Place Yourself Where God Can Use You - 4

1 Samuel 25:23-27

A successful play in football requires that everyone involved be where they are supposed to be and do what they are supposed to do. If the quarterback throws the ball but the receiver is not where he is supposed to be, the play fails. Even if the player had every good intention to be where he is supposed to be, unless he gets there things won’t work out.

As we continue with the story of Abigail, David and Nabal we see Abigail placing herself where she needs to be. What are all the steps that Abigail carries out? How do you think David will respond?.

Abigail’s ministry did not end with preparing the food David wanted. It also did not end when she found David as he was approaching her home. She had to put herself in his path and humble herself before the angry warrior, accepting the responsibility, and pleading with David.

Placing yourself at God’s disposal in ministry means more than simply having the best ideas and the best intentions. It requires that you put yourself completely into that ministry. When you are called into a ministry you must prepare for it, act on it, and carry through with it. This is all part of placing yourself in ministry.

It is not always easy discerning what God wants us to do in ministry. And when we feel we know what God wants, it is not always easy getting the ministry organized. These two steps are necessary for good ministry, but ministry can’t move forward unless we put ourselves in that place where God can use us.

There are times when we must be persistent in our work for the kingdom of God. We must take our ideas and our materials and then work with them. We must keep our feet firmly planted in the ministry, allowing ourselves to remain in that place where God can use us.

DAILY CHALLENGE: Are you in place for ministry?

Place Yourself Where God Can Use You - 3

1 Samuel 25:18-22

This past summer at our community VBS I lost my temper with one of the volunteers. It was an embarrassing time for me. I had committed a terrible sin and had to seek forgiveness. To do that I had to find the person I offended and apologize. It was all resolved in the end, but the offended person did not want to speak with me at first, and I did not look forward to that necessary confrontation.

Today’s passage is a portion of a long story involving David, a man named Nabal and Nabal’s wife, Abigail. David and his men have been protecting the shepherds in a certain region and David sent messengers asking for some food, an expression of gratitude for what they have been doing. But Nabal rejects David, which angers him.

What did Abigail do when she learned of the offense? Where does Abigail find David? What were David and his men doing?

The intelligent wife of the foolish Nabal must correct the mistake her husband has made. Nabal has failed to show proper appreciation for the protection and security his servants and property have received. David is so angry he is planning to attack Nabal and his servants, killing every one of them.

Abigail sets out to avert catastrophe. She has prepared the food that David was looking for earlier, but that is not enough. She must go out and find David, literally placing herself in his way so that good may be done.

We can imagine that she was not looking forward to this task. She was putting herself at considerable risk, standing in the way of an angry warrior and his soldiers. But to accomplish what needed to be done she had to place herself in a position that would guarantee the deed was accomplished.

When we answer God’s call to ministry we may feel reluctant to do the work. The ministry may require some sacrifice on our part. Or it may seem too much. We may hesitate putting ourselves on the line to do the work of God’s kingdom.

But that is what we need to do. When we answer God’s call we must place ourselves into the thick of the situation, putting our own confidence and comfort on the line for God. We are often called not to simply provide for a ministry, but actually be part of it. We should step out in faith and place ourselves where we can be used for God’s good.

DAILY CHALLENGE: Where do you need to place yourself to do ministry?

Place Yourself Where God Can Use You - 2

Jeremiah 1:4-9

A few years ago we were planning to leave on vacation and I asked a church member to conduct the children’s message during the services. She was hesitant and said that she had no idea what to say or do with the children. I went through some resources and found two simple lessons, printed them out, and instructed her on what materials were needed and how to go through the lessons. And the services were fine.

One major obstacle to placing ourselves where God can use us is the belief that we do not have what it takes to do God’s work. We feel inadequate, unqualified and ill-equipped. Such an attitude is even seen in one of the Bible’s great prophets, Jeremiah.

Jeremiah is described as a messenger of God in about the Sixth and Seventh Centuries B.C. He is believed to have been instrumental in urging Judah to obey God in times of great political and military upheaval.

What is God’s first comment to Jeremiah? How does the prophet answer? What does God say and do?

The first thing God says to Jeremiah is a declaration of His incredible power. God knows who Jeremiah is. God made him, created him, and set him apart to be used for the kingdom. Yet Jeremiah has his doubts.

So, again God straightens out this prophet, explaining what he is to do and then giving him some reassurance. God will be with the prophet, and the words Jeremiah will speak will be God’s words.

How can we claim to be unworthy to be in the service of God when it is God who has made us and God who has called us? Do we doubt the ability of God? That is what we are actually doing when we respond to a call with claims that we are not worthy and not able.

Rather than try to wheedle our way out of serving God we must have complete confidence in the mighty works of our Lord. If God has called us, and we answer the call, then it is God doing the work and providing us with what we need. With such confidence how can we shrink away from placing ourselves in God’s path?

DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you learn to trust God in what He has called you to do?

Place Yourself Where God Can Use You -1

1 Samuel 3:8-10

One of the struggles we have at home is our son who is an aspiring guitarist. He is very talented and practices whenever he has an opportunity. But that is where the problem lies. He often closes his door and plays his guitar, and when we want him we must shout his name over and over until he hears us. (Believe it or not Roger wrote this last week and I just had to do this!)

The third chapter of 1 Samuel gives the story of God calling Samuel to be in ministry. If you read 1 Samuel 3:1-7 you will see that Samuel is living in the temple with his mentor and caretaker, Eli, a priest. One night the young Samuel hears his name called, so he goes to Eli assuming the priest has called him.

What did Eli realize? What were his instructions to Samuel? Who appears to Samuel? How does he respond?

So many of us have wanted an experience like Samuel’s. We have wanted to hear the voice of God and to know that it is the Lord who is speaking and calling us. Too often we may feel that God has spoken to us, urged us to do this thing or that, but we wonder if it really was God or just our own imagination, or our own wishful thinking.

To receive the call of God Samuel had to place himself at God’s disposal. He had to prepare himself to hear the call and he had to be ready to respond.

God calls all of us into some service or another. God speaks to each of us at one time or another, offering guidance or leading us into doing some good work for the Kingdom of God. Some of us choose to lock ourselves away from the call of God, hiding ourselves and filling our ears with the noise of our lives so we will not hear God’s call. But some of us are like Samuel at the beginning of the story, confused about the call, uncertain, perhaps misdirected. With the guidance of Eli Samuel was able to place himself where God could reach him and use him.

If we will be God’s children, if we will call ourselves Christians and servants of God, then we must place ourselves where God can call us. We must prepare ourselves to hear God’s voice and answer when we are called. We can do this through frequent prayer, but also through a willingness to surrender ourselves and our abilities to the work of God.

DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you place yourself where God can call you?