Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who's playing you?

 8-9"Don't think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment...  12-13Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.
(Mark 6:8-9; 12-13)

The disciples are being sent out in pairs to begin to reach out to those in need.  Their goal is to preach that the Kingdom of God is at hand and to heal the sick - setting the captive free.  Before they go, Jesus takes a moment to give them their "marching orders".  The first thing he focuses on is the human tendency to tell God we don't have what we need to accomplish what it is that he is asking us to do.  Jesus tells them not to be concerned about the "equipment" to perform the tasks ahead - letting them know in no uncertain terms that THEY are the equipment God needs and plans to use.

This is an important message for us to receive - WE are the equipment God intends to use.  It is not the fancy church buildings, the elaborately designed outreaches to the community, or the mega-bucks sound system.  It is HUMAN BEINGS that God uses as instruments to touch other HUMAN BEINGS.  God knows our tendency to make excuses for what we view as a "lack" of ability on our parts - citing reason after reason for us not being able to reach out with the message of hope to those in need.

God has no other plan.  We are his only plan.  If we don't step up to the plan, the message is not going out as he intended - each of us with our unique ability to touch our own unique peer group.  You know what it sound like when an orchestra of instruments like the oboe, violin, cymbals, french horns, flutes, etc., all play in unison.  It is a thing of beauty - the unity of sound (each unique in its own way) bring forth a beautiful result.  That is what God has in mind for us - each "playing his/her own part".

Look at their response to Jesus.  They went as he commanded.  No arguments.  They did what he commanded.  Amazingly, his Spirit was right there, backing up everything they were doing.  The simple fact of truth here is that we step out in obedience, God is right alongside to back up each one of us.  We never stand alone - never need to worry about the message we preach.  

Look at their attitude.  They preached with joyful urgency.  Why?  Simply because they knew they had a message of hope.  They had experienced first-hand that God's presence in their lives made life radically different.  That is what we have the ability to share - the radical life change of a life touched by the grace of God.  There ought to be an urgency burning within each of us to share what it is that God has done in us.  The grace of God is best embraced when its results can be demonstrated!

Look at the results of their obedience.  The Spirit of God intervened.  The communities they touched were changed for the glory of God.  Lives were impacted with the grace of God - healing and transforming lives.  There is always an impact when God's kids step out in obedience.  It is impossible for things to remain the same.  Lives will be changed.

YOU are his instrument.  There are a lot of saxophones in this world, but each of them sounds so much better when someone like Kenny G takes hold of it and begins to bring forth music from it!  Each of us begins to realize our true calling when we yield to the skilled direction of our Lord and Master.