Do What Now?
Here’s the truth …
“God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights” (Psalms 18:32-33).
Ever try to put something together, like pieces of unassembled furniture, and the directions are quite skimpy? You have no idea from the picture presented where each piece is supposed to go and which fasteners are supposed to be used at each point. The screws are so similar to each other that you feel like you need a doctorate in hardware in order to distinguish between them. Is that a round head or a flat head? Does that one have a point on it or is it my imagination? You wish you could ask someone to decipher the complicated pictures and limited text for you, but there is no customer service number to call! You feel like making it up as you go along, but you know that you actually want to be able to use this piece to function properly in your home!
Flash back to the people of the Old Testament who created the Tabernacle. Don’t you shake your head in utter disbelief that they could not only understand those instructions but also be able to do the job well?
God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to
make an Ark of acacia wood—a sacred chest 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. . . . Then make the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—from pure gold. It must be 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. . . . Then make a table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high. . . . Make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. Make the entire lampstand and its decorations of one piece—the base, center stem, lamp cups, buds, and petals. (Exodus 25:10, 17, 23-24, 31 NLT)
Really? I see that and feel like I do when I spend quality time on Pinterest and realize that I have no idea how the contributors pulled off their creations!
Reading through those chapters this week, I quizzically asked God how in the world He could ask for such detail from seemingly ordinary people? He answered only a few chapters later:
I have filled [Bezalel] with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make. (Exodus 31:3-6)
Later still, we can see that God did, indeed, give Bezalel all the strength he needed to create the lampstand, a seemingly impossible feat:
Then Bezalel made the lampstand of pure, hammered gold. He made the entire lampstand and its decorations of one piece—the base, center stem, lamp cups, buds, and petals. The lampstand had six branches going out from the center stem, three on each side. Each of the six branches had three lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals. . . . He also made seven lamps for the lampstand, lamp snuffers, and trays, all of pure gold. The entire lampstand, along with its accessories, was made from 75 pounds of pure gold. (Exodus 37:17-24)
Bezalel would certainly have his own website nowadays, or possibly even his own HGTV show!
If God asks you to do something, He must believe that with the strength He will provide, you will be able to do it. We learn from David in the Bible, “God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights” (Psalms 18:32-33). So, try your hand at things, even if they go way beyond your comfort zone. It must have been terrifying to be told to take the gold that had been offered as a sacrifice and pop out a lampstand with it! I, for one, would have been unable to make such a thing. But I know that God would have placed in my path either people who know or YouTube videos for how to do it. We need the spirit of yes and not no.
Do you know the number of times my leaders and I would ask people to do something very simple for an event and would hear, “Oh, I need to pray about that before I can commit!” Really? Greeting a few people before the start of an event is cause for prayer to see if God would want you to do that? Or baking a few dozen cookies is an unreasonable request? I can only imagine the response I would get if we asked for a lampstand made out of gold and a table made out of acacia wood with gold trim! If God brings someone to you and asks for your help, if it’s a one-time thing, you really should not hesitate. If it’s a ten-year project, well, of course, I can see your need to pray about it first before committing!!
And if you are someone who does the asking, can you please not expect folks to help you with that same thing every time? Maybe they agreed to help because they thought it was going to be a rare occurrence, but you took their willingness to help that one time as a sign of their lifetime commitment. Now, they feel trapped and expected to help with that all the time. They grow resentful that they have found themselves in a box from which they can’t escape. As leaders, we need to be sensitive to that.
So, while we should certainly guard our hearts and protect our time, we should try to be people who willingly put ourselves out there for Jesus and happily use our talents or our wisdom to get things done that He calls us to do, no matter how inconvenient or crazy the idea might originally seem. If God brought you to it, He will give you the strength and wisdom you need to do it!
… and that’s the truth as I know it!