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“DECIDING HOW TO SERVE” – Feb 18

February 18, 2014

“And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.”  Exodus 26:2

I love the Olympics in both its winter and summer forms.  Since we are in the winter cycle, I am enjoying the smorgasbord of athletic activity in rarely sampled varieties.

Français : Biathlètes femmes aux Mosses pour l...

I was fascinated as I watched the biathlon athletes combine the endurance of cross-country skiing with the precision of shooting.  I want to do the biathlon.  Maybe, I want to try it just because it looks cool to be skiing through the woods with a gun strapped to your back.  However, any biathlon aspirations  are inhibited by an absence of biathlon activity in the area where I live.  We do not have any gun range – ski course combinations.  There are no opportunities.

Aerials - Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships

I am amazed by the slopestyle competition.  These athletes soar off of jumps while spinning and contorting their bodies in the air and then somehow get their skis under them in time to land back on earth.  It is so phenomenal that I find myself muttering, “no way” after each competitor’s run.  However, I become motion sick by just watching them spin.  I completely lack the ability to take on slopestyle.

Bode Miller at the 2010 Winter Olympic downhill.

I watched the men’s downhill race.  Those guys are crazy.  They are moving at over 80 mph on steep, icy slopes.  That does not look like any fun to me.  My knees ache for them when the slow motion shows the jarring and chattering of skis trying to cling to a mountain at those speeds.  I have no desire to do alpine downhill racing.

I do not do any of these Olympic sports because I lack the combination of three distinct factors: opportunity, ability, and desire.

I know that many people struggle with knowing what God wants them to do with their life.  I have struggled with the gnawing feeling that I am wasting my life away.  I have been confused by the absence of opportunity to utilize my gifts and skills in the Lord’s service.  I have felt ashamed for not wanting to head into the mission field.  The reality  I often forget is that God is sovereign over opportunities, abilities, and desires.

God called for the building of His tabernacle.
That was their God- given opportunity.
God put the skill in His people to do the work.
That was their God- given ability.
God stirred up His people to want to serve.
That was their God- given desire to serve.

God allows us to participate in His work.  He draws exactly the individuals together He wants to do a specific work.  He is the one who give us our skills, desires, and opportunities.  We don’t have to worry that we are disappointing Him or wasting our talents.  We can trust Him to use us just has He has ordained.  However, there are so many good ways  we can follow Christ that it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do.  Therefore, I ask myself the following questions when considering where and how to serve the Lord:

Am I walking in the Spirit?  Am I setting my mind on the things of God or the things of man?  I want to be confident that I am not responding out of my flesh.  Therefore, I evaluate where I am spiritually, before I try to discern God’s calling.  I pray to the Lord to help me set my mind on Him.

What do I want to do?  God is sovereign over our desires and loves a cheerful giver.  If we are setting our eyes on the things of the Spirit, loving God with all of our hearts, and loving our neighbors as our selves, then I believe that God will faithfully stir within us the desire for the work that He wants us to do.  I pray that the Lord will stir up within me a desire to follow Him, whole-heartedly, wherever He might lead.

Do I have a particular skill or ability?  I would love to be a worship leader.  However, I don’t play an instrument and sing very flat.  I don’t have the ability to be a worship leader.  It is important to know what you are good at.  Bezalel and Oholiab had God-given skills as craftsmen.  They served God by doing what they were good at.  Everyone is good at something.  If you don’t know what you are good at, then ask someone who will give you an honest answer.  I pray that the Lord will grow the fruit of the Spirit within me and that He will be magnified in the skills and abilities that He has given me.

Is there an opportunity?  After I set my eyes on the Spirit, have an idea of what I am drawn to, know what I am good at, then I assess the opportunities to serve.  Is there a “tabernacle” to be built that I have been called to participate in.  I pray that the Lord will ready me for the opportunities to serve Him that are coming in my future.

When these factors align, it is an easy decision to say “yes”.  We need to expand our understanding of what it means to serve God and chill-out.  God has it all under control.

If being hospitable comes easy and you enjoy it, then be hospitable to the glory of God.
If you are naturally an encourager, then encourage to the glory of God.
If you love to study and can explain things, then teach to the glory of God.
If you love to work with your hands and enjoy building things, then build to the glory of God.
If you love numbers and enjoy when columns reconcile, then account to the glory of God.
If you are drawn to the sick and enjoy helping them get better, then be a doctor or nurse to the glory of God.

I think that you probably get the idea.  We don’t need to worry that we are missing out on any great plans  God has for us.  Just like Bezalel and Oholiab, we all are exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there.  We just need to be ready with a mind and heart that is set upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being in control of all things.  Thank you for giving me abilities and skills.  Thank you for giving  me a desire to serve you.  Thank you for giving me opportunities.  Father, prepare my heart, this day and every day, to follow and serve you where you have me today.  Give me the desire to glorify you in everything that I do.  May you be glorified.  May your will be done.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your plan.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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9 comments

  1. But sometimes you create opportunity. Have you seen Indiana? A slopestyle medalist is from that flat state. Check him out. He sought opportunity.


  2. I love that verse!! Especially the other ones that talk about how the craftsman were trained by the Lord. I believe it is important for us to do what we are passionate about, because that is where we will find His blessing.


  3. Excellent post! Sometimes we struggle too much with trying to figure out God’s will for us in ministry, that we end up doing nothing.


  4. God the Holy Spirit talks to his children just as you talk to your children. In words. Ask him what HE wants, don’t just go by YOUR talents, skills, desires. They can lead you astray, HE won’t.


  5. So spiritual and heartfelt here… I love the simplicity. Your tone is encouraging: “It’s not difficult to find the will of the Lord.” And, boy, am I enjoying the Winter Olympics, my favorite. I would do downhill over just about any other event! So it proves the point that there’s something for everyone. Cheers!


  6. WOW! I so need to read and re-read this. I feel like I am a hopeless loss of effort to God most days. I know exactly what I want to do, have asked God to remove my passion for it if it’s not what He wants for me, but the passion is still there. Yet I lack opportunity. I ask myself why is that? Why do I have ability, desire and lack the final factor that would make all the difference. I know it has to be something I’m doing wrong OR it’s because I have misread the will of God and I continually pray that He work in my life according to His will.


    • talkkindnesstome: I wonder if you are making assumptions about what defines an “opportunity.” When you are passionate about something, you cannot help but work it out in some way every day. Sometimes it is crawl-walk-run, not the other way around. The opportunity sometimes manifests itself in the mere fact that you are alive today!


      • feelingpaint: You’re right. Even if I don’t see it evidenced in the way I expect, it could still mean that what I do to put my passion in action every day is close to what God says is as he planned. Thank you for reminding me of that.


      • It’s the story of His grace 🙂



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