Friday, February 7, 2014

Have You Wandered What Training You Need To Serve Jesus?

It appears to me at times that we fail to rise up on the occasion of Jesus' calling because we believe we have to be equipped to respond. I admire anyone who wants to better themselves, who wish to gain greater knowledge, who explore beyond their tiny sphere but it is not a prerequisite for answering the call. We really need to somehow get it through our thick heads that our Lord needs nothing from us but our obedience.

Do we really believe that we have anything to offer our God, the Creator of all things, the governor of all things, the one who holds all of creation in the palm of his hand? Do we really believe he lacks something that we have? Have we read the Scriptures? Do we not know who he is? He does not need our riches, influence, talents, possessions or anything else, and if he doesn't need them then we don't need to have them to respond to his call. Consider Gideon again for just a moment. What were the words of the angel?

Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you? (Judges 6:14)

He didn't send Gideon to military school. He did not have him go and train. In fact, the army that rallied around Gideon Yahweh reduced to a tiny fraction. He told him to go in the strength that he had. Do you not think he was making a point here? Not by sword or shield, not by intellect or muscle, but by the strength of the Lord. Now consider David as a youth.

We all know the story: the mighty warrior Goliath was taunting the army of the LORD and David responded. King Saul was not really sure what to think of the matter but the fact he was willing to allow an untrained youth to go against a seasoned warrior tells you of his desperation. Now give some credit to the king, he lent David his armour and weapons, probably the best in all of Israel. The thing is, even the best instrument in the hands of an untrained user is useless.

I am a musician and have trained for decades. If I handed you a trombone you could make some noise with it but no one would call it music. Maybe you are a trained dancer but if you gave me the floor and told me to dance I would not have the ability. I could move and keep the rhythm because I am a musician but most people would not consider it dancing. So consider David's response:

So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. (1 Samuel 17:38-39)

David was willing to do what he was prompted to do by the LORD but he was not going to pretend to be something he wasn't. He was a shepherd and he was going to use the tools that were familiar to him:

Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. (v. 40)

After the defeat of this seasoned warrior David gained skills but here he offered up the only thing the LORD was looking for, an obedient heart. Even after gaining skills to be a better warrior Yahweh still only required an obedient heart from him.

This obedient heart is all you need to serve the LORD. When he has called you he will equip you. All he asks you to do right now is to go in the strength that you have. When he prompts you to action don't make the excuses of Moses but instead say, "Here I am Lord, send me". An obedient willingness is all he requires.

Remember this, that as the Spirit provokes you to action, bend your heart to his will, be strong and courageous, vanquish fear and discouragement, and know that the LORD is with you. He is your sword and shield. He is the words that you find in your mouth. He is the healing that flows from your hands. He is the courage and boldness that fills your heart. He is the wisdom that guides your feet. He is the compassion and mercy that is shown in your actions. He is all, everything that we need. And he has told us to go in the strength that we have, in the Spirit; so let's go.

No comments: