Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Do We Measure?


This graphic is of a ruler from a company that believed the slogan. Supervisors received reams of paper each year that gave measurement of man hours spent, against income; overhead costs, against profit. How many man hours without an accident. There were measurements for just about everything. Salaries and promotions hinged on those measurements.

The company paid close attention to those measurements – good ones, and ones that did not measure up to corporate standards. Employees were very aware of the measurements used. There were specific meetings to address measurements.

Now, let’s apply this concept to ourselves.

Does God have measurements? Ask King Saul, who did not measure up and then ask King David, who was seen as a man after God’s own heart. Ask Esther, who was told someone else would measure up if she didn’t. Ask Jonah, who ran away and had to live in darkness before he saw the light. Ask Moses, who tried to turn down the job God knew he could measure up to.

The first measurement is knowing God exists, but that alone is insufficient:

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19 KJV)

The second is trusting Him:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

Let’s go back to Jonah’s story for a moment’s review – God called him for a specific task, Jonah ran. Recognizing he had placed a crew in danger, he sought to atone by sacrificing himself. God saved him in a most inconvenient way and Jonah did the job he didn’t want to do – then became upset because God’s plan of redemption worked:

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. (Jonah 3:10-4:1 KJV)

Jonah set forth God’s measurements for Nineveh, and they measured up. Why then was Jonah angry?

And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. (Jonah 4:2 KJV)

Basically, I see Jonah saying, “I knew when you called me that you were too good to destroy Nineveh and didn’t need me to tell them that.” Jonah placed his own viewpoints, his own limits on God’s planning. He knew God measured up, but didn’t think about his own need to measure up to God’s planning.

Do we do the same by defining God by our own understanding? Have we not read:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)

First we know He exists, then have faith that He rewards and third we are to heed His call for what He has for us to do. Oh, yes – He does have work for each one of us. I need to tend to my work, not yours.

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