Measure twice, cut once . . .
That is familiar advice for woodworkers. According to the expert carpenters at woodworkersinstitue.com, most woodworking problems arise “due to errors in marking and measuring. Most of these errors happen from using the wrong measuring instrument for the wrong job.’’
How could we function in life if there were no means of measurement?
Just the measuring of size, weight or distance? What is a pound or a kilo, a gallon or a liter? How many quarts would fill the gas tank of your car, and what is a quart anyway? Our money is measured according to a standard. What if every merchant could establish his or her own value of money? Try to bake a cake or follow some recipe if there was no set standard of the size of a cup, or a teaspoon. In sports what would represent a score? How do you measure a touchdown? In the Old Testament laws God said, “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry goods or liquids must be accurate.” (Leviticus 19:35, 36, NLT).Here is a saying of Jesus that we like, “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving–large or small–it will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38 NLT).
A great challenge is how to measure as God does.
We measure life, happiness, and success as we you know. What have you done or what are you doing that you feel is successful? No doubt it involves numbers, usually with a dollar sign ($) attached. It is tangible something that you can calculate. I’m afraid that God does not measure much or anything about life like we do. When we measure and calculate God’s working from the visible or by any standard you can calculate, add, subtract, or put a price on them when we do not see the physical results that we may be looking for, we feel like the work we are doing is not valuable. We may miss the true measure of what God may be doing.
This is one area where people become discouraged.
I love the story of the four lepers sitting at the gate of the besieged city of Samaria. The city was surrounded by an enemy army who had cut off all the supplies to the city. The people were starving inside the walls of the city. The four men in their desperation said to each other, “Why should we sit here waiting to die? We will starve if we stay here, and we will starve if we go back into the city. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.” (2 Kings 7:3-4, NLT).
They start walking toward the enemy camp.
Their natural effort meant nothing to anyone. Who cared about what four men with leprosy did? God cared! As they walked, God made the enemy hear the sounds of a mighty army on the march. The four men did not hear anything. They were hungry, sick and weak. They struggled to even walk. In their weakness God was strong and through them God brought the victory for the entire city.
Let the Holy Spirit open your spiritual ears for just a moment.
Now let your imagination take you back into the service yesterday, Listen . . . You may hear the fluttering sound of angel’s wings all around you as you preached and spoke the Word of God.
Stand up and take a few steps.
They may seem like a baby’s steps. But, listen! You may hear the sound of a mighty marching army. The key is, don’t just sit. Take a few steps. Try something different or new. When I first began traveling in the ministry I met a man in one of the first churches were I was preaching at a week of meetings. Brother Frame was retired and gave himself to working for God. He mapped out the city he lived in and every day just like going to work, he would knock on doors eight hours a day witnessing. His goal was to witness to every home in his city. He always had a testimony of someone he prayed for and led to the Lord each day. How many times I have thought of him over the years – a sleeping giant. A humble man, never in the spotlight, never desired to stand in the pulpit or to be interviewed on a TV program. Faithfully until he went to be with the Lord, he labored in obscurity. Measure twice, cut once.
Larry Neville – Monday Morning Club