When the disciples came back from their first mission, they were filled with joy because the spirits had submitted to them. Jesus replied that they should rejoice instead that their “names are written in heaven.” He was telling them, “Don’t rejoice in successful service; rejoice because you are rightly related to me.”

The snare in Christian work is to rejoice in how much you’ve done or in the fact that God has used you. If you are rightly related to Jesus Christ, you won’t be able to measure what God does through you. Jesus will pour rivers of living water through you all the time (John 7:38), and by his mercy he will not let you know what he’s doing.

Once you have been rightly related to God through salvation and sanctification, you can rest assured that wherever you find yourself, you have been put there by God. As long as you keep in the light as God is in the light, you will fulfill his purpose, simply by the way your life reacts to the circumstances around you.

Our tendency is to place the emphasis on service rather than relationship. Beware of people who make usefulness their standard. If usefulness is the measure of our success, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. Consider how our Lord spent his time on earth: for three years all he did was to walk about saying things and healing sick people—a useless life according to every human standard of success and of enterprise.

When we are following the example of our Lord, we know that what counts is the work God does through us, not the work we do for him. The only standard our Lord takes note of in our lives is our relationship to God, which is meant to be the relationship between a Father and his children. Jesus is “bringing many sons and daughters to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).

Wisdom from Oswald

If a man cannot prove his religion in the valley, it is not worth anything.  Shade of His Hand, 1200 L