The tendency to be “ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth” (2Timothy 3:7) is a human condition not confined to Paul’s experience with early churchgoers.
How often are we looking for the next key to our breakthrough or the next word from God when we have not applied the previous one that was handed to us?
Or how often are we looking for the BIG thing that will rock our world, instead of taking a small step that nudges us toward completion?
Jim Rohn, a grandaddy of the self-development movement, defines success in this way:
Success is making steady progress toward your own personal goals.
Not necessarily glamorous, but true…
An ounce of application is worth a ton of inspiration. There’s a verse in 2 Timothy 3:7 that’s just so telling. And in it, Paul says that he speaks of people who are ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth, that kind of human condition where we are ever consuming but never creating the the the tendency sometimes to always be learning, always thinking that we need to know more or be more before we actually step out and share or do something.
I found this really throughout our whole pasturing career long. And I mean, you can speak to someone who had been a Christian for, you know, like 30 years and say, oh, could you just share a word this coming week or share a word? And they’d be like, Oh, man, I’d need to like time to prepare. Truth be told, I’ve had 30 years to prepare and and it’s the same for us. You know, you have this incredible history of experience, a history of expertise that you have built up over time that you now have in your heart under your belt.
And sometimes that the challenge then is just the confidence to step out and begin sharing it. And, you know, it’s easy to be looking for the next big thing that’s going to catapult our world into whatever kind of stratosphere we’re looking to head into rather than taking the small steps that we are nudged inwardly to take that are the that actually are the real ones that will move us forward. I love Jim Jones. The definition of success. It’s not very glamorous, but I believe it’s true.
He says success is making steady progress toward your own personal goals. And I think the thing he and I often talk about this when we’re talking in respect to fruitfulness and productivity and kind of self-worth and then sharing that worth with the world is sometimes we can be caught in the crossfire of looking about what everyone else is doing and fail to just can’t find contentment in what we feel we are called to do, and then taking those daily small steps toward fulfilling that and heading towards that.
And that’s what I really love about that particular definition of success, is making steady progress toward your own personal goals. It’s not a destination. It’s more an attitude on the journey, I’d say, because, you know, you have a unique personality and a unique call, a particular role to play and a very specific service that you’re called to render to mankind. God himself crafted it for your comfort. You know his thoughts toward you to feel your future with hopeful optimism, far reaching fruitfulness.
And it’s shaped specifically for you. And I think as I was running this morning, I’m sure I heard this said somewhere, but it must have landed because it bubbled up from my inside. And I think the problem is we so often compare our step one with someone else is step one thousand and one forgetting that they got their one faltering step at a time, just like we will need to. You know, we can’t you can’t compare your first step to someone else’s thousand or 10000 step in whatever kind of career you’re in, in whatever creative endeavour you are engaged in, whatever it is you’re looking to fulfil.
Don’t compare yourself with some dude. He’s like 10000 miles down the road because that comparison is not a realistic one. And yet, I mean, it’s not just kind of step by drudging step. You know, there are times where we will they’ll be I don’t really believe in luck and fortune, but you know that there may be leaps of luck, fortune or favore got leapfrogged several steps of the process. But you can’t build a business and you can’t build a lifestyle on hoping that, you know that some kind of wild.
Random. Opportunity is going to drop into your lap at any given moment in a there’s like a mentality that’s a lottery mentality that waits for the golden ticket at the end of the proverbial rainbow, that one day God might just drop something out of the sky. And I was always thinking of this. I was reminded of the disciples in Acts Chapter one. And I mean, these guys had every reason to be stood there gazing at the clouds. You know, Jesus is Jesus risen from the dead.
He spent 50 days disclosing the kingdom. He commissions them to go into all the world and declares that he’ll send the Holy Ghost to fill them with the power to do it. And then he’s taken up into heaven, like literally just just floats through the clouds. And not surprisingly, the disciples are left standing there kind of with their mouths open in their eyes, as wide as saucers, just gazing up. And immediately, like the moment Jesus arrives in heaven, he dispatches a couple of angels to come down and they to they turn to the disciples and say, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven?
Go and do what is told you to do. Stop waiting around. You have everything you need to start the process. And again, it reminded me, like in the Old Testament, there’s Moses and he’s like, who am I to do anything? Who am I to help anyone? I mean, I’ve blown it on so many levels and here I am in the middle of the wilderness. And you’re telling me to go and deliver an entire nation from the most powerful, the most powerful nation on the planet?
And you’re telling me to go and stand up against them like one man and and God turn to him and says, what have you got in your hand, Moses? And I mean, like I mean, seriously, come on. We’re talking about the glorious kind of a kingdom of Egypt. And Moses holds up a stick and he says, well, I’ve got I’ve got this stick. He holds up his shepherd’s staff and God then proceeds to show him, look what I can do with a stick.
You may not be able to do much. I mean, I’m sure Moses was had a bit of prowess with his sticky could herd sheep and do all sorts of other funky stuff. But I mean, really not much that would stand against the most powerful, potent nation on the planet. But in God’s hand, when God’s hand is on ours, he can take what we considered to be everyday, ordinary, unimpressive, like inconsequential and turn it into something powerful, turning into something as that becomes a tool of deliverance for someone.
And, you know, it’s really asking the question, well, what have I got in my hand and what can I do? What can God do with my ordinary? What can I do? What can God do with my every day if I will consistently give it to him? A good friend of mine, Laurie, she shared a quote from a book. And it’s actually a book that I love. I actually was part of the coaching course of the guy who wrote this book is she said from a quote from the book, Becoming a Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley.
If you’ve never read that book, I really recommend Go Get It. It’s a short read and absolutely packed with value. I mean, it’s it’s it can be life changing if you allow it to be. And she quoted in one particular line that she quoted really struck me. It said, All of my future learnings will come from the process of creative output. All of my future learnings will come from the process of creative output. How powerful is that?
That that we will grow as we go, that it’s as we do, that we become. Yeah, we discover as we do. We grow as we go. And our future learnings come from the process of creative output, actually putting herself out there, having a go, trying just taking what we’ve got in our hand and seeing what God can do with it. If we allow him to make it public to pull us out of the backside of the wilderness and put us in a place where we can actually.
Begin to make a difference in someone else’s life. And I’d say, really, it’s it’s a matter of asking, you know, well, what can I do today with what I have? It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s not about what you don’t have. It’s about what you can do and what you do have. And I believe that you have something worthy of sharing with the world. I really do. I believe that you have something of value to bring to the table that can help someone else today.
If you can you write write something today that will encourage someone else and make it public on whatever platform you choose to do that. You know, if you’re a singer, songwriter, musician, you know, like do something with it, make a song and put it out there. Take a song that you’ve got set on your hard drive and just put it out where someone else can benefit and enjoy, enjoy it, be moved by it, be entertained by it and be inspired by it.
You know, if you’re a coach, post something that, you know will impact someone’s life today, put put something out there that can help someone else take their next step and grow their next inch toward whatever goal it is. They have said that we can help people like like we looked at Jim Reinier. Success is making steady progress toward your own personal goals. I’ll tell you, one of the best ways to make steady progress toward your own personal goals is to help someone make steady progress toward theirs.
We learn best when we teach. We grow most when we share. You know, it’s not a it’s not a I don’t know what the word is, zero sum equation or whatever, you know, when we share our wisdom, when we share what’s in, that’s when we when we roll out our value for others to benefit from. They grow, we grow, they benefit. We benefit. Everyone wins. And the thing is, it’s really is an ounce of application is worth a ton of inspiration, and I believe passionately in inspiration.
Yeah, I do, but it’s easy to fall into the trap. Have been perpetually inspired, but never acting on what we move to do. I’m inspired to pray. Well, did you pray? I’m inspired to to write and publish a book. Well, did you start writing or did you move on from one spike of motivation to the next and become like a sermon or seminar junkie, you know, just living in this imaginary world where as if inspiration alone is enough, inspiration is powerful.
I mean, it literally means God breathed. But that breath has to be transformed into something tangible for it to become helpful to other people. You know, it’s it’s like I love like faith. When when when God breathes in us, it’s like faith is stirred in our heart. Faith comes by hearing. Hearing comes by the word of God and the scriptures. Talk about how the tiniest amount has devastatingly brilliant possibilities. And I’ll read this verse for you from Mark verse for chapter four, 31 and 32.
It says that faith is like a grain of mustard seed when it’s sown in the earth. It’s less than all the seeds that are in the earth. But when it’s sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, shoots out great branches so that the files of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. You know, you don’t need a bag full before you begin here. Just a grain will do. You know, Jesus didn’t say a bag full of mustard seed is, he said a grain of mustard seed, a grain of mustard seed, a grain of this inspired faith acted upon and sewn into the ground.
The miracle happens when the seed is given the opportunity to grow. So whether this is your day one or your day one thousand and one, there is someone somewhere waiting to be encouraged by what you have to share today. I believe that. And an ounce of application will soon add up to more than a ton if you keep sewing those small grains of every day, if you just keep putting out helpful value, that will help other people if you just keep putting it out every day.
Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom to best know how to do it. Ask to ask the Holy Spirit for the wisdom to know how to develop a lifestyle and a habit of sharing and building and helping and and and inspiring and motivating others. You know, we all know the we all know the old proverb of, you know, what’s the best time to plant a tree? And, you know, if you never heard it, the answer is 20 years ago.
And then thankfully, there is a second part to that proverb. That is, what is the next best time to plant a tree? And that’s today. Sagana starting now. If you’ve listened this far. Yeah. You have something to bring to other people. You if you’ve taken the time to listen to this, you certainly have the time to then go away and create something today that pokes the devil in the eye. Share something in public that you believe can be a help to someone else, don’t measure its impact by how many likes and shares and views and all of those other metrics that can so easily kind of tangle us up because the list of seeds, Jesus said, can become the greatest of all trees later.
It may look very unimpressive now, but you do not know. And until you actually begin sowing those seeds, until you actually begin planting those grains, until you actually begin making those small steps of regular progress toward whatever goals you have and carry in your heart, you will never know what it can become. Your part is to sow, and God’s pod is to make it grow. One sows, another warders, but God gives the increase. Well, thanks for listening.
Hopefully it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.