Tis mine to obey, tis His to provide

I am currently reading a book by Andrew Murray about abiding in Messiah. It is written as a daily devotional for the duration of a month. One of the things that left an impression on me is the statement: “Tis mine to obey, tis His to provide”. Murray elaborates on this in the succeeding devotions, but, in essence, the point is: We don’t need to worry about how we will be able to serve and do all that the Lord asks of us, because the strength and ability to do all these things, come from Him.

As I prepare for the new school year, these words have taken on an added meaning for me, especially in the context of “sowing and reaping” which have been in my mind since becoming a homeroom teacher. There was so much work to do during this week which filled up so quickly with meetings for the beginning of the school year. My mind has been racing with ideas for activities and topics that I want to share with my class. I hope these ideas will encourage them in their personal faith so that they will not only see their personal need for a savior, but also how they can grow in Him.

All this preparation can be overwhleming and may seem like a lot of work. But, when it’s all done, there is a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Still, there is a danger of relying on all the work and effort we have done as teachers, as people, as workers in the field, hoping that the seeds that were planted, will not only grow but grow as we had hoped. I am reminded of an important fact, namely, that although we sow the seed, we are not the ones that make the seed grow. Our duty, is to work the field faithfully, knowing that this field, or whatever field we are working in, is not ours. It is His. So the growth of the seed is not our responsibility, it is His. Our responsibility is to sow and water, but it is God who causes the seed to grow and brings about the increase. He provides all that we need to work HIS field.

Another thing that I am learning is what I do with the field. Although my thoughts and ideas for my class seem to me to be good and useful, I still need to pray and see if this is what I God would have me do. Proverbs 19:21 says: “Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the advice of the Lord will stand.” We can have many plans in working a field and we should be diligent in our work and do it with joy and desire in our hearts. But, we need to always remember that the work we are called to do is in God’s field, so the work in it has to be accomplished according to His plan and will.

Working a field requires effort, consistency and faithfulness in all circumstances, both when things are fun and easy as well as when things are unclear, difficult and tiring. In all circumstances, God provides for us all that we need, to do that which He called us to do. Keeping that in mind helps us to rely completely on Him while laboring in the place where He has assigned us.

Whatever may be the field of your service, let us obey all that He asks us to do and remember, it is His to provide.


Working the Field

The themes of preparing a field, sowing and reaping keep coming up in different contexts recently, especially with regard to teaching. I teach at a junior high school and am a homeroom teacher. I enjoy it and love what I do, despite the challenges of teaching during covid times. 

Teaching during regular times has its challenges: encouraging kids to learn, doing their best and investing in their studies for their future. I discuss these things with students all the time, as well as with parents. But, not many see the importance of doing their best now in order to reap later on the results of their efforts and be satisfied with them. It makes me sad to see students who genuinely don’t care, sometimes even to the point of showing disrespect to what they are learning. They know they can do better, but don’t want to. It’s just like food. I can prepare it for them and encourage them to eat it, but I can’t force it on them. 

It’s not easy doing our best in something but not always seeing the results we anticipate. Sometimes, we need to wait a bit. Sometimes the results are there, only not in the way we wanted them to be.

I am learning through teaching that I have a responsibility to do what I can. There are things I can’t control. But, there are other things that I can control, such as preparing a field and sowing the seeds. I can’t control how the seeds grow or the fruit they produce. All I can do for those things is pray. God is still in control of all things and what is impossible for me is not impossible at all for Him.

Have you been given a field that you need to sow? Be encouraged to continue to be faithful in that and pray over that field. Then wait for the rain.

© Hannah Kramer