Maisie was devastated. She could not believe how unappreciative people were. She had put her heart and soul into the play that the young people had done. Did anyone tell her thanks? No. Did anyone acknowledge how much she had put into it? No. Instead, she had received criticism spoken to her directly and indirectly. Could she go on? Should she go on? What Maisie did not realize was that she had shifted from her highest source. She was now drawing her motivation and energy from people’s reaction rather than from God. That’s why she had reached the stage of wondering whether or not she could go on.
Have you ever been Maisie? You worked hard and then what you did went unacknowledged and appreciated. How you react helps you to know your source.
When you are drawing from your highest source
When you are drawing from your highest source, that is God, you do not need appreciation, especially flattery, to keep going. You are constantly before God and receive what God wants for your ministry. God renews your motivation and energy and you serve regardless of the cost. Here’s how we see that worked out in Jesus’ life.
Jesus was a realist. Neither crowds nor flattery impressed him. So, they wanted to make him king after he had miraculously fed them. What did Jesus do? Withdraw (John 6:14-15).
We see something similar in John 2:23-25: Jesus’ signs/miracles impressed the people and as a result, many believed but Jesus wasn’t taken in by them or the fact that it was “many” who believed. Knowing all things, Jesus knew their heart and would not “entrust himself to them.”
Moreover, Jesus was pretty blunt with people who wanted to follow him—it costs. In Mark 8:34 Jesus talks about denying oneself and taking up the cross to follow him. These are never necessarily popular words. They are certainly not easy to say or do. They follows his rebuke after Peter was willing to recognize him as the Messiah but deny Jesus’ call to suffer and die before rising again (Mark 8:27-37).
Why did Jesus behave like this? He was constantly in prayer, drawing from God, his highest source. In addition, he was totally committed to doing what God wanted, regardless of the cost.
If you’re following Jesus you will do as Jesus did and draw from and seek to please your highest source, God.
Solid reasons to draw from your highest source
People’s reactions are fleeting. In addition, people may tell you “good job” when they are in front of you but in their hearts they could be saying, “that sucked.” You’ll never know.
Life can be rough. Doing what God wants requires sacrifice. This includes going against the grain, going against what is popular. You don’t get kudos when you do that. The only way to make it is to draw from your highest source.
Thus, when you invite people to follow Jesus, especially your young people, be real with them. Do not paint a rosy picture of an unrealistic future or use flattery to get them to follow Christ. Instead, share with them all that it means to follow Jesus Christ. Thus, they will know from the get-go that if they are going to truly follow Jesus Christ and serve God they must draw from God, their highest source.
What is your source? Is it people or God, your highest source?
Living fully. Living faithfully. Following Christ.
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