by Kevin Burton
The first time I ever heard the phrase “make it happen” was in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ fight song in the 70s.
The 70s-era Cavs are my all-time favorite pro basketball team.
A few years later the staff at the Frontiersman, the newspaper in Wasilla, Alaska where I worked, got a note from the publisher giving thanks to the reporters and others who “make it happen.”
The phrase resonates with me to this day and came to mind Friday when I read a message from Alistair Begg, speaker on the Truth For Life radio ministry.
This message is a very old one but I really needed to hear it today and thought maybe you did too. It comes from Ecclesiastes, my favorite Old Testament book.
The idea of the message is to do the tasks that fall to you daily, “whatever your hands find to do,” and do them with all your might, without delay. I think we all need to hear that once in a while.
Here is what Begg had to say:
“Whatever your hand finds to do refers to works that are possible. There are many things that our heart finds to do that we will never do. It is good for it to be in our heart; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart and talking of them; we must practically carry out ‘whatever your hand finds to do.’”
“One good deed is worth more than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities or for a different kind of work, but just do the things we find to do day by day.”
“We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we will never have any time but now. So do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God.”
“Endeavor now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful about the way in which you perform what you find to do, do it with your might.”
Here is a key element from Begg’s article that I needed to hear:
“Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do tomorrow as if that could repay today’s laziness.”
“No one ever served God by doing things tomorrow. If we honor Christ and are blessed, it is by the things that we do today.”
“Whatever you do for Christ, throw your whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little halfhearted labor, done as a matter of course every now and then; but when you serve Him, do it with heart and soul and strength.”
Here I will add a thought from the mind and heart of the apostle Paul. It’s a thought about the source of the strength we are to use in attempting our daily tasks.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15: 58 NKJV).
“But where is the power of a Christian? It is not in himself,” Begg writes, “for he is perfect weakness. His power lies in the Lord of Hosts. Let us then seek His help; let us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our ‘hand finds to do,’ let us wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do in this way will be well done and will not fail in its effect.”
The phrase “make it happen” carries with it a sense of urgency. May I continue in the vein but never get the idea that I am the one truly making things happen.
Even the mundane tasks of earth that seem to have little or no spiritual meaning, we do in strength given to us by God.
And now of course, I can’t get the Cavaliers fight song out of my head.
“We’ll never surrender, (ain’t no way never sur-ren-der) no matter what the odds (ain’t no way never sur-ren-der…”
Sure wish I knew my Bible verses as well as I know some of these old fight songs.
But there is no need to even consider surrender when you’re “making it happen” in the name and the strength of the Lord.