Almost as if on cue, I heard the devil’s temptation. As expected, it was offered up disguised as my fleshly, condemning, parental voice: “Pres, if you go there—telling yourself you have done a good job—you will be slacking off in your commitment to be a diligent man. Your life will soon be characterized by a slack hand and a series of compromises. You must not let this occur. My counsel is to return from this simple way. Adopt the strenuous course, the noble way—the high ground. Return to lofty high standard by which you have lived your life to date.”
As is the case with any temptation from the enemy, there was a grain of truth. It is indeed important for us to live a determined life, to aspire to a noble standard, and refuse compromise. But while this is an important point, it was irrelevant to the issue at hand.
My Father was trying to tell me I had done a good job and get me to agree with Him. After all, I had trusted Him to guide me and express Himself through me as I stepped into the middle of the office fire-storm. As one warrior to another, He was simply celebrating after the battle by saying, “We did a good job, you and I.”
Implied within that confident declaration is His conviction: I will go with you into battle again.
But perhaps more important, He wanted to walk across the parking lot with me right now. And, He wanted to be sure I got the message for the moment: “Pres, you did a good job.”
This has been an amazing paradigm shift for me, not to mention a tremendous motivation. God’s voice of encouragement is far more powerful than the enemy’s recommendation that a deeper examination be the focus. It is as though a new horizon has appeared.
How long has it been since you told yourself, good job? Well neighbor, that’s too long.