There are some things we have to get right if we are ever going to live up to our potential in Jesus. Too often we rob ourselves of the joy of serving with all our heart because we get the foundation of our understanding wrong. The one thing I keep going on about is the fact that our service to our King does not depend on our abilities It does not depend on our desires, likes, wants, fears or our lack of anything. There are only two things that we need to bring to the table: faithfulness and obedience.
When you come to Jesus you come stripped of everything. You come empty handed. You have nothing to offer and what you think you had is taken from you. The whole reason we needed Jesus to die for us is because we had nothing to offer our God. So God did it all. It is no different in our service. God does not need anything we can do for him. What he is looking for is empty vessels that he can pour himself into.
Let's get this right: God does not need your opinion or your ideas. A private does not express his opinions to a general; he obeys what he is told. God loves us as his children, but as servants he is only looking for obedience. This is vital to understand so that when God speaks and gives us direction we are not like Moses, giving our excuses. If God said it don't philosophy over it; just do it.
This is the idea of what Paul was writing to Timothy. He just told him to fan into flame the gift that was given to him when Paul laid hands on him. In other words, God had equipped Timothy with his own power so Timothy could be obedient in the tasks he was given. Timothy did not have the ability but God did through him. So now Paul encourages him to not allow anything to prevent him from being obedient and faithful:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
If you are serving God in your strength and ability, stop it! You are serving God with your limitations and he can't use what you are offering. It will be of no eternal value. He wants us to serve him with his limitlessness.
We have no excuse for hanging back; no excuse for disobedience. We can't say it isn't our personality. We can't say it is out of our comfort zone. We can't say we are afraid of failure. We can't say that we are too timid. If we do then we better wake up to the fact that we are trying to serve him in a manner that does not honour him. We do not have a spirit of timidity but of boldness in Jesus Christ.
By the Spirit we have been given to serve him we are filled with his power. Do you understand that? Not our ability and power but God's infinite power to overcome all things, to do all things, to be all things. We cannot serve him in our limited love but we have been given his love through the Spirit to serve him in the attitude of love. If we do not feel the love and compassion of God for all people, how can we serve him in this world?
By this same Spirit we have been given self-discipline. It means there are no excuses. When we are tired we lean on Jesus and we serve in his energy. When we feel lazy we put that lazy spirit under our feet and serve him in his strength. If we lack self-disciple in anything in our life it is because our life does not belong to Jesus. Are you understanding the point here?
My fear for Christians is that we do not understand this foundation matter. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. We have died to ourselves and our lives are now empty of ourselves and the only reason we have for living is Jesus. He is not interested in our opinions; we is looking for our faithfulness and obedience. It doesn't matter if you think it is a bad idea; if the Spirit told you to do it then do it and let God work it out. I realize this is hard, especially when we are young, middle aged or old. Get the point? It is always hard to remain submitted to Jesus, but we must if we are going to live up to our potential in him. Trust. Obey. Allow the Spirit to work through you. No excuses.