FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
ROOTED IN HUMILITY
October 5, 2012
If we BE.LI.EV.E, we will do greater works, because faith works wonders. Indeed, through the history of the Church, the disciples of Jesus have done signs and wonders, starting with the apostles (Acts 5:12). God’s people, like Jesus, have healed the sick, expelled demons, and raised the dead. They have been martyred, including crucifixion. They have spread the faith.
Because Jesus has gone to the Father, and he has commissioned his disciples to carry on the work, and he has empowered them by his Spirit, they are able to do wondrous deeds. That goes for us too. We might not work miracles, but we are able to accomplish things beyond our own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual capabilities. It is simply God working through a willing instrument.
Now here is the crucial point. When God uses us, we must acknowledge that we are mere instruments, servants doing nothing more than our duty, helpless humans moving on merely by God’s grace and the power of the Spirit, perhaps even being the obstacles to greater workings by God. What unfortunately happens to others is that they begin to think too highly of themselves. They fall into pride. And pride comes before a fall. We must hear Jesus’ warning to Capernaum: “Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.” (Lk 10:15).
How do we do greater works but remain humbly rooted in reality?
We must know the Almighty God beside whom we are nothing. We must know how all powerful He is, and how pathetically weak and unwise we are. We must hear God asking us the very same questions he asked Job.
* Who is this ….? (Jb 38:2-11)
* Have you ever ….? (Jb 38:12-33)
* Can you ….? (Jb 38:34-41)
* Do you know ….? (Jb 39:1-18)
* Do you give ….? (Jb 39:19-25)
* Is it by your ….? (Jb 39:26-30)
When we are tempted to think we are so great, we ourselves look to God and allow Him to bring us back to reality. God is all-knowing, and our feeble minds are nothing. “Such knowledge is beyond me, for too lofty for me to reach.” (Ps 139:6). We must end up saying, “Behold, I am of little account” (Jb 40:4a).
But then, and this is the amazing thing, we indeed are of little account, but God, who created us in His image and likeness, who calls us to be holy as He is holy, who gives us the privilege of continuing the very work of the Savior, is the One Himself who lifts us high and uses us to do greater works.
While realizing our weakness and nothingness, we also realize that any creation of God aspires to His very own greatness. “I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!” (Ps 139:14a). We are children of God. We are destined for heaven. We are so precious in God’s eyes that His very own Son gave his life for us.
And now God uses us to proclaim salvation in Jesus. He gives us authority and power. Jesus allows us to stand in his very own place. We are his representative. We are his witness. He depends on us to continue his work. “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16). Wow. That is amazing!
God does intend for us to do greater works. We will, if only we never lose our focus on Him, and if we depend solely on Him.
When we do great works and are beginning to feel puffed up, we need to repent. “For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” (Lk 10:13b). When we realize that any mighty deeds we do are solely due to the power of God, of Jesus acting in and through us, when we realize the great privilege given us to do God’s work, then we in fact go down on our knees, acknowledging the awesomeness of the Almighty.
Now though we are nothing compared to God, God does use us, and we must realize that He will always be there for us, till the end of the age. In every situation. Through the ups and downs. Through the tears and laughter. Through the joys and pains. “If I ascent to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.” (Ps 139:8). God is there to guide us. “Even there your hand will guide me” (Ps 139:10a). God will support and sustain us. “Your right hand hold me fast.” (Ps 139:10b).
As God calls us to BE.LI.EV.E and do greater works, we can respond with great confidence, for we are assured our lives are totally in His hands.
* God created us and knows who we are, what we can accomplish for Him, what is best for our lives. “Lord, you have probed me, you know me” (Ps 139:1).
* God knows all our physical movements and mental processes. “You know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.” (Ps 139:2).
* God is there whenever we do mission, anywhere in the world, and will provide us times for rest and recreation. “My travels and my rest you mark” (Ps 139:3a).
* God knows our inherent strengths and weaknesses, and knows how to use us to the greatest advantage. “With all my ways you are familiar.” (Ps 139:3b).
* God will guide our speech as we proclaim Christ, and we are not to worry about what we are to say. “Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all.” (Ps 139:4).
* God will protect us. “Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.” (Ps 139:5).
Let us then be mindful of all these realities, or else we will not be able to accomplish God’s plans for us and for the world. “Who is this that obscures divine plans with words of ignorance?” (Jb 38:2). Let not God’s finger be pointing at us!
Let us remain humble as God uses us to do greater works, or else we suffer the consequences. “But from the wicked the light is withheld, and the arm of pride is shattered.” (Jb 38:15).
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