YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO
by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 17 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)
Once a dear lady on my staff became a bit discouraged because her work seemed more than she was able to do. She had recently accepted her position with us and was somewhat frustrated with her inability to perform all of her new duties. In an effort to help her and the rest of the staff, I presented at staff devotions one Monday morning the following suggestions:
1. Believe that you can do what you ought to do. God never gives us anything to do that He does not give us the strength to do. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." When I was a student pastor, a fellow student gave me a wonderful truth when he said, "When God calls, He qualifies." This He does! You can do what God has given you to do. You can do what you ought to do. You can do what you are supposed to do. If this be true, it may be appropriated by faith. Faith is the key that unlocks God's cupboard. Claim for your task the strength that you need to perform it.
2. Do not undo in doubt what you have done if faith. When a job has been accepted in faith, do not un-do it in doubt. When God called me to become Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, He miraculously led me to accept the call. Though I personally did not want to make a change, I was nevertheless assured that God's will was being done. I contacted the church, offering my acceptance. I then gave my resignation to the Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, where I had labored for nearly seven years. I gave them a thirty-day notice. During this thirty-day period I became doubtful that I had made the right decision. Emotion gripped my soul as I thought of the heartache of leaving those dear friends. Again and again since that time, God has vindicated that decision and has shown me over and over that it was a wise one.
Has God called you to do a task? He will then equip you for it. Has God led you to a place? He will then qualify you for the job.
3. Realize that success does not depend upon talent. The great prerequisite for success is not talent but character. Character seeks talent. Talent often runs from character. The talented man often thinks he can make it on his own. The man of character realizes he cannot make it on his own and must work to equip himself for his job. Integrity, diligence, honesty, and hard work are the main secrets to success. Average public speakers often become more successful preachers than more gifted men. Mediocre singers often accomplish more than ten talented ones. I have often said that in employing secretaries and staff members, I look for traits such as loyalty, tenacity, and integrity, rather than typing, shorthand, and other talents. Because one is a typist does not mean he will have loyalty and character. Because one has character does not mean he will learn to type if his job requires it.
4. Work as hard as you can believing God will do the rest. God will not do what you can do. Someone has said, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." A lazy college student who believes God will provide his needs is not living by faith but by folly. A shiftless pastor who believes that God will grow his church has misunderstood the entire meaning of faith. Faith is doing everything I can do, and then trusting God to do what I cannot do. God can do what I cannot do, but He will not do what I can do if I refuse to do it.
5. After the job is done, give God the glory. Tragic but true is the fact that many of us fall prostrate before the Lord asking His help before attempting a task, then we bow gracefully and proudly as we hear the applause coming from men after we have accomplished the task. In my own life I started out as a very poor boy. When God called me to be a preacher, I was untalented and unprepared. My first sermon ended in failure and frustration after five minutes of searching for something to say. If successes come, I must not forget those early days. I must remember that I am what I am by the grace of God. I have what I have by the grace of God, and I have done what I have done by the grace of God. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing." (Romans 7:18) It is His work and not mine. It is done by His Spirit and not mine. Hence, when the victory comes, I must step back in the shadows and say, "The Lord gave. .. ..blessed be the Name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
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“I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion,
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