I want to tell you about a passage of God’s WORD that really nailed me a couple days ago – and that God has been using to encourage me to look into my own life and into the life of our flock. And through this passage God has been helping me be more honest about what I’m seeing in terms of where I’m at and where we’re at as a church when it comes to inviting God to develop in us the character of Jesus Christ.
In EXODUS 35-38 I read a description of the type of people God chose to build the Tabernacle – which was the portable Temple the Israelite's made and carried around the wilderness during the forty years in between when they left the slavery of Egypt and entered the promised land … the land that is now the nation of Israel.
And as I read about the characteristics God was looking for 3,500+ years ago in those who called themselves “His people”, I realized that God is still looking for the same kind of people to partner with Him in what He’s up to in the world today. So read and listen to how this passage describes the CHARACTER and the PERSPECTIVE of the type of people God chose to build the Tabernacle and it’s contents, and the kind of people He’s still looking for to get His work done in the world …
EXODUS 35:30-31 (NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)
30 Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
31 “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all craftsmanship;
God WAS and IS looking for people who are surrendered to Him and filled with the Holy Spirit … and people growing in the three things we’ve heard Solomon call us to in our study of PROVERBS … knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Do you see it?
Because only when these first four things are in place … can the fifth thing happen. And the first four have to do with our HEARTS AND MINDS, and the fifth has to do with our SKILLS AND ABILITIES. Here’s where we need to be for God to use us …
- When we’re surrendered to and filled with the Holy Spirit …
- When we’re increasing in our knowledge of God’s WORD …
- When we’re deepening in our understanding of God’s calling to us …
- When we’re wisely living out the truths of God’s Word that we’ve gained knowledge of and understanding about … and then …
- Then and only then does God finally mention the importance of our skill-set … or more specifically at the end of v. 31 that He needed someone with craftsmanship.
But once we give God our HEARTS AND MINDS, then God can begin using our SKILLS AND ABILITIES for His purposes. And ultimately, that’s what will bring us to a place of joy and contentment.
As I’ve told you before, God is more concerned about our FAITHFULNESS than about our QUALIFICATIONS. And it’s so easy to get this backwards. But the truth about
God’s priorities, and what He’s looking for in the people who follow Him, and who He can use in this life to accomplish His plans, continues to open up in EXODUS 36 …
EXODUS 36:1-2 (NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)
1 Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.”
2 Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.
God has given each of us skills, and when we surrender our hearts to Him and pursue His knowledge … and then when we surrender our minds to Him and pursue His understanding, then we’ll be equipped to live out His wisdom. And in that place of surrender our hearts will be stirred to give all that we are, and all that we do over to God’s purposes, and to the maturing of our life of faith with God.
And I believe that this is the posture, the perspective, and the attitude God wants you and me as His followers to have as we dig into what He has to say to us about moving past slothfulness and redeeming the time we’ve been given here on this earth.
- Let’s be surrendered to and filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
- Let’s increase in our knowledge of God’s WORD.
- Let’s go deeper in our understanding of God’s plans for us.
- Let’s be committed to wisely putting into practice and living out the truths of God’s Word that we’ve gained knowledge of and understanding about … and …
- Let’s give God our skill-set, and invite Him to stir us up to live out His plans in new ways … full of energy, joy, purpose, and vision.