He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD….Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well.” (2 Chronicles 19:9,11)
Continuing the story from yesterday – the godly king Jehoshaphat continues to establish the revamped judicial system in Israel. He previously sent out teachers of the word, now he is following it up with upholders of the law. He wants to prevent the people from straying from the Lord’s commands again and for a while it works.
The commentary on this verse in particular is interesting. Some continue the theme of admonishing the judges, but Matthew Henry equates this passage with how the Body of Christ is meant to work. He puts it this way,
Thus there are diversities of gifts and operations, but all from the same Spirit, and for the good of the body. Some best understand the matters of the Lord, others the king’s matters; neither can say to the other, I have no need of thee, for God’s Israel has need of both; and, as everyone has received the gift, so let him minister the same.
God gives generously to all of His children, with all sorts of gifts that benefit the body of Christ. The difficulty for us comes when we start thinking we have nothing to contribute. I’ve heard that often enough from churchgoers wishing they were gifted like others, but never exploring their own gifts. It can be an uneasy proposition, putting yourself out there to ask where we can serve, but if we hold out on using our gifts, the body will be incomplete.
We don’t have to be the head of a committee, a teacher or even a pastor to contribute to God’s Kingdom. If we view our gifts as small and insignificant, that holds us back and the enemy will use that fear. We will hear the whispers that what we are good at is not good enough to serve God. We will hear ourselves saying, “That person over there is great, but I cannot make a difference like that.”
We must realize the reality of how the Body of Christ is designed to work to overcome our fear. Bradley White-Findeisen says it so beautifully:
A musician and an instrument unite to produce sounds which neither would produce without the other. We are living instruments fashioned by the divine Instrument Maker with greater sophistication than any man-made instrument, having our own creativity. Like an instrument maker with his cherished instrument, our Maker longs to blend his ability with ours to produce unique sounds to bless the world.
Don’t ever fear God cannot use you. Don’t ever let fear tell you there is no purpose for you. It might not look or sound like anything anyone has ever experienced before, but God desires to make a melody out of your life and gifts. That melody will glorify Him and draw others into His presence. Don’t deny the Church of your music and don’t stop till you find a place where you can be heard.
Ask the Lord to remove any fear you have of finding and expressing the gifts He has given you.
Heavenly Father – I confess I have let fear tell me I am of no use to You and Your people. I have not sought out how I am gifted by Your Spirit, but I want to know. I want to glorify You in the way You’ve designed and I want to bring others the melody of Your redemption song. Give me the courage to find my place and never let fear stop me from serving You again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.