Accomplishment or Assignment?

Do not seek to accomplish the task at hand; but rather seek to fulfill the assignment given to the fullest of your ability.

That is what I hear Father whispering to me as I complete the book in front of me. Many will say it is a great accomplishment. I suppose it is. But that is not why I wrote it. It was given to me as an assignment. why do I say that? Because years ago i received a short and sweet prophecy, “you will write a book”.  That made it an assignment.

Accomplishments are the same as completed goals. When we accomplish something, it is usually because we set our minds to something and finished it to the end. People are often mesured by what they have accomplished. I cared about my accomplishments until I met Jesus.

Now i have assignments. And I better be sure I know what the current assignment is. Sometimes it can look like an accomplishment.

Accomplishments are good. They are like feathers in our hats. However, once completed, they lose their shine and glory, and it takes another accomplishment to continue the good feeling.

An assignment starts from a source outside of ourselves. it is not always something we are excited to do. Remember homework? Yea, that wasn’t too exciting though it was often an accomplishment to complete it. But the greatest result of completing an assignment is the response of the one giving it. A teacher saying congratulations and giving you a good grade for completing an assignment feels good. Well done! Accomplishments often go unnoticed or unrewarded.

In high school, I so wanted to be a songleader. I set out to accomplish that goal and I did make the squad. I was able to pat myself on the back. No one did that for me. It was a great accomplishment. I didn’t know about assignments then, Perhaps the desires of our hearts are assignments God put there first. That would surely make  becoming a songleader much more of something I would cherish. God sent me there! yes!

Recently I had an assignment to go up to someone I didn’t know and ask them if they had ever had a repetitious dream. I am not a dream interpreter, so this was a challenge. What if they rejected me? What if I failed? Seeking to accomplish something also can meet with failure, but the only person you disappoint is yourself. When you fail on an assignment, you disappoint the one who assigned the task.

Maybe I am splitting hairs. Maybe they aren’t that different. All I know is that writing a book was something I dreamed of accomplishing, but when I saw that God was assigning me to write a book, the heaviness of the project caused the dream to be a reality. If no one knew I was writing a book, I would disappoint no one. But now, I had an assignment. God knew, because He put it in the heart of that person to tell me.

Accomplishments and assignments both carry the heaviness of performance. I know that God is not interested in our performance. So if I had failed to complete the assignment of writing this book, He would not have cast me out of heaven. His grace would have immediately relieved the disappointment and love would always remain. But disappointing Him, even for a flash, was a heavier load to carry than failing.

Whenever I look at possibilities in front of me, choices I have to make, I find it clarifies my thoughts of what to choose if I consider if they were accomplishments or assignments. You see, an assignment from God will be perfect for me because it will suit my identity and my calling. He knows those, often better than I do. So completing that assignment will bring me closer to my purpose on this earth.

If that potential project ends up being a future accomplishment, and not a God assignment, no matter how awesome and good the accomplishment, it doesn’t compare with what happens when you follow an assignment. You may feel accomplished, but the joy isn’t lasting. It may simply become a line on your resume.

Knowing this book was an assignment kept me on task. I knew that God was waiting, and guiding its completion. I knew I wasn’t in it alone. I wanted to be able to complete it as brilliantly as I was able, and hand it to Him as a gift. I wanted to hear “well done.”

I have accomplished many things in my life. As I look back, some of them were not assignments and were in fact distractions that drew me away from the focus of God’s assignments. Fortunately, the assignments don’t go away, just like housework. They are always waiting. And I am glad of that.

I am no longer interested in just accomplishing something in my life. I want to be listening to the voice of God giving me my next assignment. I don’t want to be distracted by looking for something to do to fill the void, and miss the thing that He has assigned, and therefore will see through to the end. I don’t want to lean on myself anymore. it is a lonely place. Partnering with God is the best way to accomplish anything. Yes, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That is not a gift I want to waste on anything except His assignments. I am ready for the next one!