Hey there beloved sisters and brothers,
I wanted to write this since Monday, but here it is Thursday night at
8:30 and I'm just getting started. I want to look at II Timothy 2:20-21,
and pray that God's Spirit will speak to you as we look at His holy Word.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto
honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every
Have you noticed how often when people minister or pray or teach, the
idea comes forth that, "God wants to use you." Or, "God's going to use
you brother." Or, "Lord, use brother Bob mightily..." Now, I wonder why
this is so universal these days, when the only scripture I found concerning
God using someone was this pair of verses in II Timothy. The context it
is in, is about departing from iniquity (v.19), fleeing from youthful lusts
and following righteousness (v. 22), and avoiding strife (v. 23). Reading
the verses in their context, it is somewhat of a stretch to say being "used"
by God is a biblical concept. I wish to avoid strife (v.23-24), so whoever
believes that the bible teaches that God wants to "use" us, I love you
and let me know where I went wrong, please. Now what I think has happened
is a spirit, some might call it the spirit of religion, has crept in almost
from the beginning with the idea that the more we do for God, the better
we are, and the more he will love us.
If you read Luke 10:38-42, it's that familiar story of two sisters,
Martha and Mary. There were guests who needed to be served and Martha got
stuck doing all the work, while Mary sat at Jesus's feet hanging on His
every word. Martha interrupted to ask Jesus, didn't it bother Him that
Mary left her to do all the work. Instead of setting Mary straight, Jesus
told Martha: "You're worried and troubled about many things, but one thing
is needed-- and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken
away from her."
Let's compare the attitudes of the two sisters toward the Lord: Martha
says, "I love You, Jesus." Mary says, "Jesus! I'm in love with You!" Martha
says, "I want to serve you, Jesus." Mary says, "Jesus! I worship You!"
Martha says, "Use me, Lord!" Mary says, "Touch me Lord!"
Jesus said Mary had chosen the good part, and neither Martha or anyone
else could take it away. When we get caught up in being useful to the Lord,
soon we're so busy being useful, that we spend less and less time with
Him. Our relationships with people begin to reflect that life has descended
from the joyous experience of being in love with Jesus to the performance
of duties. Like Martha we become bothered by the fact that others aren't
doing their fair share. A critical attitude creeps in.
The letter to the church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:4, deals with the
same things. They do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. I
cannot find Jesus telling His disciples He plans to use them. I do not
hear Paul saying He loves being used by God, and you should, too. When
someone derives benefit from their relationship with you and then decides
they want nothing to do with you, how does that make you feel? Have you
ever felt "used"? Not a good feeling, is it? Well, Jesus wants to set you
free today and every day. (I'm so glad, Jesus set me free!). Hear me now:
Nothing you could ever do for God is worth even a fraction to God of your
value to Him. That's right, God loves you and anything He leads you to
do is for your benefit, not His. He doesn't need you to do anything. (Surprised?)
All He wants from you is what Mary gave Him, unashamed love.
I heard it said, "Use objects, Love people." The next time you start
praying for God to use you, think again. God asked me to share this message
Sunday, but I was too...Oh never mind. Better late than never.