Don’t Frustrate God’s Work by Showing Up Late

Guilty. So guilty. Many Sundays the service didn’t start on time because I was late. I never left enough time for spilled milk or missing shoes. It seemed every Sunday there was spilled milk and missing shoes!

I tried covering my guilt with jokes:

“I’m the only piano player – you can’t start without me!”

“I’m not late – I’m making an entrance.”

But I was late and buried in guilt. Saturday’s verse showed me how deeply my tardiness hurt.

2 Corinthians 3:3-6, “Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated – or not – in the details. (4) People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly…in hard times, tough times, bad times; (5) …working hard, working late, working without eating; (6) with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love.” The Message

I’m grateful the Pastors and God always forgave me. But after a while, God moved me away from the piano bench. I thought it was permanent.

To say it jarred me was, to put it mildly. The doctors said, “Don’t leave your house without Prednisone.” (You can only take so much Prednisone before the risks outweigh the benefits.) After that pronouncement, I had a choice to make.

2 Corinthians 7:9, “Now I’m glad – not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from Him. The result was all gain, no loss.” The Message

I turned to God chose to start over. I got out my lesson books and started on page 1.

“This is up; this is down.

Let’s go up and down.”

I played every day with only God hearing – for 7 years! God had a plan all along. The first time I met the FCOC Satellite Coordinator, Rick Brecht, he said, “I see you playing on our worship team.”

I laughed and replied, “That would take a miracle and a grand piano!”

I didn’t get a grand piano. But a year later, I was playing a keyboard on the worship team.

I’m never tardy, but I have so many more areas that could use improvement. Paul listed some pretty tough guidelines:

  • Stay at our post
  • Alertly
  • Unswervingly
  • In hard times
  • In tough times
  • In bad times
  • Working hard
  • Working late
  • Working without eating
  • With a pure heart
  • A clear head
  • A steady hand
  • In gentleness
  • In holiness
  • In honest love

It’s like I told Melissa before church yesterday. “We don’t clean ourselves up before we come to Jesus. We come to Jesus and He cleans us up.”

Jesus works little by little and He never stops. He keeps working with us until we die. But each day, we look a little more like Him.

What was my assignment for Saturday? Get ready for church. God means more than just picking out an outfit.

I practice and pack my music in my bag. I pray for the service, worship team, ushers, greeters, and children’s workers. I ask for anointing on the sermon and worship service. I request converts. We don’t want to make noise; we want to make a difference.

God answered those prayers and more! I saw a breakthrough yesterday. Steven Furtick reminded me a breakthrough does not mean the battle is over. We are fighting for souls here.

“The breakthrough does not eliminate the battle. …the only thing the breakthrough is going to do is put you in the position to fight the battle. But the good news is – it’s already won!…” “Breakthrough is Overrated” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

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