Over my years as a parish minister, people often spoke with good will into my situation who were not in my situation or in the place of my calling. (Incidentally I had not usually asked them to speak into my situation. Occasionally I had the courage to calmly and politely tell them so, which shocked and unnerved them!) Sometimes their thoughts truly helped me, often they were pretty useless and unhelpful. When they were unhelpful, it was usually because they were programmatic and glib as though the recipe for “success” being offered was fail safe and unquestionably true for every situation.
These thoughts were awakend this morning, by a book of daily readings I have turned back to many times over the years by E. Stanely Jones. His thoughts for this day were based on Luke Chapter 4 and on two verses which are a mere ten verses apart. In verse 4 of that chapter we read of Jesus being full of the power of the Spirit. In verse 24 we read of this same Jesus announcing a truth that a prophet (himself) was not always welcome in his own country.
The soil matters. I hope that encourages those of you who are maybe in church settings that you know the Lord has called you to, but there is not much fruit to show. You have maybe felt condemned by the implications of some people that there must be something wrong with you, your spirituality, that you are lacking in the Spirit’s fullness or whatever.
The soil matters. It does not all depend on you, man of God, woman of God, tested in the wilderness and full of the Spirit. Don’t allow a charge to rest upon you that is unjustified. May God assure you this weekend that you are in the place you are meant to be and even in the condition you are meant to be in.