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“The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.” Exodus 32:16 NIV
Each of us has been called to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. While each of our plans are different, we each have one. They have all been intricately designed to complement and fulfill God’s plan in concert with one another. I think of some of the most incredible symphonies. Performance and execution of those masterpieces can vary significantly. Each performance depends on the mastery of each individual with the part they are to play. It also depends on how well they follow the direction of the conductor. If one orchestra member decides to go off on his or her own, it can create chaos and discord.
The work of God depends on those two things as well: (1) that we focus on the part we are to play and to play it with excellence, and (2) that we follow God.
I think it is easy to get distracted by the parts others play. When we do that, we get over involved in their part. We can become judgmental and find fault. We can begin to neglect our own part because we are so focused on theirs. We lose the “sweet sound” of our own melody line. We can miss timing. We can lose sight of the direction of God. It can easily become noisy and overwhelming when we take on the parts of others. We forget that the work of God is so much bigger than us. He has the power and wherewithal to do great and mighty things. He just needs us to be willing and pliable for Him to channel that work through us.
Think of the experience Moses had on the mountain with God as He chiseled the 10 commandments on the tablets! I can’t even imagine. Moses had to be willing to go up the mountain and listen and follow God’s direction. He had to be present and willing. God did all the work.
I think of what Moses found when he descended the mountain with the first set of tablets. The Israelites had gotten tired of waiting and decided to take matters into their own hands. In the midst of the wilderness with God providing manna every day, they missed the opportunity to follow God and see His mighty work. They were impatient with the part they were given to play.
How different would the wilderness experience have been if each day God’s provision had been celebrated? What if the opportunity to seek the presence of God each day in prayer had been capitalized on? What if they had danced like David around the cloud that guided them through the desert? In my own journey through areas of wilderness, I think about those things. I try to look for the opportunities God has placed in my path and not discount or minimize them. I try to look for God and follow, step by step, with Him leading instead of me.
If I follow the conductor, I will see His cues for me to enter into the part He has designed for me in His symphony. If I practice the part I am to play daily, I am less likely to worry about whether or not someone else is practicing. If I practice daily, I will be ready to step into the role that He has for me when He calls me. I trust that He is doing all the work of the conductor. All the parts will make sense at His direction. At His direction – by His work – the music will be rich and full and complete. Nothing is missing and nothing out of place. Perfect and intricate timing, building to a crescendo or falling softly to a diminuendo, by design.
Father, let me not put my work before Your work. Help me to celebrate and recognize Your work with a willingness to simply do my part and a willing heart to follow You.