by Pastor Tim Burt
This is the fourth and final part in this series on Getting God’s Plan to Succeed.
I have been writing about how often most people fail in their attempt to make changes in their life—changes that they think about all the time. It’s been my desire to help others understand that they would attain a much higher level of success if they would take a few steps of preparation prior to launching an attempt to make a change in their life. So far we’ve talked about preparing your heart for change, creating an execution plan, and partnering with others that would encourage you toward your goals. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of God’s part versus your part, in relation to diligence and equipping in leading you to success in your goals.
In almost every difficult endeavor and goal you attempt in your life, you will be confronted with the pressures that would lead you to give up and quit. Unless the goal is quite simple, it will come with challenges. Those challenges are not from God. They are from the enemy of your soul. Jesus faced the enemy’s harassment constantly attempting to get Him to quit His 40-day fast. That is what the enemy of your soul does when you are pressing on in the things God leads you to do. And so, we have to learn to be diligent.
I could write a book on what diligence is, but let’s keep it simple. Let’s just talk about it today in terms of not quitting. There is more to diligence than not quitting, but you may not initially know that. Diligence is a character quality that is built in your heart and mind over time. To be diligent you must learn to be committed. The combination of diligence and commitment is faithfulness. Faithfulness is a rarely developed character quality and the evidence is seen in the local church even more than in the workplace. The workload of most local churches is done by roughly 20 percent of the committed, diligent, and faithful people in that church. What they do, they are doing for no salary or kudos. They are carrying the bulk of the church workload because they so strongly believe in the vision and importance of the local church to the world around them. Little do they know, that over time, their faithfulness and diligence in most cases, have powerfully impacted and improved their social and work skills. It has also turned them into a person who can be counted on. Do you know how many bosses would take those qualities over skills? These people have one other quality that you cannot get in the secular world. In their heart, they believe they are serving God first and then men. They know people fail so they manage disappointments but don’t quit and keep doing what they are doing, first for the Lord and vision, and then for everyone else as instructed in Colossians 3:23 (TLB) “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters.”
Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) says, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?” Do you know what this verse is saying? It’s saying that most Christians would proclaim to be faithful but are in truth, delusional in thinking so. It’s saying that there aren’t many faithful to be found. Jesus taught the importance of learning to be faithful (committed + diligent). Luke 12:42-44 (NKJV) “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household…? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.”
There is much more I could write about this but for now, understand that diligence first means not quitting! It takes time to develop. Do the preparation we talked about in the previous writings but then, once you do begin, don’t quit! Taking that attitude will be the beginning of diligence being formed in you.
Finally, understand God’s, Equipping Grace. I’ve said repeatedly, God has a part and you have a part. Your part is to take hold of this important spiritual component. You must have faith in God doing His part (behind the scenes and naked to your human eyes.) You’ll have to see God doing His part in your heart through the eyes of faith. It shouldn’t be that hard. God has always been doing His part. Jesus loved you when you weren’t thinking about Him. He is diligent, committed, and faithful. And because He is, you’ll have to trust that He will equip you with His grace (His supernatural help in everything) to help you get the job done. That includes strength of spirit, a good attitude, encouragement, miracles big and small—everything you need to get the job done. The devil will challenge you, but that’s where the character is built. When you hold on to faith in difficult times, trusting in God’s grace—His supernatural help to your prayers in tough moments and times, and you be diligent to forge ahead doing your best, then you’ll experience success in your goals.
Here is your equipping promise! Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV) “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, EQUIP you with EVERYTHING GOOD for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The reason this verse talks about the blood of the eternal covenant is because God is in covenant with you and Jesus shed His blood to seal and complete it. And it says He will “…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him…” This means His grace will be available to help you succeed in every situation. (Even when it doesn’t look like it!)
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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