Wednesday, November 6, 2019

No More Excuses!

“I have something I want you to do for me,” God said.
Sarah: “Me? I’m too old!” (Genesis 18:12-13)
Moses: “I’m not qualified.” (Exodus 4:10)
Gideon: “Not me. I’m nobody.” (Judges 6: 15)
Esther: “I am afraid.” (Esther 4:11)
Jeremiah: “I am too young!” (Jeremiah 1:6)
Jonah: “I don’t want to.” (Jonah 1:1)
John: “I’m not good enough.” (Matthew 3:11)
Philip: “I can’t afford to!” (John 6:5-7)
Peter: “I’ve never done that before.” (Acts 10:14)

Do these excuses sound familiar? Each one is the initial response of an individual whom God called to serve. How very much like us these men and women were. And yet, God used them to accomplish His purposes.

How were these reluctant and unqualified servants able to fulfill God’s call? Judges 6 holds three keys to setting aside fears and failures to do what God asks: “Go, in the strength you have…I will be with you.” (vs. 14-16)

Key 1: Take the initial step of faith. God simply said, “Go, Gideon.” “Go, Esther.” “Go, Moses.”

Key 2: Use the strengths you have. God starts with what we have. Look at these examples:
With a handful of flour and a bit of olive oil, the widow of Zarephath prepared food for her, her son and Elijah for many days. (1 Kings 17: 10-16)
Esther had only her beauty to offer, yet through her God delivered his people from their enemies. (Esther 9:22)
The disciples found only one little boy with a small lunch but were able to feed 5,000 men, not counting the women and children. (John 6:11)

Key 3: Remember, God is with us. With God, we can do whatever is asked of us. We can say with the assurance of Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
While what God asks may seem impossible under our own power and strength, Matthew 19:26 tells us “With God all things are possible.” When we say “Yes!” in response to God’s call, we never act alone. God is ever-present.

Sometimes, like us, even the faith giants of old needed reminded of this truth:
God says to Joshua, “I will always be with you; I will never abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5b)
Jesus encourages the disciples, “Be sure of this: I am with you always." (Matt. 28:20)
God assures Paul, "Do not be afraid and do not give up for I am with you.” (Acts 18:9-10)

God calls ordinary people like us—people aware of their weaknesses, shortcomings, and failures—to do the extraordinary through His power at work in us. There is no excuse we can come up with that God hasn’t already heard. So, when God calls, may we be like Mary and say, “Yes, Lord. I am Your servant. May it happen as You have said.” (Luke 1:38)

Be encouraged!

©2019 Pamela D. Williams