Business leaders talk about productivity. Politicians talk about advancing their agenda. Students talk about finishing their homework and parents talk about just getting through the day. At heart, they’re all saying the same thing. They’re talking about getting things done.
When it comes to this idea of getting things done, I was struck this morning while reading my Bible by the contrast between the stories I read. Three stories about three different sets of people separated by time and contexts. Yet, all of their stories intersected in my mind at a single point.
In the book of Genesis, we read the story of Joseph. He was a young man sold into captivity by his jealous brothers. Upon arriving in Egypt, he became the household manager of a man named Potiphar. And, despite his circumstances, Joseph flourished in that role. The Bible tells us why. It says, “His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands” (Genesis 39:3, ESV).”
Moving forward several pages and hundreds of years, we come to the book of 1 Samuel. There, Samuel tells us the story of David, a young shepherd boy who was anointed the future king of Israel. In between his shepherding and reigning, David served Saul, the present King of Israel. And, like Joseph, David was very successful at it. The Bible again tells us why. It says, “And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14, ESV).
Moving forward yet again, we come to the life and times of Jesus as presented in the gospel of Mark. While Jesus was revealing His glory as God to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, His disciples below were failing to heal a young boy. As Jesus came down from the mountain, He did what His disciples could not. They later asked why they had failed to do something they had been called and equipped to do. Jesus tells them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29, ESV).
Three sets of characters in three different times in three different contexts, yet one recurring theme. Our successes come from God. When we live yielded and surrendered lives, dependent upon God and His power, we achieve far more than we can in our own power and strength. Joseph prospered because God was with him. David succeeded because God was with him. The disciples failed because they relied too much on themselves and not enough on God.
So, let us rest in the power God provides. Let us lean on Him for guidance and strength in the daily affairs of our lives. Let us look to God rather than trust in ourselves. After all, He is far more able than we are, and it’s through Him that we really get things done.