Underutilized – February 21st, 2019

Why are we sitting still?

We all want to be the star player on the field. We may lack the wherewithal and ability to be in that role, but we desire it even if it only it is deep in our hearts.

Often, we as disciples will sit on the sidelines, waiting for God to reveal to us what He wants us to do, where it is, He wants us to go, and contemplating why it is He hasn’t informed us of His will in our lives.

We feel underutilized, and frankly, just a little neglected.

‘Lord I sense your call to action, but
when are you going to insert me
into the game?’

Underutilized Disciples

I get it. God’s ways are not our ways. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. But you would think if He called me to do something, He would be clearer about just what the next step is!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (CSB)

We all realize that God is the master planner. He has the edge over us when it comes to intelligence. He has the edge over us in every respect.

So, what could be His issue with us? He calls us up to a ministry for a specific purpose and then we find ourselves sitting in place waiting for the next instruction.

‘I’m being obedient Lord!’

but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (CSB)

We wait and we wait, and we wait more, but nothing seems to happen. Then we attempt to question God’s intent. Maybe I should do this. Perhaps He wants me to do that. If I only had this resource, I could really get this mission underway.

‘Lord, your word says…’

And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 (CSB)

‘I need a little direction here.
I need resources.
I need training!’

Disciples

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.

Matthew 4:18-20 (NLT)

You notice what Jesus and these new disciples did here?

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” This was all he said. Not a list of steps. Jesus didn’t load them down with a bunch of equipment for the task of fishing for people. Christ didn’t set them down in the sand to have a course of how to properly angle for humanity.

Jesus only said, “Come, follow me” and they followed.

Something else here that is easy to miss if we aren’t paying attention to this passage, “they left their nets at once and followed him.

They didn’t bring with them all the resources they had gained along the way; they didn’t stock up to go on this adventure with the Messiah. Instead, “they left their nets at once” and immediately follow Jesus.

When we really consider this exchange, it becomes remarkable from several perspectives.

Compare that to our service to our Lord.

How often are we looking at what we have that will enable us to GO and do that which Jesus calls us to do? How many times do we sit by the wayside, perplexed about just why God would summon us to a purpose and then not put us in the game? Just how much time have we wasted because when Jesus said ‘come’, we in our response said, “hold on just a minute and let’s get this thing setup right”?

These disciples chosen by Jesus didn’t qualify the instruction given to them, they did it. They did it immediately. They literally dropped the staple of their lively hood and existence and left it there in the sand and followed Jesus.

The parable of the talents

You remember this don’t you?  The nobleman is headed off to somewhere, and He has three servants. If you need a refresher on this story, go read it again in Luke 19:12-28.

This nobleman invested in each of the servants a portion of resources to manage in his absence.

The servants were not given specific instruction on how to manage these investments. In the eyes of the nobleman, he had given them everything they needed to perform to his expectations.

He comes back and find that two of his servants have performed to expectation. They took what they had been given, did what they knew they could do, and did what their master called them to do.

The third servant was frozen in fear. He considered the displeasure of his master should he fail to return to the nobleman that which he had given. Therefore, instead of doing anything he was locked in the paralysis of fear and doubt.

The irony is that this third servant seemed to think this was okay. He was perfectly happy to tuck the silver away for safekeeping and wait for the master’s return.

Which one are we?

Go

It is a fact that most of us, myself included, are more like that third servant than we are the other two.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)

If we love Jesus, he tells us we will obey Him. If we love Jesus, then we aren’t looking for reasons not to GO. If we love Jesus, we aren’t finding ourselves lying around by the side of the road waiting for him to send our transportation to obedience along to pick us up.

If we are obedient to Him when He says GO we go.  We drop our nets, shed everything that might hold us back and go, follow Him.

Each of us are called to be the Disciples of Jesus Christ. Each of us have a call to action which is within our capability without further instruction, without added resource, without more training for the task we are called to do.

There is an expectation by our noble Lord and Master that we will take what we have been given and produce.

Our reluctance to be obedient to what Jesus calls us to, handicaps us. We are paralyzed with fear that if we blow this the Master will be angry with us and use this fear as a reason for our inaction.

He says go and yet we consider ourselves underutilised and ill equipped for the task that Jesus calls us to perform.

He has equipped us to the extent He has proportioned for us, and that is what He intends us to begin that task with.

Reflect to the parable of the talents. Based on what the servant did with the resource they were provided, the master gave more resources to be managed by the servants that took the action the master expected they should.

We are called to go. So, go. Go with that which we have been provided. Use that which the Master has given us and be obedient to His calling. Don’t be “underutilized”.

In His Grace,
Kip

 

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