We often look at others and wish we had their gifts and talents. We think about our mistakes and, sometimes even, our family history. And we wonder … can God really use me?
1 Samuel 22 & 23
1 Samuel 22 & 23:
Use what you have!
Have you ever wondered about your spiritual gifts? Or lamented the fact that you don’t have certain talents? Even wondered if you were good at anything?
It’s so easy to look at someone with great musical abilities or teaching gifts or success in the business world and wish that were you.
Perhaps it’s education you believe you lack or experience or opportunity.
Or maybe it’s your past mistakes or your family history or even your race that you believe keeps you from being used by God.
I hope you’ll take some time to read and consider this passage. Look at the men described here … men who would later be called David’s “mighty men.”
“… everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented …” (v. 22.2). These were not the elite or the talented. These were not the princes or the royalty. They were probably not well educated or polished. There were the guys not making it some place else.
Yet … God would make a mighty army out of them. They would one day march into Jerusalem. They would become the king’s men.
But what if they had stayed home and simply bemoaned the fact that they weren’t well bred or well educated or born into different circumstances? Instead, they took a risk. They had to leave something behind and go where God was working.
What do you need to do to be used by God? Is there something you need to leave behind? Do you need to quit grumbling and complaining and get in motion? Where do you see God working?
Maybe you don’t have a degree in theology. Maybe you don’t have a degree at all. But you can go to a Bible study. You can pray and look for someone to disciple you. Perhaps you need to start working on that degree or get some other training. Maybe you can take classes on line. You can read books … or listen to podcasts. There is a wealth of information out there!
Perhaps you don’t have the experience to teach a class right now. But you can volunteer to be an assistant and let that teacher mentor you. Maybe you aren’t the soloist, but you can join the choir. Start where you are. Use what you have available to you. God can do great things with those who will humbly and obediently make themselves available to be used by Him.
I spend a lot of time helping and encouraging men and women who want to be involved in Biblical counseling, for example. There is an abundance of resources and opportunities to get trained today. Many of them are free and doable from home even with kids and jobs and other responsibilities.
Maybe you just want to be better equipped to help or able answer questions when friends ask for advice. There is a wealth of information and training available through the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship … much of it absolutely FREE!
Many Bible teachers offer their sermons and notes online. There are podcasts, audios, and even, video recordings. (I’ve listed a few below.)
Get in motion! God can and will use you, if you’ll be faithful with the opportunities you have (Lk. 19.11-27)! God is a great Rewarder of faithfulness!
It’s not always smooth sailing
Let’s go on with our passage. Notice how David sought God in these verses, and as he did, God blessed and protected him. But also see how his decision in chapter 21 to deceive Ahimelech had far reaching consequences. David recognized that fact and took responsibility for it in 22.22.
But what about the priests? Why did they have to suffer the consequences of David’s actions?
Walking with the Lord, even stepping out in faith to be used by Him in a new way, doesn’t mean their won’t be setbacks or struggles.
God doesn’t guarantee us a life free of pain and suffering, but in 1 Peter 3 we’re told, “… even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed (v. 14) … For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (v. 17). Continue reading