GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

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GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

We have all met them, bosses who take credit for the efforts of their subordinates and place the blame of their own mistakes on the same. It irks us and personally I abhor such behavior. And because I was brought up with the wrong interpretation of

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

My mother used to make me feel like God was always taking credit for my blood sweat and tears. Come on, I worked hard. You did too. So how would you feel if I suddenly came and told you that you could have done nothing if not for God? Yes, though that may be the truth, but tell me you don’t feel even the slightest tinge of belittlement for your efforts.

But beloved, when we think like that, we miss the point. God is not interested in our praise. He’s got a multitude of angels praising Him 24/7. He’s not interested in our credit as well. He made the heavens and the earth and He knows

“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

So it is clear that He is very secure in who He is.

Now then, why does Paul say

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Well beloved, it’s simple, really. If you boast in your own success, who is the originator of your success? That’s right, you. Whose job is it therefore to sustain it? That’s right, yours. Now that’s a big responsibility to shoulder, isn’t it? What happens if you fail? What happens when you fail?

But trusting God is harder, isn’t it? We know that we will fail. We know that we will slip up. But somehow, we are more willing to accept that than to entrust our lives to our God, creator of heaven and earth, and the one who made us. Why is that?

I had a friend ask me if God would provide if she went and did as she felt He was leading. I had another say to me that though he will serve the Lord, he will also get another job on the side so that he can have the money to serve the Lord. Yet another said to me that doing God’s work is impractical because it literally doesn’t pay, so why bother.

But is it just me, or do you also see the irony in their words? Here was a Christian who professed to love the Lord because He was the source of all her blessings and provision in days past, but just because things were getting rough on her end, she now wondered if God would continue to provide for her. What, is God a fair-weathered friend? Does He bless because He knows that you have the ability to put something into the offering bag when Sunday comes? Or has God become a charity case that He cannot provide for Himself and those whom He appoints, such that we need the world to supply the resources for His endeavors? Or is God a bad employer? For even the worst of employers here on earth will give their employees a salary for the work that they have rendered, true? So has God now deteriorated to a point lower than these?

No beloved, our Father is clear.

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

That is why Jesus can so confidently say,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

So when we start to see God in the way that my three friends did, we rob ourselves of the truth and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to sustain what is essentially God’s to sustain. For beloved, this was why we were created.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

We were made in the image of God. We are not paper effigies. We are not caricatures. We were not made for sport or ridicule. We were made in His own likeness, like a creation at Madame Tussauds, only better, because He breathed life into us so that we can interact with Him and enjoy His love for us.

So that is why it is so vitally important that we follow Paul’s advice and

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

For when we do this, we acknowledge our Father’s provision in our lives. When we do this, we place the responsibility for our care into His hands. When we do this, we take the stress off our own shoulders and place it on His; because now, we trust that He will supply our needs each and every step of the way. When we do this, we are putting things back the way it should be, the way He made it to be.

Beloved, also remember,

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

We were made to rule over all of His creation. We did not make Him to rule over our creation. We were made to enjoy His work. We did not make Him to enjoy our work. We are not the creator, He is. The responsibility for our care does not rest on our shoulders, it rests on His. I cannot get my head around how people can say that they serve an all-powerful God, for whom they need to work to supply for His endeavors. If God called you into an industry, into a ministry, into a position and placement, He surely has more than enough and He surely will supply more than enough for you to be able to do His will in your office. If we expect even the worst of our bosses to be responsible for their subordinates, how could we think that our loving Father can be any less?

Some time ago, when all had been said and done; after all the warring was over, Joshua called the people together and said,

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

They had been brought out of Egypt by His hand. They had been protected from Pharaoh’s army by His hand. They had been fed well during their sojourn in the wilderness by His hand. The had been given lands which were conquered without even needing to raise a sword by His hands. So, isn’t it now only right that they should

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

So what about you? Have you been brought up out of bondage of some kind? Have you been protected from harm along the way? Were you supplied with what you needed as you sojourned along our Father’s path for you? Were you given lands which you took without even needing to raise a sword? Who did all that? You?

Beloved, pull the wool from over your eyes and see the reality for what it really is. We are our Father’s responsibility. Our burden of care rests squarely on His shoulders. Look to Him for your direction and your supply. Echo the words of Joshua and let you and your house serve the Lord in whatever way and form He decides. For when you do, you will certainly see why when you boast, you will always and only boast in the Lord.

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