Thursday, July 21, 2011
Today’s Topic: No Call Too Small
Today’s Text: Isaiah 49:6 And now the Lord says, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Before I go into a thought the Lord has given me for today from this verse, I must let those of you who are true students of the Bible know that I understand the context of the first seven verses of Isaiah 49. Jesus the Messiah is being foreseen, and He is the one spoken of. That makes the impact of my application even more powerful.
Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, who is fully and eternally God, was called by the Father to accomplish His will – to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel that had been kept by God. In addition, the Messiah would be a light for the Gentiles – you and me – and bring salvation to the ends of the earth. But before He clarifies the call God confirms the commitment. Was Jesus, the Son of God, in all of His eternal glory, willing to humble Himself and become a man, taking on the form of a servant, if that’s what it took to accomplish God’s glory? Or would He consider that calling too small a thing for someone so qualified?
It’s been almost two years now that the Elders of our church have been searching for someone to fill a staff need at our church. We have been putting money into an escrow account to pay for this position. Over the last several months our search has intensified. But at this point of our church’s growth we can only afford a half-time position. What a challenge! We have been discouraged by the unwillingness of people to serve the Lord in bi-vocational ministry.
We have created a culture in our modern church era that places ministry on the same level as professional employment. Granted, the Bible teaches that the workman is worthy of his hire, but the same Apostle who wrote that first taught by example how to be bi-vocational to ease the burden on the local church so ministry to people could flourish. Time and time again while making contact with potential applicants the same response was given – “I have my degree, I’m a professional, and I have certain pay requirements, and I can’t do part-time.” In some cases the hearts of the applicant were right based on the needs of their family, and I respect that. But there were far too many people that made it clear that our position was too small a thing for them.
I believe that we are in denial about how serious this issue is in our own lives. I don’t think we really want to take the time to reflect on how much the materialistic society in which we live has impacted our willingness to serve Jesus sacrificially. I truly believe that there are things God has called us to do that we have determined are beneath us and don’t meet our needs. We are blinded by the immediate and therefore miss the glory that could be seen. We have climbed to the mountain top of our pride and forgotten that the only view of God’s glory is from the lowest place.
On Monday I met a man who understands this. He knows that there is no call too small. He knows there is no need to put conditions on God’s call. Obedience to God’s call will always be accompanied by God’s provision to accomplish it. We tend to put the provision ahead of the call, and that is not how God works. There’s a reason for that…because that puts us in a position to receive glory to ourselves. If we focus on the provisions as a condition, then when the task is complete we will believe we had some part in making it happen. God has stated clearly that He will not share His glory. (Isaiah 48:11) If we are seeking to provide for ourselves, then God will not honor the work we are about to do, for it is not 100% being done for Him.
What a blessing it has been to meet him and talk to him. Let’s see where God takes this. As for me and you, let’s be ready to consider any place He takes us for any reason, and not consider any call too small.