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Facing Personal Responsibility

(Exodus 4:10-17, 27-31)

Lesson 2 -- second quarter 2009
June 14, 2009

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2009

Introductory questions to chew

What are my justifications for not being available to God for service?

Am I prone to fault God for not doing a good enough job with me?

Is it good enough for me that God is and will be with me?

Would I settle for God's "second best"?

What is my response when I realize yet again that God is with me?

What are you thinking?

What would it take to convince you that God wants you to serve Him in some "special" field of service? What kind of "sign" would you require before you would be a missionary, a teacher or a preacher? Maybe just the right feeling under the right circumstances. Maybe a very pointed verse giving you "the shivers" in a unique sort of way. Maybe the specific call of the church. Maybe a clearer vision of the need that exists. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

I have long wondered, though, why we are so predisposed to think that we even need any further calls from God to do His work on earth! Hasn't He already told us that we are to go (John 20:21; Matthew 18:19,20)? Hasn't He already told us we are His ambassadors here to plead with men in His stead (2 Corinthians 5:18,20)? Has He not already given us the talents to use to increase His holdings (Luke 19:23)?

Then why do we dally and tarry and fall asleep? Perhaps we have to deal with issues of faith, obedience, wealth, vision, mission, and slothfulness. We have grown too comfortable doing little or the so-called "bare minimum" for the King and His kingdom. Where is our zeal?! Where is our fear of God? What about judgment?

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together" (John 4:35,36).

"He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame" (Proverbs 10:5).

"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:30).

Perhaps you would be willing to serve the King in His vineyard once you come to the place of knowing how to do what you need to do. "After all," this line of reasoning goes, "you have to have talent before you can use talent!" My friend, God gives to everyone enough ability to serve. And it is only as you are willing to serve that little bit that your talent will develop to where you can serve a big bit! If you question the validity of that statement, review the parable of the stewards in Matthew 25.

Perhaps you would be willing to go once your own particular weaknesses are overcome. Really? Make sure your heart and motives are right on this one! Remember Moses and Isaiah. Moses said, "I can't talk well or convincingly." God said, "Go, I will be with your mouth; I will add learning to your lips." Moses said, "Send whomever you have to send." And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses. On the other hand, Isaiah said, "I am undone. I am of unclean lips." God had his lips touched; Isaiah's iniquity was taken away. Then God said, "Whom shall I send?" And Isaiah volunteered, "Here am I; send me." See the heart difference here?!

See the faith difference here? What tangible, physical proof did either of these men have that their particular weakness had been overcome? None! But one accepted by faith that God had taken care of the problem...and volunteered to be God's sent one. What about you?

How's your heart?

Perhaps the most obvious enemy of obedience is the rebel heart. This heart has an egotistical purpose for its existence and refuses to be subject to anyone. While this is a problem all those yet in the flesh must contend with, those who walk in the Spirit naturally maintain vigorous vigilance against it.

An enemy of obedience which may snare us unawares is the distracted heart. The distracted heart is very subtle.

The distracted heart allows circumstances and feelings to overwhelm it. It becomes so consumed with its failures, shortcomings and limitations that it refuses to move forward in obedience. Where the rebel heart refuses to submit to God's sovereign authority, the distracted heart refuses to accept His sovereign authority. The rebel heart boldly and proudly announces, "I won't" or "I needn't." The distracted heart pouts or whines, "I can't."

We tend to excuse the distracted heart. Can we not see that it is just as disobedient as the rebel heart? The distracted heart does not take God seriously. The distracted heart doubts God's wisdom, strength and foreknowledge. The distracted heart accuses the Designer and Creator, "Why hast thou made me thus?" (Romans 9:20).

I am quite certain we know how the Judge will deal with the rebel heart. How will He deal with the distracted heart? Matthew 25:30 answers the question quite clearly! My friend, this ought to convince us that God rejects the distracted heart just as much as He rejects the rebel heart. What God wants to put in each of us is a faithful heart. Will you submit to a transplant?

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