There's a too-sad standard of service in today's Christian life, and it's this: "whoever is willing."
Churches post notices all the time - whoever is willing to help _____, it really needs to be done. Or we need volunteers to _______.
It's not very often that we stop to ask whether the willing are the most able or whether they are the most gifted or whether they were even called to do that sort of work. In our packed-busy, no-second-to-spare, self-oriented society, it's hard enough to find the willing; we can't trouble ourselves with any of these other questions. If we did, we're certain nothing would ever get done.
So the "willing" keep showing up and keep doing and keep giving, and then, we've got two problems: we've got a lot of stuff that's being done by persons who aren't being blessed by doing it, so they're burning out quickly, and we've got a lot of persons who don't know what earthly good their heavenly hearts are.
I know what you're thinking: Aidan, the light bulb in the sanctuary just needs changed. God doesn't have to call someone to do that.
There are persons among us who get tremendous value out of working with their hands. There are persons among us who are good at tasks exactly like this. There are persons in your congregation right now who noticed that burned-out light bulb three weeks ago and it's literally been on their heart ever since that they should step up and change it, but they aren't sure who to ask for permission or how to go about it. And then, you send out a message that says, "Hey, if anybody has a few minutes, this light bulb really needs changed," and now, you've got seven persons stepping up who have changed light bulbs at their own house for years and think it probably can't be that hard, so they do it because it needs done, but meanwhile, Joe over here has had it in his heart for weeks. The light bulb gets changed, someone starts grumbling in their heart because they're five minutes late to Wendy's and the line is ridiculous now, and Joe is discouraged because he thought he finally had something he could do for the Kingdom of God, but he missed out on this one, too.
When God gave Moses the design for the Tabernacle, He also told Moses exactly who in the camp He was gifting to do the work. Now, there were plenty of Israelites who knew how to weave, plenty who knew how to work with metals, plenty who could follow a blueprint. They had all been slaves in Egypt; they had certain skills. But there was no call out for "whoever is willing."
No, God had a specific person in mind.
He still does.
Yes, even to change a light bulb.
So the message of today is two-fold: first, we ought to be looking around us for the person God has called to the work that needs done. And second, we ought to be looking inside us for the work God has called us to do.
Because when God has a work to do, He equips, blesses, and calls the worker to do it.
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