Keep going forward.
Even one tiny stubbornly believing step at a time is progress.
Don’t look back or crumble under pressure.
Fix your eyes on the prize and serve God through your creative contribution to the world with enthusiasm.
I want to talk today about going forward. We’ve been looking at creative entrepreneurship, faithful prayer ship, as I like to coin it.
And particularly drawing from a chapter in the book of Genesis, Genesis, chapter 26, which charts the journey of Isaac. And there’s so much in this chapter for us to draw from, be encouraged by and learn from. And there’s a verse in there that talks about how he waxed great. That’s how the King James Version puts it. He grew great in greatness and went forward and grew until he became very great. And Jesus, I’m reminded, told us that the greatest among us shall be the servant of all. That’s what Jesus said to his bickering disciples as they debated who was going to be the kingpin, you know, who’s going to be the greatest. It’s actually quite absurd when we look from an outsider’s point of view at these very ordinary, very fallible, very normal men that were called to walk so closely with the King. And so often I think we can see ourselves in them and we can see kind of this little microcosm of society and humanity and just how incredibly human, if you like. We are in the fallen sense of the word. And so these guys are arguing and Jesus reminds them, hey, men may measure by all of these different metrics, but let me tell you how this is going to work.
Let me tell you about how my Kingdom works and how my measure. Let me give you a picture of my measuring stick. The greatest among you shall be a servant of all and as a creative, as an entrepreneur, as above all else, a believer in Jesus. This is our focus. How can we help and serve and build and bless other people by utilising our gifts, our experience, our expertise, whatever God has put in our hand, you know, like Moses with his stick. Hey, Moses, what have you got in your hand? Well, I’ve got this Rod. I’ve got this stick. What stick do we have in our hand? And let’s see what God can do with it if we consecrate it to him. Greatness in God’s Kingdom is very different from the world’s estimation of great. Oftentimes in the world, some of the most despicable people are lifted up as those to be envied and those to be emulated. They’re lauded as great men and women because of maybe the influence they exert. Yet their lives display none of the characteristics of true greatness. One of my favourite verses in the Bible, and as you know, I have many King David.
He said of God in 2 Samuel 22:36, Thy gentleness has made me great. And a gentleness is often not the attribute that Springs to mind when we think of greatness. But the Kingdom is often counterintuitive. God chooses the things that are not to shame, the things that are. He takes the wise things of this world and turns them on their head and chooses the most unlikely people. Like, how about I get a Hallelujah? If you are sat here listening, you may well be one of those unlikely people. I know, I certainly am. But God can take that and he can put it to you. I think sometimes because we know how fallible and how feeble we can be without Him, we don’t have to strain to believe that without Him we can do nothing. And that puts us in an enviable position in some manner. We’re not having to kind of climb over ourselves before we come and face Jesus. As far as self is concerned, we’re like, get out of the way. I know where greatness resides, and it is not in me or my character alone. It’s in Him and his work in and through me.
And here in this Entrepreneurial Journey chapter, Genesis 26, I mentioned it earlier. We read in verse 13, the man waxed great, went forward and grew until he became very great. It’s a good point right now to remind ourselves that God delights in the prosperity of his servants. That’s what we’re told in Psalm 35, verse 27. Our Father is not adverse to abundance. Yeah, it’s just not. He’s not got some big hang up about his people being blessed. Jesus Himself said this, the thief comes only in order to steal, to kill, to destroy. I’ve come that they might have and enjoy life and have it in abundance to the full till it overflows. John 1010 in the Amplified Bible, you know, the devil is an idea. Killer is the thief of every high and Holy thought, the destroyer of dreams. He is a bad dude. Yeah. If there’s something that’s wicked, evil, and unsightly and ungodly, it probably proceeded from his heart. Whereas God the Holy Ghost comes to lead us, his people, into a promised land of fruitful service. Remember, the greatest among you will be the servant of all into a promised land of fruitful service.
And God is trying to lead us there. All the while, Satan is standing in the road seeking to bar our way. And if he can’t push us back, he’ll then employ a different tactic and try and drive us frantically forward until we stumble in the way. If he can’t trap us in inactivity, he will exhaust us in busyness. Now, we need to be aware of that. The world is always trying to goad us, trying to push us, trying to busy us, trying to keep us moving and stretching and fighting and striving until we reach a point of exhaustion, whereas God is actually leading and guiding us. The Bible says that he is like a good shepherd, leading us beside still waters to beautiful, lush pastures where we can enjoy abundance, where we can rest in peace, and where the trees bear fruit in season and out of season. There are two very, very distinct kingdoms at work here, and Jesus promise there in John 1010 is not the only place that he spoke about abundance. And in thinking of the tactics of Satan either pushing us back or pushing us forward. Yeah, Jesus does warn, and he said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness.
For a man’s life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesses. Luke 1215 So in coming to consider the pleasure of God and the prosperity of his people, it’s important not to just frame that promise with worldly desires. It’s not come as a kind of averse to stroke our flesh with the prosperity that were promised is not only an outward prosperity. The world, of course, wants our eyes exclusively on the temporal rewards and to falsely consider all of these outward adornments the garb of greatness. But as we all know, in a real prosperity, true success is not just an outward thing. It’s not just, as he says here, like an abundance of things which we possess. Let’s not be covetous of what other men or women have. Let’s not be covetous of whatever successes they’re accumulating. Let’s understand that our God is not just because someone else has something doesn’t mean that something has been withheld from us, because we will fall into the trap. As we spoke in the previous episode of seeing others wax great and then envying them. And we really don’t want to be in that position. It’s not a place of peace.
It’s not a place where your soul can prosper as one. John, the letter that John wrote tells us you’re going to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. But in all of this talk of greatness, what I like about this verse that we’re looking at today, that the man waxed great and went forward and grew until he became very great is just that short phrase that sandwiched between great and greater, and he went forward. This is relevant at every stage of our journey, however great or ungreat we may feel, from the small beginnings to the glorious endings, we will always be called to continually step forward in obedience. Greatness doesn’t always come in the way, and certainly not as quickly. You may want to correct me if you’re someone who prays today and receives the answer tomorrow on a regular basis, all power to you. I would love you to just stretch your hand right now through whatever device you’re listening on and lay it up on me. Because sometimes it takes a lot more time than we would often like. And the feeble focus of the world on the here and now can make us feel like a failure if we’re not seeing remarkable increase at every turn that we take, that can so diminish the joy that we take in the small victories that we win along the way.
If we’re not careful, don’t be phased. You know, your victory is assured, your rewards are guaranteed. And even if this world refuses to yield its stores to your hand. In this life, you are accumulating a heavenly account where moth and rust cannot corrupt with every obedient step you choose to take. Just keep going forward. Take that next step. Don’t look back, don’t crumble under pressure, fix your eyes on the prize and serve God through your creative contribution to the world and do so with enthusiasm. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes things will flourish into financially profitable enterprises, and other times they won’t. You’ll most likely face as many disappointments along the way as you do delights. That’s just a fact. And if anyone tells you different, I mean, really, honestly, there’s no way around it. They’re lying. This is a marathon that we’re running and we are learning as we go and we are growing as we go. And faithful entrepreneurism is not a bed of roses. And if it were, as well as being fragrant and beautiful, it would also have plenty of thorns there poking away. So we need to take God’s hand knowing and believing and really expecting.
That greatness. The man waxed great, that greatness and increase are possible, but the pathway there may be challenging at times. We’ve all heard the saying, with great power comes great responsibility. Scripture also says the same things, and it says that those who presume to teach, lead or influence others will face a stricter judgement. James, chapter three, verse one. And this is no small thing, so let’s not be in a hurry to wax great, because waxing great also comes with a whole heap of requirements that demand a deeper and deeper consecration. And many have fallen and crumbled because their reach and influence extended beyond their character and ability to carry the notoriety that they come into with humility. We’ve all kind of, I guess, witnessed where someone comes into some kind of special place of influence, and then their life just kind of tumbles into a very public mess. And we don’t want that. We want to be people who have done whatever hard yards are necessary to develop a character that can shoulder responsibility well and walk humbly before God, even in times where we are lifted up. In a sense, I think John the Baptist really eloquently described this when he said, he must increase, but I must decrease.
And I believe that as we increase in our influence, as we increase in fulfilling some of the dreams that God has planted within us, he becomes bigger in our eyes and we become smaller. We recognise more and more the hand of God at work, as opposed to the kind of efforts that we are putting in. We mustn’t be tempted to trust in the strength of our own arm or the strength of our own talents. We know man one, sows another reaps, but God is the one who gives the increase one sows another waters. But God is the one who gives the increase. God is the one who gives the increase and he is working a good work in you and he will bring it to completion. He is a master craftsman and you can be assured he’s not going to be cutting any corners. He’s not going to be leaving stones unturned. He’s going to work this beautiful workmanship this masterpiece that he is developing called your name and he’s not going to rush it so let’s not be in a hurry to see it happen. Let’s trust him and walk in pace with him.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hopefully it was a blessing to you if it was do please consider leaving a rating and a review on whatever platform you are listening on. I also would love to encourage you to cheque out my new book faithful creative we’ve got a package of resources designed specifically to encourage you in your Christian creative core. You can cheque that email@example.com and if you choose to pick it up, use the Promo code podcast for 50 off so you’ll get it for half price.
Have a great rest of your day and God bless Jesus first everything else follows.