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Issue #2453 August 28, 2010
NOT OUR ABILITY – BUT HIS
"It is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to what he doesn't have" (II Corinthians 8:12).
When Moses was chosen and called by God to deliver His people out of Egyptian bondage, he was overwhelmed. Moses focused on what he didn't have. He looked as his inability. He was a man of excuses.
Let's listen in on the conversation (Exodus 4:1-5):
God: "What's in your hand?"
Moses: "A rod."
God: "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a serpent. Moses ran away.
God: "Reach out and pick it up by its tail."
Moses did what God said and it became a rod in his hand again.
God would use this as a sign that He had appeared to Moses.
God's call of Moses was not about Moses, it was about God. It was about God's ability and purposes. It was about what God would do with what Moses had, not what he didn't have.
We must always remember that God can use anything to do His work and bring Him glory. Thus, Paul could write:
"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to what he doesn't have" (II Corinthians 8:12).
Do not be discouraged about you shortcomings, and your inabilities, your failures, your inadequacies, your lack of talents, and your weaknesses. God is the Master of them all.
"For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Corinthians 1:26-29).
Look at the things that God specializes in using.
God has chosen to use "foolish things," "weak things," base things," "things which are despised," and even the "things which are not."
Can you identify with any of these? Do you sometimes feel stupid, or meager, or low class, or without value? No problem. These are the very things God has predetermined to use in carrying out His work.
Look carefully at the passage and you will see that He even specializes in the use of nothing – "and the things which are not." Do you ever feel worthless, even to the point that you feel like nothing? Then you qualify for the use of God!
By way of illustration: everyday as God asks of you, "What is in your hand?" (so to speak)… Open up your hand and let Him have his way with you and what you have. Rest in who God has made you! Rest in the place where God has you at this time in your life. Rest in His resources. Rest in His ability. Rest in His faithfulness.
You may not have any confidence in yourself. That's ok. It is all about Him. Have full confidence in Him.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
Here Paul clearly answers his own question of dilemma from some years earlier. As we have already seen he wrote to the Romans, "…for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18). But now how clearly he writes the answer to the Philippians, "… that He Who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
What you cannot "perform" in and of yourself, God "will perform." You are His work. He started you. He will finish you.
Therefore, we can rest in Paul's wonderful words:
"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he doesn't have" (II Corinthians 8:12).
God is placing His in-working "will" in you, to use you… as you are, where you are, with what you have… and all for His glory alone.
"That no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Corinthians 1:26-29).
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
© Bible Student's Notebook
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