7/11/17

all things are your servants



He stood stammering for an excuse, any excuse, to get him out of his current situation. The belief that he was the most inadequate man for the job was ringing loud in his heart, and what's worse is this belief wasn't unfounded. He had screwed things up and he knew walking through the doors of the place he once left would mean returning to his past, all of his “I should haves” and “I shouldn't haves.” He was a hypocrite at best, a coward at worst. How could he return?

Have you ever felt this sort of hopelessness? Have you ever believed that you couldn't be the one to speak truth, bring justice, preach the Gospel because you knew just how deceptive, wrong, and merciless you are?

Or maybe you were aware of the hardness in the hearts you were going to. The people, the situation you were being called into---hadn't everyone else given up on it? Hadn't others tried? Wasn’t that place far too difficult? Those people far too lost? 

She was staring into his eyes and quickly prayed, “Lord, please save him.” He who she had been married to for fifteen years. He who saw his wife leave her once firmly fixed belief in Hinduism for this “Christianity nonsense.” He who refused to listen to her. He who refused to join her at church. He who for five years she had prayed for. Would he ever come to know you, she prayed. Would his heart ever soften? 

The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases. -proverbs 21:1

What if we lived like we believed that God is in control? That the word of the Lord truly directs the path of the hurricane and the king’s heart. Psalm 119 says, “your word, o Lord, is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations. You have established the earth and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day for all things are your servants.”

I want to sing for joy as I read this verse! In a world where you cannot control anything, we serve a God who commands the tossing and turning of the waves, along with the tossing and turning of man’s heart. 

What person is the Lord calling you to love who seems unlovable? What place is the Lord calling you to live which feels unlivable? What position is the Lord calling you to take which feels unattainable? 

The Bible is full of broken, inadequate people called to do the impossible. A murderer with a speech impediment called to be a spokesperson for the oppressed. An elderly couple with no children called to be the father of many. A terrorist and Pharisee called to be a missionary of grace. A greedy, friendless tax collector called to the table. A scandalous woman called to anoint our holy God for burial. 

It's easy to look at the road set before us and think there is no way---no way we can walk on it, finish it, remain on it. 

The unsettling truth is that we can't. We can't keep in step with the spirit. We can't obey the word of the Lord. We can't be a spokesperson for the oppressed, a parent in old age, a missionary, a friend of Jesus, we can't anoint our Lord. We are far too selfish, far too sinful, far too weak. 

The outrageous truth is that the Lord is with us, behind and beside and before, and he will make the impossible possible, the unnatural happen, the weak strong. 

Throughout scripture we see the Lord at work. We see victories come by his hand and missions accomplished because of his doing. 

His word says Pharaoh's heart was hardened by the Lord. It says that Ezra succeeds because his God is with him. We see Esther chosen by his favor and plan. We see Ruth brought in to the family of Christ by his mercy. 

“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” -proverbs 16:9-

We can walk confidently into the path set before us, no matter how hopeless it looks, because we know by him the impossible becomes possible.

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