Above my kitchen sink hangs a little plaque which reads:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter the joy of your [L]ord.” (Matt. 25:21)
I need to see those words as I wash dishes—one of my least favorite chores! Could the key to entering into the fullness of our calling lie in being faithful with what is in our hands at the moment . . . even if it’s dirty dishes?
As servants, our role is to serve the will of someone else before serving ourselves. Being a faithful servant implies working with our whole heart to bring pleasure to the one we serve. Faithfulness tells not what has been done, but why it was done. Through this parable, Jesus is telling us that the key to overcoming our circumstances is being faithful in our circumstances!
One of the greatest examples of faithfulness I know is the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. As a young man of great dreams and position, Joseph lost everything when he was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Still, rather than being overcome by sorrow and bitterness, Joseph gave his very best to please his earthly masters! Because of his faithfulness, God’s favor rested on him wherever he served.
The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. (Gen. 39:2–4)
Joseph was faithful in the small things and was given more! His character continued to be tested when he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Through it all he remained faithful and continued to find favor with both God and man.
But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper. (Gen. 39:21–23)
Although he didn’t know it at the time, the Lord was developing character in Joseph to prepare him to carry authority. There would come a day when he would be second in power only to Pharaoh himself! In the end, Joseph knew it was God’s favor that had opened this door of opportunity. Looking back, he could see how God had used his suffering for good! When his brothers finally came to him asking for forgiveness, he said,
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Gen. 50:20)
Faithfulness doesn’t complain about circumstances; instead, it trusts that the Master will use those circumstances for good. Faithfulness doesn’t seek to please itself, but rather it uses whatever is in its hands to please God.
I wonder what would happen if we stopped complaining about the dirty dishes in our lives. What if we washed and polished them for the glory of God? Of course I’m not talking about dishwashing liquid, but rather about the attitude of our hearts. As we are faithful to serve wherever God has placed us, His favor will rest upon us for promotion! As we seek to please Him, the Lord will bless whatever we put our hands to for His glory. As we entrust ourselves to the Lord, He entrusts even more to us.
I hope you are excited. The things that have held you back could be the very things God will use to propel you forward! Whatever our hands find to do, may we do all for the glory of God.
Father, so often my love for You is not enough. I so easily forget that You have a purpose for allowing me to be where I am in life at this moment. Help me be faithful in the place I am planted and trust that You are working through me. Use all that I have and all that I am for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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