As Paige has been taking us through the dramatic presentation in the life of Joseph the past several weeks and as we have begun to take on the books of the Kings in our Sustain daily readings, I have become enamored at the absolute integrity of God’s message. We have a tendency to want to be liked. God, on the other hand, is committed to declaring Truth. And He knows that sin must be judged or it will bring judgment.
One of the key components to genuine conversion is the realization of our own sinfulness. If I had never realized this, I would have walked away from the One who was made sin for me. That’s why I think the Old Testament is so important. It’s our schoolmaster to show us that what we call personality quirks or idiosyncrasies may very well be sin.
I've also been noticing--not only in the Old testament, but throughout the whole Bible--the potential expendability of God’s people. Jesus said, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." And as He works, He’ll use anyone willing to say, "Use me, Lord."
The Lord may use you to show the world what faithfulness looks in the midst of severe seasons of spiritual draught. He might say to you, "I want to use you as a model to this community of how a God-honoring man of faith, hope & love dies from cancer, proclaiming the glory of My Son all the way to & through the grave." Maybe God will call one of us to pastor a "mega" church of just seven saints, even after years of preaching? Perhaps His Word will inspire you write songs of His greatness & majesty... that no one wants to sing?
I don't think any of us enjoy all the assignments God gives. But neither do I think--when the New Day dawns & we're standing in His presence--any of us will say, "What a rip-off. I can't believe You put me through all that!" Instead, when we hear the voice of our Good Shepherd say, "Well done, good & faithful, enter into the Joy of your Master," I think we'll all agree: it was worth it!
In His presence there are rewards, blessings, and treasures we can't possibly imagine now. And, like Joseph, we’ll say "Thank You, Lord, for letting me suffer, for not allowing me to see my name in lights, for seeing me to & through hard times. Now it all makes sense. What an honor to be in Your presence forever more. Well done, good & faithful Father. Indeed, You do all things well!"
If our hard times are His handiwork, so be it. He is the Potter, we are the clay. God does not exist to make us comfortable, but loves His kids & makes us His own, after the likeness of His Son. And for that, He may just have a job for you to do today. Are you ready to be used by God?