Wednesday, February 16, 2011

here i am

I ask your forgiveness right from the start.  My thoughts are all jumbled up in my brain today.  Maybe it's the lack of sleep.  Maybe it's all that has been weighing on my heart lately.  Probably a bit of both.

I have often struggled with praying honestly, "Lord, use me.  I am here to serve you as you see fit.  Whatever you want for my life, I want.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Nothing else.  Lord, I want your will."   You see, I am terribly afraid He will do it! 

What if He asks me to uproot my family?  Move across the globe?  Start a time-consuming ministry in an unknown area?  Give up things I hold dear?  Step out of my comfort-zone?  Help a needy person?  Adopt an orphan or two?  What if He just asks me to walk across the room and share the Gospel with a stranger?  Or worse yet, a family member?!

I often feel like God is calling out, asking for volunteers to step up to the front...and I am sitting in the back, sliding down in my chair with my head bowed trying to hide from view. "Please don't pick me....please don't pick me..."  You see, I have an idea of what my future is going to be.  A plan.  The schooling plan.  The vacation plan.  The retirement plan.  So many plans. 

"Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails."  Proverbs 19:21

Why is it so difficult to trust God?  I mean trust completely.  No lip-service, while keeping a tight grip on our own plans.  Trust Him.

"Here I am."   I love that phrase in the Bible.  It has really been jumping out at me lately.  There are numerous examples of men answering God, "Here I am." 

Such as Abraham in Genesis 22.  Abraham obeyed immediately.  No hesitation.  No questioning.  No rationalizing why he shouldn't do it.  Immediate obedience.  The result?  Tremendous blessing. "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore...and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."  He got to experience first-hand, Jehovah Jireh...the God who provides.

Then there's good ole Moses.  His story in Exodus 3 is certainly not his finest hour.  And yet, this is a story I can identify with.  This is my paraphrase of what went down:

God:   "I have seen. I have heard. I have come to rescue them. So, now go." 
Moses:   "Who, me?" 
God:   "I will be with you." 
Moses:   "But, what if no one listens...." 
God:   "Tell them I sent you. They will listen." 
Moses:   "But, what if they don't believe me..." 
God:   "I will perform miracles." 
Moses:   "But, I'm not qualified..." 
God:   "Go. I will help you." 
Moses:   "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." 
Then the God got very frustrated with Moses.

Wow.  As a mom, I want to send Moses to his room until he can obey immediately without whining and arguing!  Seriously!

But, we are all like Moses.  Isn't it easy to come up with excuses why you shouldn't have to do what God has told you to do?  Reasons why it is someone else's calling and not yours?

Abraham or Moses?  Who do you want to be like?  I seem to be more like Moses, but desperately want to be more like Abraham.

When God opens your eyes to something that calls for action, DO SOMETHING!  Be like Samuel and say, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 

But what if He hasn't "called" you?  You don't feel any great "calling" on your life?

Open your Bible.  If you proclaim the name of Jesus...if you are a Christian and want to live a faithful life: Open your Bible.  It doesn't take a scholar to find the "calls":

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does not he who guards your life know it?  Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?"  Proverbs 24:11-12

"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans..."  James 1:27 NLT

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves..."  Proverbs 31:8

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."  Proverbs 3:27

"But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help--how can God's love be in that person?"  I John 3:17 NLT

"Whoever Welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me."  Mark 9:37

Or how about this one:

"Then the King will say to those on the right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me.'

`Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?'
'And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'"

"Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, `Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

"Then they will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'
And he will answer, `I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'"  

Matthew 25:34-45

What are you doing -- or REFUSING to do -- for Jesus?


As the song says, What Now?

What will you do?  Will you pull a 'Moses' and argue with God?  Or will you stand up right now and choose to follow Him?

Tremendous blessings await the Abrahams of today.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8

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