by: Gary L. Hutchens
Often, we feel unable to do something that needs to be done. This line of reasoning is 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 the get the job done.
While these statements can hold some validity, we must not use them carelessly as excuses to simply let ourselves off the hook. If we open 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 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 need to make sure that we’re not making excuses because of a hard heart (Heb. 3:7-11). God can bless and accomplish much through our efforts if we will but make a sincere effort. We should 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 more 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 bottom line in pleading with God to just send someone else (4:13). Unwillingness, rather than inability, was the real problem, 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” he was experiencing. The Lord’s answer was, basically, “No!” Specifically, He told Paul, “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 often have greater resources than we realize or want to admit. Many are reluctant to commit their own resources, missing the lesson that God blesses us and promises to continue to bless us according to how we give back to Him from what He has already given to us. With blessing goes responsibility. We are responsible for using, in God’s service and to His glory, the resources with which He blesses us. 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 physical and 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