I know what it is like to run and run and go and go and serve and serve for a period of time and then feel that I have nothing to show for it. Like our biblical friend Martha, I have been guilty from time to time of making sandwiches that Jesus never ordered. I read a tweet recently which made this assertion: busyness does not always equal fruitfulness. So, it begs the question, “What is fruitfulness?” and, “How do I know how much of my busyness is fruitful?”

5 Clues to Detecting Fruitfulness in Your Life:
1. Your actions and habits are changing you.
2. The people in your life are changing because of you.
3. Your culture is altered and transformed by a greater expression Love through your existence and deeds.
4. You are responding to the daily promptings of the Lord.
5. You are able to tap into The Vine for a continual supply of energy and grace for your task.

Here is one of my favorite verses to pray:

Psalm 90:17
May the favor (or beauty) of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.

What’s so cool about this verse is that it is the Lord God who alone is able to “establish” the work of our hands. Yes, we do the work, but he “establishes” it to count for eternity. What a curse not to have my work stamped with the establishing seal of the Lord! It is reminiscent of the “filthy rags” imagery of Isaiah 64:6. Who wants that?

Whether your “work” is construction or counseling, law enforcement or homemaking, your work can be established by God in the heavenly realms. This is the only real work evaluation you need. As believers, we cannot afford to do our work merely for an earthly boss or paycheck, or begrudge our work for a lack of pay. Admittedly, this is all stuff we know, but why don’t we act like we believe? “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Most of us believe that he exists, but our lack of faith so often stems from our inability to believe that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. It doesn’t say he rewards those of us who already have it all together, but only those who earnestly seek him.

You see, we end up getting our priorities out of whack and start getting pains in our necks because we are working first for earthly masters simply because we believe that they will reward us. Why should we be so overly concerned about our bosses or even our own standards, when it is really the Lord who gives us our rewards? Our earthly authorities have no natural way of knowing whether or not we are abiding in God, but the Holy Spirit does.

This kind of abiding is not the kind that makes us “so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good.” This kind of true abiding makes our work infinitely productive. The Lord’s strategy always works and it works more efficiently than any strategy known to man. JC Penny was known to invest in prayer each day because, the way he saw it, he couldn’t afford not to.

One key for me is to have an open mind to what he might be telling me. I have a grid for how things are supposed to work, how he’s worked in the past, strategies I’ve used before. He uses my natural mind with all it’s logic and pre-formed grids. But what if he is trying to give me a new grid in which to operate? Will I just as readily see things in a new way? His strategy may be entirely different this time around. Hard work is good, but smart work is better. That’s why I have to have my ear to the ground, waiting for my freight train to take me to my next destination. I am so ready to jump in, but I don’t want to jump at the wrong time and fall, or jump on the wrong train and wind up having to backtrack later. I want to jump on the first time it comes around and watch where it leads. Don’t you?

  1. Yes! I want to jump on that first train and see where it takes me. Excellent and very inspiring blog! Thank you!

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