“It’s not you, it’s me”
That phrase came to mind as I listened to Ski’s sermon about making disciples this week. Now, typically, that phrase evokes sadness, anger, bitterness, disappoint, and a whole host of negative emotions. But, when that phrase is spoken by our Heavenly Father, it’s a different story. Ski said in his sermon, “It’s not about you, it’s about what is behind you.” How true is that. We have God on our side and his Word behind our attempts to spread the Gospel. He continually whispers in our ears, “It’s not you, it’s me!” Remember that the next time you want to pass up an opportunity to share the Word out of fear.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9b
Do you ever just get tired of it? Do you feel time to time like throwing in the towel, finding a safe hiding place, and sleeping your life away? Or at least hiding out for a couple of days? Can I be honest with you and admit that I do? From time to time I do get tired of it all. I get tired of the critics, of the long-hours, of the “job is my life” lifestyle. Sometimes I don’t want to be nice, I don’t want to be helpful. I want to think about me and only me, I want more “me time.”
I inevitably ask myself, “Why am I feeling this way?” The simple answer: Satan is at work. He wants all of us to have those thoughts. He wants us to give up because God is using us to do great things for his Kingdom. I think it is easy to forget that at the end of the day, while we all have bosses and earthly authorities we must answer to, our ultimate authority, the only one who truly matters, is God. Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not a servant of Christ.” Wow! That last part is like a punch in the face. Trying to please people, working only for people means we are not servants of Christ. You see it’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up the fight if we are focused on winning the approval of people.
Although it is easy to forget, I think when we want to surrender we have to remember our Savior and everything he endured. Hebrews 12:3 reminds us, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Christ knows what criticism feels like. His job was his life. He worked long hours. He knows and in fact promises that following and serving him isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be exhausting. There may be times when we want to give up. But it’s at those times we have to remember who we are working for, who we are serving, and who promises to be there as a refuge and support when we are weary. And that person every time is our Friend and Savior Jesus.
So if you ever feel like throwing in the towel, know that you’re not alone. But also check yourself. Ask yourself why you are feeling that way. And remember all your Savior endured for you. Remember that he feels your pain and he promises to be there, to get you through if you will lean on him.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
– Galatians 6:9