Devotional: Washing toilets

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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Loved today’s morning reading from Marketplace Leaders:

“…those He wanted to promote, He promoted; and those He wanted to humble, He humbled.” (Dan. 5:19)

Paul desired a career in the building industry. Early in his career, he was working with a large ministry to help direct several of their construction projects.

As the projects were completed, Paul was asked to stay on for future projects. To keep him busy he was given a number of jobs – one of which was cleaning toilets. He recalls getting down on his knees each day and complaining to the Lord, “Lord, I’m a college graduate!”

Discouraged, Paul told the Lord, “I will not leave here until You promote me. Please give me contentment with my circumstance.”

Paul felt totally forgotten by God. A few months later, Paul received a phone call from a man in the Midwest who owned five successful businesses who wanted to interview Paul for a job. This came as a total surprise to Paul. As he drove to the interview, he told the Lord, “I only want your will in my life, nothing else. I am content to remain obscure for the rest of my life if I have You. You must override my lack of experience for me to get this job.”

The owner of the company asked Paul a surprising question: “If I asked you to clean a toilet, what would you do?” Paul sat there, stunned. He wanted to burst out laughing. Paul assured him that he would simply pick up a sponge and start cleaning.

Amazingly, Paul was hired even though other candidates were more qualified. After several months of success Paul asked his boss why he hired him. His boss replied, “Paul, I still have a large stack of applications from people who wanted this job. Do you remember the first question I asked you in the interview? I asked each one the same question. You were the only one who said he would clean the toilet. Paul, I am a wealthy man, but I grew up dirt poor. I clean my own toilets at home. I can’t have people running my businesses who are too proud to clean a toilet.”

Sometimes God places us in situations to see if we will be faithful in those before He is willing to promote us to greater things.

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This also reminds me of the Bible verse from Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

God tests me to see how I respond to work that seems minor and/or is looked down upon by the world, when nobody else is looking, and when it’s inconvenient.

I need to remember that God has an incredible plan that I – nor even the smartest person on Earth – can forecast; and that He works in unconventional ways (He’s in the miracles business). I also need to remember that God uses all of my experiences, strengths, and weaknesses for His plan for me. And I shouldn’t forget that my boss may be my manager, but God is my ultimate employer; and that everything I do – 100% of my work – serves Him and is a reflection of how I value Him.

If these truths are the case, shouldn’t I work at the highest level – regardless of what it is – at all times?

This helps me look at washing dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning up in the backyard, handling emails, etc. in a better light, and that I look forward to showing God I can be trusted with little because it prepares me for great.

Devotional: Your success is guaranteed by Him

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”  (1 Cor 2:3-5).

I love this passage.

In the Marketplace Leaders “Today God Is First” devotional, Os Hillman reminds me that sometimes, I need to withold my natural gifting to insure that God is in whatever I am doing.

That means that I shouldn’t rely completely on my God-given experiences, talents, and knowledge for the outcome of whatever I desire; over-dependence on them could make me forget that God is Lord over my outcome, and not leave enough room for Him to do His work. And I’d rather He do my work lol!

Don’t let your gifts go to waste, however. Use them to help people. Use them to give God all of the glory. Use it to build His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in heaven. But there will be a ceiling to those gifts – whether it be an impossible deadline, a task beyond your skill level, or a debilitating circumstance. At this point, do not stress, fear, or feel discouraged. Leave the remaining workload to Him, leave the outcome to Him, thank Him in advance, and let Him carry on.

God wants you to know that it is by His hand that you are successful; not by your own merit.

Devotional: Anger Danger (too bad it doesn’t rhyme)

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” (Eccl. 7:9)

I read in today’s Marketplace Leaders devotional that anger can be seen as a warning light on your car dashboard. When it goes off, it doesn’t reflect what’s going on externally – although there are plenty of uncool, undeserving, unexpected things; it informs you that something’s wrong with the car, and that you need to check under the hood.

Anger usually happens when we lose control over a circumstance that results in an outcome that doesn’t meet our expectations. It stems from either fear, or a protection of personal rights.

God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love. Trying to control the circumstances is playing God; and you are clearly not Him. It also doesn’t keep you open-minded to the possibility of better outcomes – and from my experience, God’s plan is 100% ALWAYS better than my broken, selfish, limited-based plan. And when you leave the outcome to Him, it is always successful, and there is a sense of freedom that sparks joy and helps you be in the moment.

The next time you get angry when someone cuts you off on the road, your kid spills food all over the floor, you lose a business deal, someone loses your trust, or anything that normally makes you livid – stop yourself, and try to incorporate empathy, forgiveness, and faith in the better plan…and prepare to have the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Grrrr….rrreat! (I hope you got this one lol)