Summary: This sermon challenged us to move from being a waiting or permission based Christian to an intent based Christian, one who wakes up everyday intending to use your gifts and actively seeking & asking God for Him to bring you opportunities to carry out your intention.
- I used the story of Bryan & Western Sky Media’s near financial crisis (which was no fault of Bryan’s mind you) with his permission. I don’t use stories like that without explicit permission, even if I don’t say so from the pulpit.
- Here’s a link to the book I mentioned – Turn the Ship Around!
- And here’s a video link to Captain David Marquet speaking at Google
- I’d highly recommended you check out the book or at least the talk, it’s a fascinating story I only briefly mentioned
While I can only speak from my personal experience as well as my limited experience in the Church, I do sincerely believe that many Christians are indeed waiting for the ‘right’ opportunity to use their gifts, and if a situation doesn’t appear to which they feel comfortable, the moment passes by. Because of this, I believe the difference that intending to do something verses only waiting to do something is a larger difference that we give it credit for.
Imagine the difference when it comes to using a fire extinguisher. Many of us (hopefully!) have one in our households, and in our kitchen most likely. Many of us buy one hoping we’ll never have to use it, and it remains a passive tool, one that is there but we’ll wait to use until we absolutely have to. Compare this to intending to use something…
I remember one day growing up when my Dad & I were burning the brush pile on our property. Dad gave me the hose with the nozzle ready to go and told me that if any fire crossed the circle around the fire pit to spray it. How do you think I was acting? I certainly didn’t drop the hose & think, ” Well if I need it, it’s there.” Nope, no way. If anything I was overzealous, spraying even the small licks of fire that curled over, even just that were close to, the line. I was intent on using the hose somehow, and looked (and even invented) opportunities to use the hose.
Such as it needs to be with our gifts for people. We need not wait to see if an opportunity arises, but we must ask for, knock on doors for, & seek opportunities to serve, to shine God’s light, & to love others. We need to be ready and wanting to use the hose, ready, wanting, & willing to use our gifts.
Two notes on this though:
- This need not mean that we be loud, forceful, or even talkative in our efforts. Zealousness & energy are not bound together. Even if you’re on the quieter side you can still ask God, look & seek for opportunities, & serve subtly & quietly. Even if your service is to pass along an opportunity to one more suited for the situation, that’s a wonderful thing that shows you were paying attention, seeking & being active in this effort.
- Asking God for something can be a scary thing as when we ask, says the Scripture, He’ll give. While I remarked yesterday that when I do ask I often have a full schedule, I don’t necessarily mean that if you ask for opportunities you’ll have your phone ringing off the hook, Bible studies galore, & people flocking to you to ask about God (but wouldn’t that be great?!?!). I simply mean and do believe that if you ask God for opportunities He’ll present them to you, and it’ll still be up to you how many you engage with, follow up with, and invest time in. I challenge you to make a resolution this week to look for & engage with even just 1 opportunity, and see where it leads you.
It’s been said the only thing God can’t use is your silence or inaction. May we be Christians that aren’t silent about wanting to use our gifts He’s given us, & may we all act on the opportunities before us each to our own ability. God wants nothing more and expects nothing less.
Grace to you.