God’s Job For You
Let God say when your job is done. He may call you to do something for Him, but don't assume that you'll be doing that forever. Stay on the mainline of His perfect will for you and give yourself completely to it.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Oh, I trust so. I’ve just been praying that God would put love and blessing and truths into my voice, that every word may count and that you may find something in His Word as we open it that is especially for you. Well, that’s His miracle of grace, isn’t it? And, we thank Him for it. Well, we’re looking at John the Baptist and as we concluded our thought the last time we got together, we remarked that God didn’t answer the why question, He simply said, take a look at what God is doing in your life, and that was enough. If you’ve got some why, WHY, why questions, and I guess all of us do, would you take a moment to bring them to your Lord and just leave them at the throne of grace, and then spent some time gazing upon His lovely face and seeing what He is doing in your life and the lives of others. You’ll be encouraged and the questions won’t seem quite so important as you look at Him. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. “Look full in His wonderful face”, the old chorus said, “and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”. Do it beloved and He’ll take care of the doubts.
There was one other thought that came to me and it disturbs me a little, because I’m not sure whether I’m dragging it in or not, you preachers can set straight. You know I appreciate the fact the pastors and Bible teachers write to me now and again and say, “Cook, you’re mistaken on this point”. Thank you for caring enough to write about it. My father used to say, “We’ll be in heaven one day and you’ll know I was right. You feel that way about it, but thank you for caring and thank you for writing and taking the time to even to disagree in a loving fashion. I appreciate it.
So, you may not agree with what I’m going to say now, but that’s alright, you don’t have to. So, don’t let it upset you, but as I read over this the last few days and thought about it, this thought comes to me persistently, and I’m going to share it with you. It may be of help to some dear pastor or evangelist or missionary or Sunday school teacher, whatever that God has been talking to. John’s big commission was to be the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, wasn’t it? He was to announce the Lord Jesus and he did so faithfully, “When he saw the Lord Jesus coming toward him he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which beareth away the sin of the world”, and he did this faithfully, and he told people, “There cometh one after me, mightier than I the latch at whose shoes I’m not even worthy to stoop down to unloose”. I’m not worthy to do the most menial service for this wonderful person whom I’m announcing. He was very faithful in that. God blessed his message and people came out from all of Jerusalem to hear him. Now, two things have occurred to me and one of them, I think is quite obvious and the other just disturbs me a little and maybe as I say, maybe I’m dragging it in, but we’ll see. The first thing is, you have to let God say when your job is done. Let God say when your job is done. Forerunning only lasts so long. You can only announce an event until it happens, after that what you say is history. His job was to announce the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s Messiah, the Lamb of God. John’s job was to announce the Lord Jesus Christ and when he arrived, and was on the scene, and efficiently had begun his ministry, didn’t need anymore announcing. So God said, all right John thanks. That’s it. You have to let God say when your job is done. Oh, I’d like to live a long while, would you believe it, and I ride a motorcycle. Say that crazy Cook, okay, I’m having a great time and I’d like to live a good many years yet, yes I would, but at the same time, I’m serving a God who is in control and so I ask Him every day, oh, God do what you want to do. Use me right up to the edge of life to the brim fill it up, and let it spill over with blessing to others. Yes that’s my daily prayer, but you have to let God say when it’s over, and don’t fight it. Don’t get bitter about it. Let Him be God. It’s quite an idea, isn’t it?
Now, the other one is this, John’s specific task was to point to Jesus and when he did that, he was immensely successful. He now goes over in dealing with the head of the government about his private life. Now I know that John was telling the truth, I know that he stood there as a man of God, I know that he was a prophetic voice, and I know that the spirit of God was convicting Herod and it said, “Herod was afraid of him because he knew he was a holy man”. I know all that. I’m not against anything that John did, I’m simply saying, when he stopped announcing and started other types of ministry, shall we say, that’s when things close down. You may not agree with me and you don’t have to beloved, but I’m simply saying, you and I do best when we stick to what God has told us to do.
All my life since I really grew up, I think I was an adolescent for good many years, Will H. Houghton, Dr. Houghton, the beloved president of Moody Bible Institute for some years, was my dear friend. He looked at me and smiled one day and he said, “Cook you’ll always be an adolescent”, well maybe so, but all my life since I really grew up, I have prayed daily I would think almost, Lord, tell me what you really want me to do, and in periods when I would draw aside from the world and just take time to retreat and seek God, which I’ve done from time to time, I would always pray, Lord, I want to back off from things. Tell me again what it is you really want me to do. You know that saved me from many a mistake many a bypath, and many a detour, to know that God is telling me exactly what He wants me to do. I remember a Sunday night in Medina, Ohio, Merrill Dunlop and Gregorio Tingston and I were on the road in one night meetings here and there, all through the middle West, raising funds so we could take a trip across to the Orient on behalf of Youth for Christ. This was the spring of 1948, and I was praying. I was disturbed because I’d been trained for the pastorate, music had been my line for a while, and so I played my violin and led choirs, and then I went to preaching and then I was in the pastorate for 18 years full-time, and now I could see that things were changing. I could feel the pressure of other calls upon me, and I was wondering whether or not I was straying from God’s calling. I remember as I knelt beside a little cot in a tourist facility, what they called a tourist home, a little single cot there in a room by myself, I got down, I opened the Word of God I said,“Oh God tell me again, tell me again what it is you really want me to do. If indeed I’m going to get into Youth for Christ and if indeed this thing is moving that way, then I got to know”, and I called on God and held on to Him, opened the Word of God, you know what struck my eyes? John chapter 4, Jesus said to His disciples, “I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor, other men have labored and you’re entered into their labors, reaping”, and it struck me. God is leading you into a ministry of reaping across the world and bringing the fruits of that harvest back into the Bible preaching, Christ honoring, church of their choice on the mission field and here at home. That settled it and I knew then that I had a sense of direction as to which way I was going. Beloved all I’m saying is this, we’re not critical of John the Baptist, all I’m saying is this, take time every now and then to back off and say, “Oh, God don’t let me get away with to get away from what you really called me to do”. See the trouble with many of us is that you have more than one talent and we tend to dabble in a lot of things, and not do anything well.
Somebody was introducing me many years ago, and he spoke more truth I think than he knew. He said, “This man Cook is good at a lot of things, and it’s a wonder that he does anything well”. Jack of all trades, master of none is the old saying. Our problem is often times, is that we’re sanctified dabblers and we the fool around a little with this and then with that and then with the other instead of having one great, driving passion of our life. Paul said, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel”, he said, “I labored to preach the gospel where the name of Christ wasn’t know. I’ve got to preach to others also. I am debtor to all of these different kinds of people”, he said, “I have to pay my debt”. He was driven by the love of Christ driving him to pay his debt, to preach the gospel to everybody he could. “This one thing I do”, Paul said. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have varied interests in life, I’ve got a lot of interests. Oh, I like so many different things, anything mechanical intrigues me. I’m a gadget man, you know that, and I like to drive and I like to ride, I like to fly, and I like photography, and I like ever so many different things. You can have interests in life you don’t have to be a clod, to be spiritual. Thank God for that. You can be a vital, animate human being, but there has to be one, central, driving vision and passion, that you know is God’s call to your life. What is it? Find out, find out and then expend your energies along that line, don’t get off on the sideline. It’s worth thinking about isn’t it? Not that John was wrong in speaking to Herod, simply that he was successful when he stayed on the line of his divine calling, number one calling. Think about it will you, and find out what God would have you emphasize in your life and then give yourself completely to it. Give yourself completely to that which you know is God’s calling for you. Paul said, “Say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received of our Lord Jesus Christ that thou fulfill it’”. You can transpose those syllables and make it make sense, fill it full, full of meaning, full of blessing, full of joy, full of God.
Dear Father today, keep us on the mainline of your perfect Will for each of us, I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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