Often, we feel either inadequate or without sufficient resources to be able to do something that needs to be done. These lines of reasoning are constantly used by individuals and congregations in relation to serving God. In some cases we say we don’t have time to serve God as we would like. Sometimes we state that we just don’t have the ability to do some good work that needs to be done. In other cases we claim to not have sufficient resources to get the job done. While these statements can hold some validity, we must be on guard to not carelessly use them as excuses to simply let ourselves off the hook. If we open our eyes, both our physical eyes and our eyes of faith, we will often find that we have more time and ability and resources than we first imagined.
What could we accomplish in serving God if we just had more time? Every day has twenty four hours, and everybody experiences those same twenty four hours each day. The problem may be that we simply don’t prioritize our time properly. We let other things get in the way of serving God. Today is the day to serve God, it is the only day of which we can be sure (Ps. 118:24). We must be careful to not flippantly make excuses and harden our hearts (Heb. 3:7-11). God can bless and accomplish much through our efforts if we will but make a sincere effort. We would do well to follow Jesus’ example and “work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day…” (Jn. 9:4).
What could we accomplish in serving God if we had better natural ability? Moses made all kinds of excuses, including not being able to speak well, to get out of serving God by leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage (Ex. 3:7-4:12). When God provided a solution to every supposed challenge and deficiency, Moses finally got to the root of the problem when he pleaded with God to just send someone else (4:13). Unwillingness and maybe fear, rather than inability, were the real problems, and that is usually the case today. “So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses…” (4:14).
The apostle Paul prayed for the removal of some “thorn in the flesh” that he was experiencing. The answer to his prayer was, basically, No! The Lord explained, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:7-9). The Lord can effectively use us, in spite of our supposed inadequacies, if we’ll let Him.
What could we accomplish in serving God if we had greater resources? We may have greater resources than we realize or want to admit. Many are reluctant to commit their own resources, missing the lesson that God gives us our initial blessings and promises to continue to bless us according to how we give back to Him from what He has already given to us (Lk. 6:38). With blessing goes responsibility. We are responsible for using the resources with which God blesses us in His service and to His glory. But God Himself is our greatest resource (Eph. 3:20). He can provide where we lack. We need to remember that the power is ultimately in God, not in our pitiful material resources.
We need to stop making excuses for not serving God as we ought for lack of time, ability or resources. We need to simply start serving Him to the best of our ability with all that we have and all that we are. We need to just serve Him!
Gary L. Hutchens