Do you have a focus word for the year? For the past few years, I’ve asked the Lord to show me one word to hone in on, and He has. It’s been such a blessing to keep that mostly between Him and me until the year’s end. A new thing I’ve done this year is to also ask for a word to focus on each month. One of my monthly focus words God has had me concentrating on is: Pouring.
One aspect of pouring that I’m dwelling on is being intentional with whom or what I’m pouring into. As a millenial, there are so many different things that I could choose to pour myself into. My generation is one that is inspired to join initiatives to make the world a better place. There are many good things with which to join forces. In fact, there are so many good things to jump on board with that if I’m not careful, I could quickly get burnt out. In truth, I have had to scale back a time or two and ask myself the game-changing question, “Is this my best yes right now?”
As I gain wisdom and maturity, I am finding that to make the most impact, I need to be choosier with my commitments. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize that I’ve had an impact a mile wide and an inch deep. No, I want the bulk of my impact to run much deeper. Sometimes having the greatest impact means moving slower and being more selective. It also means focusing on what God has called us to tend to, not what He has called others to tend to.
God calls us to steward the treasures He has given us to produce a harvest for His Kingdom; He hasn’t called us to steward the treasures He has given someone else. My harvest will look different than your harvest. Your harvest will look different than Beth Moore’s harvest. Beth Moore’s harvest will look different than the harvest of a school teacher who has 25 new students each year. The point is that He has trusted us to pour into the people and movements that He has set before us and not to compare to what or whom He has given those beside us to pour into.
In the parable of the talents from Matthew 25, to the two servants who actually invested the Master’s treasure, he said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
He said this same thing twice: once to the servant who yielded five more bags of gold and once to the servant who yielded two more bags of gold. Their yield was different, but their faithfulness to the Master was the same. There were different opportunities before each of them to invest, but their reward was the same: the blessing of the Master.
You and I have different people and places before us to invest in as well, but our reward for our faithful stewardship of pouring into the people and places God has set before us can be the same: the blessing of the Master.
What I want to encourage you with today is this: when you pour out what God has given you to pour into others, don’t be discouraged if your reach looks different than someone else’s reach. Be faithful where you are with who has been set before you to pour deep amounts of Jesus into. God will use what you’re pouring out if He Himself is the One who poured it into you. When you question your impact or get overwhelmed by all the things that you could spread yourself thin by saying, “Yes, yes, yes, and more yeses” to, ask yourself whose strength in which you’re serving.
Also, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the people and areas that you can best serve right now and to release you from any guilt in not being able to join all the opportunities available.
When you have to say “no” to something good, it’s not only so you can say your greatest “yes,” it’s also so someone else can say “yes” to that thing you had to say “no” to.
One of the greatest realizations of being a faithful steward is to come to the realization that you are not God… you can’t do it all. That’s why rejoicing in the Kingdom yields of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is just as sweet as rejoicing in the impact you have for Christ. None of us are capable of doing all the things, we’re capable of doing the select things for our chunk of history that God has called us to not just do, but to do well. We’re capable because God is more than capable to give us the strength and resources needed to do the things He has called us to do.
Be choosy with your yeses. Celebrate with the victories that come from others’ yeses. Pour into the people and movements God has set before you well. And serve only with the blessing of the Master, Jesus, as your hoped-for reward.
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