When God uses a human to speak to you, Dr. Willard calls that speaking conjointly.
We must be careful in our use of the word “use”. God does not take a living, breathing, thinking human being and use them like a telephone.
Why is that?
Because a human has options.
One option is to refuse to be “used”; the other is to allow yourself to be “used.”
Why won’t we allow God in? Why do we insist on our own effort when we are called on to speak? Why do we deny our abilities [like Moses] when we can speak with “God power” behind us?
It is frightening.
The word of God may overpower me. Most of us like control. We like to think we are in charge. However untrue that is, we still like to cling to that notion. People bend themselves into all kinds of unhappy shapes just to maintain control. Maybe you have heard the expression “dance like no one is watching.” That expression is for all of us who have a buttoned down exterior that we are presenting to the world. We want to fashion our presentation to others in a certain way and that certain way may not be what God wants. Maybe God wants a more powerful version, a more honest version, a more open and relaxed version of you in this world. If you could work with Him and give Him more of that, He could use you to influence others. Our desire to control ourselves keeps us from being the conduit that God needs to express His word.
Well I have my way of doing things and my way is comfy. Yes, we all settle into habits. I have had the honor of observing many seniors in my life and I see this all the time. People settling into patterns of life and they won’t budge. This past Sunday, a very young member of our church preached a sermon on Youth Sunday. At the beginning of her sermon, she asked us to get up and move to a different pew. Some moved a little, some moved a lot and some did not move at all. Why? That was her point. We need to shake things up in life. We need to examine our patterns of living and try something new from time to time. A habit is just a comfortable repeated pattern. It is easy, it is repetitious, it is calm, but it can also kill your soul. God wants to use you to speak to someone. Let him. That is out of your comfort zone but you need something new in your life.
I see myself a certain way and that way is not as “spokesperson for God.” To me that is the Moses excuse. He was fully capable and God knew it. Paul was fully capable yet he was also not eloquent. Sometimes we don’t feel we have the tools but for God that is no problem. Over and over in the Bible, God takes the ordinary person and uses them for extraordinary things. We get in the way because of our own image or our lack of skill. Maybe God’s view of you is “the view”—the one that counts. It is humbling to think that God would use you to influence another human being or a group of human beings but He can. In my opinion, humility is an excellent quality if it is in place as the servant serves. If humility keeps a person from serving, humility is just another stumbling block in your life that will keep you from achieving your goal in life.
Is that goal to serve God?
I am already a busy person. I can’t take on any more. I can’t do what I once did.
I hear that excuse all the time in church. Parents who have raised their children no longer want to work with children in the church. Teachers who have retired from the classroom feel they are highly allergic to the Bible study teacher role. Seniors who have some physical limitation can’t do anything anymore because one physical limitation keeps them from using their ability in other areas of life. Before you think me too cruel, a person with a hearing deficit can still pray in the Tuesday prayer group. A person who has to use a cane can still make it to Wonderful Wednesday from time to time. A man who is not strong enough to swing a hammer may still be able to drive another senior to the doctor for that appointment.
We all get to the point [if we live long enough] where getting around is truly too hard to do and we are actually limited. I guess what I am saying is that some limitation is acceptable. The man who is blind yet uses his remaining abilities to do God’s work is truly impressive. The man who is blind and never complains that God has taken away his sight is truly impressive. The man who says, “I can’t see” but I can still function in other ways. That man inspires me. He doesn’t focus on what he has lost as much as what he has left.
I recognize that some people are overcommitted and they need to draw a line. I also know that physical limitation is real.
When do statements like “I am already a busy person. I can’t take on any more. I can’t do what I once did” become just excuses that people use for avoiding committing to the new work that God wants us to do?
When do we just fear that God is calling us to do more than we feel comfortable doing, spend more than we want to spend or use skills we have let go dormant.
We just get selfish.
We focus on what we lack instead of what we have.
We deny the power of the Lord to use us as He sees He can.
Is God calling you to do more? Is God calling on you to speak for Him?
Truly you have options: to refuse to be “used”; to allow yourself to be “used.”