Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 1992
September 13, 1992
© Copyright 1992, Christian Light Publications
You wonder how God can use you? Remember these two things: He knows more about you than you know about yourself and He always puts His grace into the equation. God's ability to use you is not hindered by your self-consciousness nor by your stuttering nor by your timidity nor by your awkwardness nor by any other such "negative" you may suffer from. What does hinder His ability to use you is...
(1) your unwillingness to be used.God does not fret about your natural ineptitude or handicaps. He knows exactly what He will do to either overcome them or take advantage of them. Moses knew he couldn't talk, right? Look what happened to his tongue after he committed it to service! Paul was willing to talk, but alas! God hadn't installed an eloquent tongue in his head. But what great things God did in the lives of the host that heard that stuttering servant! The key to being used of God is unconditional surrender to His service. Just as we do not refuse to serve because of our liabilities, so we do not agree to serve because of our assets. We agree to serve because of His assets.
(2) your own ego and fear for yourself.
(3) your lack of repentance and confession of sin.
Service. How do you prepare? Are you supposed to guess at what you will be doing in the future and then get all sorts of related training? That is the natural way. Most of us would say it is flawed because of the word guess. That is an obvious flaw since a wrong guess could mean useless preparation (somewhat akin to guessing the surprise trip is a fishing expedition--you wear hip boots--when in reality it is a tour of Kennedy Space Center!). However, its major flaw is the focus--your abilities. Training and ability contribute greatly to service, but they do not prepare you for it. Preparation happens in the mind and heart.
"I have yielded myself to Your service...." Have you ever sung that and meant it? Yielding has nothing to do with feeling or desire. It has everything to do with obedience. Yielding is an act of the will. Moses needed it; you need it. You begin with an initial commitment to serve God whenever, wherever, however, for ever. As specific calls reach your heart, they find a pre-conditioned audience.
This may be the stage where you really get in the way. A certain assignment could threaten to your ego. Perhaps the task is "demeaning." Or maybe it is big or challenging enough to leave brilliant success in question ("What if I goof up? How humiliating!"). Most likely it doesn't come equipped with a spotlight...for you. The job could conceivably give someone else the recognition that is "rightfully" yours. Whatever the threat, you fear for yourself. Then you must deny yourself and take up your cross. And how do you do such a thing? When your will crosses the Lord's, choose His. Taking this step daily allows you to discover and experience His limitless, empowering grace.
We still need to look at that third hindrance. Are you tolerating any sin in your life? It does not have to be a so-called "gross sin" to thwart your usefulness. Covetousness, bitterness, offense, materialism, wrong music, lack of forgiveness, and a comparing spirit are just as deadly as immorality, thievery, rebellion, and dishonesty. Ask God to expose all sin in you. Confess it. Utterly abandon it.
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