Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Time To Get Our Hands Dirty

If God needed a prophet in Iraq would you go? If he needed a martyr in China would you do it? If he needed a preacher in Nigeria would you volunteer? A lot of people would throw up their hands to volunteer without hesitation whereas others would take time to consider the cost. But what if Jesus simply asked you to represent him in your school or work place? What if he simply wanted to use you as his agent right where you are? Would you be willing to face the consequences, to carry the cost no matter the price?

To be sold out for Jesus is more than just being willing to enter into a relationship with him. To get on board with Jesus is to also get on board with his mission. Too many of us miss that point. Jesus wants much more than worshipers; he wants disciples. He wants people who will do what he did, obey what he has commanded, who are willing to do more than just live a moral life and are willing to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We do not get to choose when and how we will be used. Our responsibility is simply to be available and obedient. There may be hardships involved but our perspective is such that nothing we go through here is comparable to what has been prepared for us. Our reward is not here. The blessings we receive are for the purpose of the work. We are not here for a long time or a good time but for serving time. That is not to say it is joyless because serving the Lord has a joy that goes beyond any pleasure on this earth. That joy is to sustain, strengthen and encourage us: "The joy of the Lord is my strength".

Jesus will use us exactly where we are but sometimes he has to arrange to get us to certain places because he needs someone there. It may mean he has to remove things from us or add to us. He may need to have one job end so another can begin. Sometimes it may be as extreme as what Paul experienced:

"This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal." (2 Timothy 2:8-9)

Unfortunately too many of us put the emphasis on how circumstances affect us instead of seeing what God is doing. There is a very self-centered gospel being preached these days and people are eagerly eating it up so that when they begin suffering for the gospel the become very confused and start acting like a victim. We are not victims in this place but through Jesus we are victorious. No matter what we face and what we experience we are not victims but ministers of the gospel. Paul knew that even in his circumstances of being "chained" God's Word was not:

"But God's word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect." (vv. 9-10)

I don't know what else to do to help people other than come against the false self-centered gospel that puts our comfort above the salvation of this world. We have to realize that as warriors of the Kingdom we have a responsibility to join in this battle for the lost. Our comfort here is of no importance and we must be willing and available for whatever the King calls upon us to do, no matter where he places us.

No matter our circumstances, nothing can "chain" the Word of God. Nothing can prevent the Spirit from convicting the hearts of the lost. Nothing can stop Jesus from using whoever he wants, for whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Are you willing to be used? Are you available? Enough of this false gospel. It's time to get our hands dirty according to the will and direction of our God. It's time to set aside the distractions and start concentrating on the commands of the King.

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