I frequently stay in hotels during my ministry travels.
When I am in my room, I always put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the
door so nobody will bother me. Hanging this sign on my hotel room door
is acceptable. Putting it on my life isn’t.
Have you ever noticed that God does not always do things
on your timetable or in ways that are convenient to you? Paul told
Timothy that as a servant of God and a minister of the gospel Timothy
had to fulfill his duties whether doing so was convenient or
inconvenient (see 2 Tim. 4:2).
I doubt Timothy was nearly as addicted to convenience as
we are today, yet Paul thought it was important to remind him to be
prepared to be inconvenienced or interrupted by God.
If Timothy needed to hear that, then I’m sure we also
need to hear it frequently because we’re probably more attached to
convenience than Timothy was. All I have to do to recognize how much I
value convenience is listen to myself complain when even the smallest
device I have doesn’t work properly—the dishwasher, air conditioner,
hair dryer, clothes dryer, washing machine, microwave.
Have you ever wondered, If God wants us to help people, why doesn’t He make it easy and cost effective? Let me answer that question with another question: Did Jesus sacrifice anything to purchase our freedom from sin and bondage?
I wonder why God didn’t make the plan of
salvation easier. After all, He could have devised any plan He wanted
to and simply said, “This is going to work.”
It seems that in God’s economy nothing cheap is worth
having. King David said he would not give God something that cost him
nothing (see 2 Sam. 24:24). I have learned that true giving is not
giving until I can feel it.
Giving away the clothes and household
items I’m finished with may be a nice gesture, but it doesn’t equate to
real giving. Real giving occurs when I give somebody something that I
want to keep.
I’m sure you’ve had those testing times
when God asks you to give away something you like. He gave His only Son
because He loves us, so what will love cause us to do? Give. Can we at
least be inconvenienced or uncomfortable occasionally in order to help
someone in need?
I recently saw a TV story about a young
couple very much in love and soon to be married. Tragically, she was in
a car accident and fell into a coma for months afterward.
The man she was to marry sat by her side
until she woke up. She was left with brain damage and would be crippled
and unable to do many things for herself.
However, the young man did not even
consider canceling the wedding. She went down the aisle in a wheelchair
and was not able to speak clearly due to her injuries. But she was
obviously extremely joyful.
The young man cared for her, and they enjoyed life together. With his help she was able to accomplish amazing things.
It would have been so easy, even
understandable to most of us, if the young man had simply walked away.
After all, staying with her meant he would be inconvenienced and need
to sacrifice daily. However, he stayed and in all probability
experienced more joy in life than most of us do.
I suspect God wants you and me to do more than read these type of stories. Maybe He wants you to have your own story.
God will interrupt one person and ask him or her to do
something inconvenient to make life more convenient for another person.
We must understand God’s ways or we will resist what we should embrace.
The simple truth is this: We must give to be happy, and giving is not
true giving if we don’t feel the sacrifice of it.
Decide today that you don’t mind inconvenience or interruption. Let God use you. In His hands, you can make a difference.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times
best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible
teachers. She has written more than 80 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Love Revolution (Hachette). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at charismamag.com/meyer.