I come to you today, friends, with a very simple message: Enough with your excuses for failing to serve God.
We’re not good enough. We’re not smart enough. We’re not educated enough. We’re not talented enough. We’re not old enough. We’re not young enough. We’re not rich enough. We’re not healthy enough. We’re not strong enough. We’re not free enough. We’re not compassionate enough. We’re not patient enough. We’re not experienced enough.
Our “not enoughs” are enough to send Tigger into a depressive meltdown. Woe to little insignificant me! But our “not enoughs” are not enough to excuse us from serving our all-sufficient God. To the contrary, they qualify us for service.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers; Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25-29
Ever since I became rightly related to Christ, I have served. I started by running a Mom’s Morning Out at our church; as a musician, I then ventured into music ministry; next came children’s church; then came directing children’s choirs; then came teaching Sunday school; then came leading a Vacation Bible School program. In addition, there’s been missions work and nursing home ministry and, of course, this blog.
This is not to boast because, believe me, I have no right. As for wisdom, my stupid choices could fill a public library. As for power, I’m small, somewhat frail and largely unknown. As for nobility, I was born in a slum. But God chose the foolish, the weak, the low and the despised. Yes, I am all that.
I’m in good company too. Noah was an old guy with a drinking problem. Moses’ excess baggage included a speech impediment, a murder rap and an overall anger management issue. David was the least of his studly older brothers. Hosea was married to a prostitute. John the Baptist ate bugs. Peter and John were rednecks.
Do you want to know what the single most important quality of a Christ-follower is? One word: surrendered. A surrendered Christ-follower makes the devil quake in his boots because that lone follower can shake the world for Jesus. Noah did. Moses did. David did. Hosea did. John the Baptist did. Peter and John did. You can too.
Sometimes church leadership will encourage members to undergo spiritual gifts assessments before they venture into ministry. I say, first ask God to give you wisdom (which James 1:5 promises we’ll receive) and then watch Him open the doors.
Walking through those doors often means going outside our comfort zones. You have to be ready for that. Once I volunteered to help with Vacation Bible School music at our new church; the next thing I knew, I was leading the program. I didn’t particularly want to be on stage in front of hundreds of people, but somebody had to do it.
Years ago, a friend of mine was dying of brain cancer. He said something I’ll never forget and have applied to many situations, including this one. He told me that people would often ask in his circumstance, “Why me?” Contrary to the norm, his response was, “Why not me?”
That was the attitude of my youngest – my shy child – when he felt God leading him to go share the gospel before thousands of people at a time on a mission trip. When he told me he felt called to go, my response was, “It has to be from God because you would never do that on your own.” Over nearly two weeks, he shared the gospel with nearly 12,000 people. Suffice it to say he’s no longer shy.
Serving changes us. It grows us. It gives us God-confidence. It encourages and challenges us. And as we’re being changed, so is our little corner of the world.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” – Matthew 25:40
That’s enough for me.