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RCC Blog

You Never Know How God Will Use You

Posted By Ken Alvis, Pastor of Community Groups & Senior Adults On Friday, July 15, 2022

​There is a financial term called Return on Investment (ROI) which simply evaluates how well a financial investment has performed. My contention is that we all have what I call a spiritual ROI. This is where we, as believers in Christ, invest in people and their spiritual growth. At some point, we’ll evaluate how well our time and energy has impacted those people we have come alongside. Certainly, there are times when we may not see obvious spiritual growth in others.  That does not necessarily mean that God is not working in their lives, and it does not mean your time and effort expended has been futile. I believe God often is working in your life to impact others for Him even when you cannot see it.  In other words, your spiritual ROI may or may not be evident to you. We all need to remember that God often works “behind the scenes.”

Our senior adults at RiverLakes Community Church meet each Sunday morning and we always sing hymns. The origin of many of these hymns are wonderful examples where someone had no idea they had impacted others for the Lord. Below are two examples:

“Have Thine Own Way, Lord” is a hymn by Adelaide Pollard. She was born in 1864. This hymn was written by her in 1902. She wrote this lovely hymn based on Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord you are our Father, we are the clay, and you are our potter, we are all the work of your hand.” At one point in her life, she was highly discouraged because she could not raise money to go to Africa for missionary service. One night Adelaide attended a small prayer meeting. At the prayer meeting an elderly woman prayed out loud. This senior adult did not ask for anything; instead, she prayed that she might truly understand His will in her life. This so impacted Adelaide that she went home that night and wrote the words to this hymn. So, a praying senior citizen inadvertently impacted a discouraged young lady to write one of the great hymns of all time.

“At The Cross” is another classic hymn written by Isaac Watts in 1707. This story is a little different. Watts had no idea how the words from this hymn would impact others. Over 120 years after his death, a young blind woman came to personally know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in her life from hearing this hymn. This woman became the greatest hymn writer of all time: Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), whose hundreds of hymns have impacted so many throughout the years.

So, an old woman says a prayer that impacts a listener so much she writes a wonderful hymn as well as helping her through a time of discouragement.  Another writes a hymn that leads a person to Christ 120+ years after his death, and becomes the most prolific hymn writer of all time.

One more example: Oswald Chambers. We all know of his classic devotional “My Utmost For His Highest.” He lived only 43 years, from 1874-1917. He was a Scottish Bible teacher and a military chaplain. He was married to a wonderful lady named Gertrude, who Chambers called my “Beloved Disciple” of Christ. That was shortened to the letters B.D., and then to “Biddy”. Biddy accompanied Chambers everywhere he spoke. She was professionally trained as a court stenographer, so she wrote down everything he said. After his death, Biddy put together many of his teachings. Finally, in 1927 she published the devotional “My Utmost For His Highest”.  It has never been out of print and has sold over 13 million copies. Chambers never had any idea of the impact he would have on others through this devotional.

You may not know whom you have impacted, or more likely, you don’t see your spiritual ROI with others. Be assured God is using you if you remain faithful to Him. This is my encouragement to you.  Stay faithful, especially during times of discouragement. A key verse on this is 1 Corinthians 4:2 which says simply “It is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” The world views success as fame, fortune, or a position of power. God measures success by our faithfulness. Faithfulness means consistently following God’s calling for your life and leaving the results to Him. So, you may not see the visible results of your faithfulness. That’s ok, just remember to remain faithful to Him and carry on. This means we’ll certainly be frustrated at times, but stay focused on doing His will in your life. Remember, the more you focus on yourself, the more you will be distracted from God’s path for you. On the other hand, the more you know Him and draw close to Him, the more the Holy Spirit will make you like Him. And the more you understand this, you’ll accept He is sufficient for everything in your life, which includes joys as well as disappointments. This is the only way to real satisfaction in life.

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