Wednesday, October 25, 2006

But What About Moses?

So I'm on this personality kick. Blame it on Jennifer for this post. It's not a bad thing though. It seems like at the same time I was reading Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado, several other posts and thoughts on the topic came my way. Hmmm, could this be something God wants me to think about?

Besides finding the personality studies absolutely fascinating, personally they have made Psalm 139 come alive for me. I've always loved that Psalm, even memorized it in its entirety one year with my Pioneer girls. However, I think I've focused on verses 23-24 a lot: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting, and skipped over verses 14-16:  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

But as I've read and thought about this topic, the biblical example of Moses came to mind. Certainly here was a man who, when tasked by God with the responsibility for leading the Israelites out of Egypt, did not immediately acknowledge his unique personality and abilities as the perfect preparation for such a large undertaking. I think his response was more like, "Excuse me, God, I can't even communicate with my wife. How am I going to talk to Pharoah and millions of my Jewish brothers?"

So I'm just throwing this out there. It's something I've been mulling over in my mind but I'd like your thoughts as well. Does God always call us to do what he's equipped us to do? Where's the balance between our God-given abilities and the places in which we find ourselves absolutely inadequate?


Susanne said...

Personally, I find there is a difference between God-given abilities that we don't yet realize we might have and totally not having the heart or the ability to do a certain job.

For example, I once had a pastor who had been an electrician when he got saved and got called to pastor. It was very much in his heart, but he was deathly afraid of speaking in front of people. While he was still that electician, God brought opportunities into his life to develop that gift, such as teaching college classes, teaching very small group studies, etc. When he finally became that pastor there was times he thought he was going to pass out from fear and one time he couldn't preach his message, his wife had to get up and take his place. But it was in his heart. He had such a strong burden to pastor. And he recognized the different things that was slowly teaching him how to speak in front of people occuring in his life. Now he is an absolutely powerful speaker and pastor. But the point is it was a burden in his heart.

Then there's me, where I wanted a certain "ministry" and I almost totally kicked down doors to make it happen until finally I recognized it really was not my gift. I finally was in that ministry but there was no joy, no peace. It was something I just wished was my gift. I believe when you are operating in what God has called you to do there is a joy that goes with it. Even if it might be something very difficult or scarey to you, there is a joy that comes with it. If you're just doing it because someone thinks you'd be good at it or because there might not be someone else and there is contention and strife and stress I don't believe that is what God has called you to.

Does this make sense?

Jennifer said...

Hmmmm--Yeah, I find all the personality stuff fascinating, too. Sorry to have hooked you.

I'm not sure I have the right angle on your questions. I believe that IF God calls us, He will equip us. I may not be gifted with 2 year olds (I'm not really), but if there is a need to teach 2 year olds at church (there was) and I feel a tug (I did), God will provide in my weakness (He has). However, I'm not sure that God always calls us to use our abilities,at all times anyway, if that's what you are asking. In fact, I think that it's humbling to realize that they aren't really our abilities anyway, they are God's gifts, so we should rely less on self and more on Him.

gail said...

I think I've always thought that God calls us, then equips us, sort of like what Jennifer was saying. When He calls us to do something and we aren't adequate to do it, then we rely on Him to do it and He'll equip us and the glory is all His! It's nothing that we've done on our own then. Does that make sense?
There probably are things we do that go along with our abilities and interests, and maybe balance there is the key like you said.
I think I'm gonna have to get this book & read it eventually! Our pastor has mentioned it on more than one occasion recently so he must be reading it. We talked about it again at church Sunday night and he used the Ps. 139 passage too!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I think often he calls us, unequipped, then when we're obedient and answer the call, we are so needy of him, and he then equips us. Then he gets all the glory. Otherwise we'd likely take it ourselves. We humans are good that way.