by Pastor Tim Burt
Ministers of the gospel, motivational speakers, and countless communicators from different fields, all and often communicate an important truth: everyone’s life has significance. That is true because we were all ultimately created by God to experience a meaningful and significant life with a destiny to fulfill. I know that the plan for every individual has been tainted by the sin and evil that exists in this earth but, that is what creates even greater opportunity for us to walk out a significant life. We are needed and can be “salt.” We can bring flavor to this earth. One of those ways we can be salt is to constantly keep our eyes open and see and catch the good that people do and openly acknowledge and encourage them in the continuation of it. What a paradigm shift that would be! Most people catch and comment on the bad people do.
We all desire to be noticed. We all desire to be appreciated for our efforts. We all desire to be encouraged in the job we do. This is true whether we clean toilets, educate children, or run a corporation. Those that are best at giving encouragement and recognition are those that are helping people learn to step up and develop as leaders.
Moses was truly one of the greatest leaders of all time. It could be said that it was discouragement that actually contributed to cutting his destiny short and kept him from finishing one of his greatest dreams. Discouragement is as powerful in the negative as encouragement is in the positive.
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses, who was close to the end of his life, began to give his final words to those that would step up and lead the people into the Promised Land that God had promised them. He started out by telling them that what was only an eleven day journey ended up taking them over 40 years. Kind of a mind-blowing thought isn't it? That’s what happens when you don’t obey God. You become the rat in the maze and run the rat race that goes on and on and on.
Moses told them that this was it—it was now time to actually go into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 1:8 he says, "I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants." Moses went on to tell them the history of the past 40 years, of God’s promises, and of their failures to obey God’s leading. Deuteronomy 1:26-27 says, "But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You murmured and complained in your tents…"
—the greatest of all, overcoming their personal fears and instead trusting God in the face of adversity. Moses encouraged them, "But I said to you, 'Don't be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place." Deuteronomy. 1:29-31.
The previous generation didn't trust God and were always discouraged. Their discouragement eventually jumped on Moses. What finally happened was that their lack of trust in God and in Moses ultimately had an effect on him. At one point Moses failed in trusting God and ended up disobeying Him. The result? Deuteronomy 1:37-38 "And the Lord was also angry with me (Moses) because of you. He said to me, 'You will never enter the Promised Land! Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land.”
Why am I telling you all this? Because discouragement was like a contagious disease amongst these people. It jumped from one to another and repeatedly took the wind out of their sails. It turned an eleven day journey into a 40 year walk. Discouragement is powerfully bad. It even affected one of the greatest leaders of all history.
Moses was a great leader. He did have a short lapse—something great leaders cannot afford because of all the lives they affect. But even so, he came back to his greatness and came back to driving home a message to the people regarding the leader that would take over! He said, “Encourage Joshua.” He said, …Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him as he prepares to enter it." (Deuteronomy 1:38) As the story continues, Moses repeatedly encouraged Joshua and encouraged the people to encourage Joshua!
If the spirit of encouragement—encouraging each other and praying for and encouraging their leader Moses— if that would have been the attitude of the people from the beginning, everything would have been different. It would have literally changed the atmosphere and it would have changed each of them. Encouragement does that.
Encouragement isn't about empty ra-ra's. No, encouragement is based on a strong foundation of faith in the promises of God. God said the land was theirs and that they could take it. That was His promise. Their encouragement was to be reminding each other of God's promises and that their strength and ability is not in themselves but in Him.
Let me tell you something I hope you never forget. There is always a way to encourage people and when you become one that does, those that you encourage will never forget it. You will help them and they will remember it. If not immediately, then eventually! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." It is a powerful force and one you do want to be known for! It’s within you so ask God to help you develop in it and be that encourager of God’s promises to those God puts in your life. Become that salt and light and encouragement of Jesus. By doing so, you will help nudge people to fulfill their significant life and destiny. And being an encourager is a part of your significant destiny!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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