Did you catch the statement of completion? Paul believed he had finished all the work he needed to do in the eastern half of the Roman empire. What an amazing assertion. I can’t ever think of a major assignment in the military or in ministry where I sensed that my work was done. Perhaps that was because my perspective was wrong. I was thinking of all I could or should do, instead of resting on the thought that perhaps that was all God wanted or purposed for me to do. Andrew Murray observed in Absolute Surrender, “What a wonderful blessing comes when the Holy Ghost is allowed to lead and to direct the work, and when it is carried on in obedience to Him.”
Paul’s sense of fulfilled provincial work came by following the Holy Spirit’s leading. Others might have said, “What! Are you serious Paul? What about all the people who have yet to hear the gospel? What about the team training still needed? How about the idolatry and false teaching floating around? Shouldn’t you help ________ and _______ work through their conflict?” Can you feel the pressure rising? That question makes me wonder. How often do I make the mistake of following my own sense of need or let the dictates or concerns of people determine my course(s) of action?
Holy Spirit walking means that He determines our direction and guides our steps. We may have no more work to do in an area in which our feeling continuum might range from overwhelmed, inadequate, incomplete to duty-bound, satisfied and motivated to continue. If we persist in working beyond what God intended we may be depriving what He meant for someone else, creating what He did not want, or missing something better that He had for us!
Paul hoped to visit his friends when he traveled through Spain. The Bible does not tell us if he ever got there. Paul was content by living in God’s definition of completion whether it be on the path or at the end of the journey. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Lord, am I doing what you want me to be doing or am I done? Do I need to move along? Is there something else You have for me? If so, help me be content that my current work according to Your purposes is finished and trust You for what is ahead.
Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.”—C.S. Lewis in The weight of Glory
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)