2:59 Series - Be Useful, Stop Trying

I’ve never been the type of person to say new things are scary. I’m a pretty go-with-the-flow kind of girl. Adaptable. Flexible. Easygoing. New things aren’t scary – they’re simply new.

So, when the idea of joining a band and actually trying to GO somewhere with it came along I was down straight from the get-go. My whole family is musical so it made sense. Why shouldn’t we take what we’ve been given, run with it, and see how far God takes us?

The sense of peace I had through the beginning of this experience was all aided by the ease with which the tide flowed. From playing a special in church, to finding a much-needed bass player, to getting deals on equipment it just seemed to me – and still seems – that this project was God-ordained.

And that meant it would work. Because, it was divined to. Everything was going according to (Heavenly) plan.

And now we’re in crunch time.

There is so much to do before our EP debut concert. Every time I cross off one task it seems fifty more appear out of nowhere. Finish recording, Order the merchandise. Advertise. Get the website running. Get the facebook going. Get those tweeters tweeting. And suddenly it hit me.


I’m nervous.

It’s a very strange feeling because I’m secure in the fact that at least THIS first concert is God’s will for us right now, but still the nerves have still hit me. Can we finish in time? Will the product be good enough? Will we make an impact for Christ?

It’s like I’m of two minds. The spirit is willing to believe in God’s sovereignty over every aspect of this journey but the flesh is too weak to continue this break-neck pace.

It’s one thing to tell myself that God’s got this and a completely separate thing to live out that truth every second of the day. I’ve found myself giving in to those nerves more and more as the what-ifs and uncertainties pile up around me.

How can I do this? Is it worth it?

But God, in his infinite mercy, brought to me the words of other believers to encourage me.

Charles Spurgeon said, “The most practical thing in all the world is the hope of the world to come; and you see the text (1 Corinthians 15:19) teaches this, for it is just this which keeps us from being miserable; and to keep a man from being miserable, let me say, is to do a great thing for him, for a miserable Christian—what is the use of him? Keep him in a cupboard, where nobody can see him; nurse him in the hospital, for he is of no use in the field of labour.”(Metropolitan Tabernacle. Sermon 562)

When we, as humans, think of the future we often come up shortsighted. We make plans and dream dreams but end up so consumed by “what if” we never see things to completion. We get bogged down, worn-out, and downcast. In our efforts to move forward and make progress we end up miserable and, therefore, useless.

What testimony is one of defeat? Misery may love company but it has no room for Christ in it. And, how does a Christian become miserable in the first place? We have the joy of the Lord! What is it that can bring us so far down we become a stumbling block that should be kept out of sight?

The answer is both simple and hard to swallow: We are dreaming for ourselves.

This is the end point of many different paths. We may not start out self-seeking or self-centered or self-important – but we become that way all too often.

Charles Spurgeon goes on in that message to say, “But the man who has a hope for the next world goes about his work strong, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. He goes against temptation mighty, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labour without present reward, for he looks for a reward in the world to come…Let it not be said of any of us that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present, but let the future sanctify the present to highest uses.”

Becoming “self-centered” isn’t necessarily becoming the girl on XYZ teen drama that bosses everyone around. We, as Christians, know that “self” is the flesh. It is when we become bogged down in earthly problems and earthly gain that we become miserable.

We’ve lost sight of the spiritual world and the gains we make in it when we live for Christ and declare his message.

I didn’t mean to start focusing on the nitty-gritty numbers and deadlines. I didn’t set out seven months ago to feel like I was in just a little too over my head. But that’s where I ended up. As I went about my day-to-day I lost sight of the fact that God is outside time. I confined him in my lists and charts and lyrics and chords so that I could be miserable.

Because misery does love company.

But God stepped through time – not just 151 years in Mr. Spurgeon’s time, but from the mouth of my Lord himself in Matthew 6:25-28 & 33-34 and said  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I started this journey with a purpose: to share the talent God gave me so I can be of use to him. Today God gave me much-needed reminder that my use isn’t measured in nickels and dimes or even in an altar call head count. My usefulness for the kingdom of God is measured in spirit and how much my soul longs for him – because when my desire is for Christ THAT is when He will shine through me.

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