More Of The Same

Mike Focht 1/26/2024

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

Some men are not meant for more. They are simply meant for more of the same. Now, I am not saying that we should limit God through unbelief, and I know we are all progressing in grace and the knowledge of Him. We are all being conformed to His image and likeness. Progress is a necessity for the Christian. 

   Still, when it comes to serving God, a subtle pressure creeps up on us. The pressure typically finds us concerning gifts and not graces. The Word of God urges us to grow and increase in our personal Christ-likeness, grace, and communion with God, but in contrast, this man-centered pressure places exhortations to more acts of service, giving, and the expression of various gifts. Public fruitfulness is pressed over personal holiness. 

   Those who push a public fruitfulness agenda would deny my last statement vehemently. They will give personal holiness a cursory nod, but the truth of the matter is reavealed in their emphasis, not doctrinal statements. Listen to the speech, the emotion, the focus, and the emphasis for any length of time, and you will notice that the reoccurring theme is a move to find a bigger stage, a larger audience, a more dedicated following, a more extensive recognition, and a more prominent expression of personal gifts, because the outward appearance is the supreme evidence of God in them and God with them. 

   Those who fall under this pressure will call you to change the world as they have, and if you are anything like me—a simple person who hungers and thirsts for God—you will find it hard not to feel like you should comply with these impassioned calls. The problem comes when we aim to do something big with our lives but only have typical targets to aim at. Ultimately, this overinflated desire for more only provides an excuse to despise the day of small things because we can’t find any big things in it. Those who continue to bend beneath the pressure to do something “more” often find themselves frustrated, guilty, envious, and condemned in their Christian walk. 

   It is so hard for us to believe that God is as pleased with what He has given us to do as He would be in what we dream He should give us to do. When the bigger evidence of service, recognition, and public fruit doesn’t happen, as it often does not, Christians feel as if they have sinned or that God is dissatisfied with them. Neither is a burden He has given us to bear. 

   The truth is that for most of us, our problem is not that God wants us to do something more, and we are refusing; the problem is that we are dissatisfied or unaware that He is delighted to keep us right where we are. We want more and bigger because other men—not many—have it, and we forget that we are following Jesus and not following our cultural expressions of ministerial types. 

   Allow me to say this as clearly and simply as possible: There are places in our lives where God doesn’t have more for us. He simply has more of the same. 

   This truth should not depress us. It should free us! If the idea of giving your entire life in service to God through the commonplace is disdainful, then beware lest pride and ambition take root in your heart. The faithful servant of God will gladly drop the burden of changing the world—a task Christ has reserved for Himself—and will cheerfully take on the lighter yoke of being faithful with what God has presently placed in their hands. 

   Peter tells us that the manifold grace of God is expressed in this: God has gifted us—gifted!—with simple opportunities of service. God holds us responsible for stewarding what He has given, not what He has not given. God doesn’t need more from us, but He very often requires more of the same from us—more of what we already are in His grace.

   Let us not despise the grace of God in our lives by refusing to bless those around us because we are too busy trying to change the world. When He comes to change the world, may He find us to be good stewards of His grace, whether public or private, big or small, seen or unseen.