Many times we get frustrated, loose our hope when we do not see the results expected. Especially, when no one is responding, we get fed up, loose our energy, and sometimes we plan to quit. One day, when I was in a similar situation, I heard the Holy Spirit saying, “A voice in the desert”
Then I knew that the Lord was trying to speak something important to me. I listened carefully. Yes, the Holy Spirit was reminding me of John the Baptist.
By the way, those who are reading about John the Baptist for the first time, here is a short intro. Others can skip this para. John was the cousin of Jesus, born 6 months before Him. His mission was to introduce Jesus Christ to the world. Even before Jesus started preaching, John went to the desert, preaching about repentance. Repentance means, ‘to change one’s mind’. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. One day, John saw Jesus walking towards Him, and John introduced Jesus to the world saying, ‘This was the One about whom I was preaching’ and so on. John is the person who introduced the baptism ceremony, and hence he was known as John the Baptist.
This is that portion, which the Lord reminded me:-
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’” Matt 3: 1,2,3 NIV
He was preaching in the wilderness!
Wilderness means an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region OR a neglected or abandoned area.
In other words, John was screaming in the desert! There was no one to cheer him up! Absolutely no motivation! He just have one mission – “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” Later on, people heard a voice in the desert, and gathered to hear his preaching. Many repented and turned to God.
He knew what He was called for! That is, to preach or to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
That’s when I was reminded of one truth. When we are focused on what God has called us to do, we just need to trust in God alone and carry out the duty even when no one is responding. In other words, we need to derive our strength, and encouragement from the One who called us to fulfill our mission. This truth will entirely change our perception and it affects the way we do things.
Many times we tend to focus on the immediate result. Nowadays, we get to know the feedback almost instantly. The number of ‘facebook likes’, comments, view count, and other statistics gives us an idea on how many people are actually engaged with our activities online.
But in those days, it was not the case. John had absolutely no idea, how people took his message, or he was not even bothered about what others thought about him. He was just focused on ONE THING – to preach about repentance. He had a clear idea on what he was supposed to do. He had read from the scriptures:-
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
And he knew that he was supposed to fulfill this task.
How to speak when no one is listening?
We think ‘No one is listening’, but the truth is that somebody is always there to listen. One day, I was walking in our office food canteen, and out of no where, somebody calls me, Donny! I turned to see who it was. That person said, “I used to follow your articles”. I said, “Thank you”, and it reminded me that, there was always somebody genuinely listening to what we are saying.
Now I am very confident that, even if we do not get to know the feedback instantly, we will get to know someday that there were a bunch of people who had been benefited from our mission.
Listen! There is somebody out there listening. Keep speaking! Spread the message which God gives you. Somebody needs help. You will never know now who they are. Just be focused on what the Lord has entrusted you. Don’t be misled by the counts or the statistics you see! Those are all just numbers, but the actual count you will come to know, when you stand before Almighty when He gives away the reward to each one according to what each one has done.
Now, what is that which keeps you motivated? Share your thoughts below.