Observant readers of mine may have noticed that I have seen that my city of residence have been changed, although that would not actually take effect until about one week's time. The fact of the matter is that I am going for theological studies in a solid Reformed seminary over there.
Anyway, here is a short sharing which I have prepared for a dinner with some of my extended family last night. It has undergone major revisions since the script was not fully thought-out at that time. Anyway, here it is.
For they call themselves after the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is his name. "The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass, I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, 'My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.' "You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known. They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, 'Behold, I knew them.'
"For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
In just a couple of days time, I would be flying off to the USA for theological studies. Why have I decided to do that?
Being saved by the grace of God, I desire to know Him more and to live for Him, giving my all (Rom. 12:1) to the one who saved me purely out of His own free choice to do so. As I grow in my walk, I became burdened with the shocking biblical illiteracy even among Christians who are ignorant of basic biblical doctrines, which coupled with an attitude of anti-intellectualism results in failure to function as the salt and light of the world. Instead, we have epitomized the reality of Eph. 4:14 – being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, and in this we glory in our shame, boasting to everyone of our ignorance by claiming to have “no creed but Christ”.
In the past three years, I have felt the calling to serve God full-time. Yet the call of God is not something that is emotion but that is of the Spirit. Through prayer and awaiting God’s timing, I am convinced of God’s guidance into this area and my giftings in this area have also been noted by fellow Christians. It is therefore my desire to learn more about God’s Word so as to be able to teach it properly for the building up of God’s people.
Yet in all this I must take note of the fact that service is ultimately not about me. God is totally sovereign and He does not need anyone to do His will. God does not need me or anyone else for that matter to do His work, for His arm is powerful to do all that He desires (Dan. 4:35). God can make a great nation from Moses without the need for the Israelites if He so chooses to (Ex. 32:10), and He can raise up children of Abraham from inanimate rocks and stones (Mt. 3:9, Lk. 3:8). No matter the need, God is always in control and lacks nothing from us.
We must not therefore think that God needs our services otherwise His plan will fail. Rather, God condescends to use us for His own glory, and it is our privilege to joyfully submit to Him and do His will for us.
God’s will is ultimately for His glory – for His name’s sake (Is. 48:2-11). God’s glory is of supreme importance to Himself, and it is because of His glory that He saves us, just like He promises to saves the rebellious Jews during the time of Isaiah. I must therefore also remember that the goal of all service is that God be supremely glorified, not about how much service I have rendered to God or how many people may benefit from what God may do through me. The prophet Jeremiah has little to show for His labor, yet He glorified God by proclaiming His Word as judgment against Judah for their rejection of God’s authority and His Law. Likewise, all that we do must be centered on God and His glory, not the needs of men, the Church or the World. What matters is faithfulness, not results.
So (1) God does not need me, and (2) God does not treasure what I can do (as if apart from the Lord I can do anything anyway). Yet it is my privilege to follow and offer my life up to this great God and my Savior, knowing that He will use this flawed life for His purpose, and that His purposes will stand. Amen.