Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Case of "Inadequate"

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." ISAIAH 41:10

Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to offer. That I'm inadequate somehow. I am constantly surprised that God chooses to use me in service to Him. I'm willing to guess that most of us suffer from a case of "inadequate". Unfortunately it's easy to use that as an excuse to not do what we feel led to do or we allow it to render us ineffective in our service.

John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the sermon "Do Not Eat the Bread of Anxious Toil" he tells a story about walking to class feeling anxious and him deciding to believe that the success or failure of the class lies ultimately on God, not him. He says, "I can't carry the weight of whether this class likes me today, Lord. I can't carry the weight of whether they may ask me questions beyond my ability, Lord. I can't carry the weight of opening their hearts to believe the doctrine of your sovereignty, Lord. These weights are too heavy! They are yours! And I have found that God is not only willing but eager to take the burden of final responsibility for whether the house gets built and the city is saved. And for me that is a great reason not to be anxious in my labor."

This was very powerful to me. As you probably know by now I am a "recovering control freak" and John Piper's example is encouragement to surrender and trust the Lord. God's got it! He can handle it! He will give me strength. He will help me.

It is so easy for me to think that if I were just good enough, prepared enough, and knew all the answers, that those things would make me capable and adequate to do whatever it is I'm trying to do. No wonder I worry! To surrender the "responsibility" of the success or failure of something to God and allowing Him to "do the work" through me is a huge relief. Especially since He is supposed to be the center of everything I do.

"If the Lord doesn't build a house, the work of its builders is useless.
If the Lord doesn't watch over a city, it's useless for those on guard duty to stand watch over it.
It's useless for you to work from early morning until late at night just to get food to eat.
God provides for those he loves even while they sleep."

PSALM 127:1-2

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