If you were to make a list of all the ways you can serve God, what would be at the absolute bottom of the list?
What would be the service that you are the least likely to do?
What would be the ministry that scares you the most?
I’m going to guess that the reason why is because that action, that decision, whatever it is – is so far out of your comfort zone it’s in another continent.
And, besides. There are other things to try.
There are other ways to serve God.
There are more comfortable ministries.
Why shake things up?
A New Question
Why shake things up? Those may have been the exact thoughts (translated from Hebrew, of course) of Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah as they marched to their meeting with Moses one sunny morning.
What was the meeting for? Their father had died. They were all girls with no brother. His slice of the Promised Land was apparently going to die with him, because women couldn’t own property.
They could have sat quietly in their tents. They could have ignored the niggling thoughts in the back of their minds. They could have trusted the wisdom of the elders or reasoned that God wanted them to stay put.
Instead, they asked a new question.
“Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son?” (verse 4)
How would you have guessed the wise leaders of Israel would react to that question? Sputters? Red faces? Rebukes?
But unlike the traditions of today, the doctrines the Israelites believed in came from their true Leader, God.
And He said, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance” (verse 7).
The true God is not a God of meaningless rigidity and dusty tradition. Don’t be afraid to ask a new question.
A New Leader
There are other more comfortable ministries. I bet Joshua could have named a few. He’d been following in Moses’ shadow, serving the community of Israel in a lower, easier role for years.
And then one morning, everything changed.
Was it a surprise? Or had he felt it coming for a while?
Whatever his feelings, God made it very clear when He told Moses to “take Joshua son of Nun…and lay your hand on him…Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him…At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in” (verses 18-21).
Passing the torch. Can you imagine how wild that was for Joshua? Remember, there were almost two million people in the Israelite community. All of them were to be his responsibility.
What would you have said when Moses called you in to give you the news?
Joshua could have formulated a wild excuse. He could have suggested someone else. He could have avoided Moses. He could have flat-out refused.
Instead, he stepped forward. He obeyed and he trusted.
He let God make him the new leader of Israel.
“I’ll make all things new.”
Maybe we have a generic idea of what it looks like to be a Christian. Go to church every week. Watch Christian movies and listen to Christian music. Start a prayer journal. Buy a highlighter and use it in your Bible. Volunteer at a soup kitchen?
Maybe that’s not where we are right now. And we want to follow God, but all of that just sounds…basic. Dare we say boring? Or maybe that’s exactly where we are, and it’s getting just a little bit old.
But isn’t our God alive? Real? Huge? Powerful? Creative?
So shouldn’t our faith journey also be alive and real and powerful and creative?
Shouldn’t we be growing in our knowledge of God? Shouldn’t we be asking Him new questions, studying new topics, seeing more of Him everyday?
Shouldn’t we be firsthand witnesses of the power of God? Shouldn’t we be facing old fears, reaching out in new ways, telling new people about Jesus?
Shouldn’t every single day be a new blessing? A new opportunity? A new miracle?
Shouldn’t we be constantly seeing God doing new things in our lives and our hearts?
If God is really who He says He is; if He really is the Creator of the universe and the Ruler of every planet; if He really loves us so much He died for us – and if we really have allowed Him to take over our entire lives –
Then yes. God will do a new thing. And another. And another.
What do you think? What does a real relationship with Christ look like? Comment below and share!