a change to my bank account. I had spoken with the bank numerous times and answered dozens of questions, filled out paperwork, and sent everything in, and yet, I had still not had confirmation from the bank that the changes that I required had been put into place. Several emails were sent, seeking confirmation. None were answered. I finally called, and after half an hour of answering more questions and waiting while they were checking for answers, I got my answer. No, the changes had not yet been made.
At this point, I told the very nice young woman I was dealing with that I had had enough and would be closing my account. I knew that this issue was not of her doing and I let her know that, and that I appreciated her service. She asked me if I would give it one more try, and that she would keep trying to get through to the necessary department to find our what had happened and call me back. I responded that though I appreciated her offer, after six months and speaking with many different individuals, I no longer had any faith that the necessary changes were ever going to happen. I had come to the conclusion that if this institution could not be faithful in small matters, I was no longer prepared to trust them with larger matters.
The next week, when I was in the city, I followed through and opened another account in a new bank and transferred my finances to it.
Likewise, God often calls upon us, as His servants, to do as He asks in regard to allowing Him to make changes in our lives, which need moulding to line up with His good and perfect will. If we keep balking or ignoring or running away from the prodding, nudging, convicting and calling of His Holy Spirit, we, too, run the risk of a change that we may not be prepared for, just as the bank was not prepared for me to withdraw my business from them.
God is a god of great patience, but sometimes even for Him, enough is enough, and when that happens, He takes action for our own good. The people of Israel experienced this on their way to the Promised Land, and their disobedience causing them to wander for forty years. Jonah experienced this and was swallowed by a huge fish, before he decided to be faithful. The Scriptures hold many other examples of what happened to those who refused to be faithful in the things that God was calling them to do, with consequences that I am sure that they were not prepared to deal with.
So today, let each of us take seriously the commands and calls of God upon our lives, and allow His Holy Spirit to make the changes that He desires to make for our good. Let us be faithful in these small areas, that God in His goodness may say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Your patience and goodness toward us when we procrastinate and/or intentionally disregard the callings of Your Spirit upon our lives and the changes You wish to make in us. Open our hearts and motivate us to say, "Yes, Lord, here I am. Change me for the better, that I may more fully love and serve You in all things, large and small." In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.