Tuesday, October 26
What to Do with Equipping
I read a little book yesterday that stated and restated the concept of just doing what you can to help others. Whether our impact is big or little is moot; it's the attempts that seem to make the most impact sometimes.
My life philosophy the past six months or so has been along the same vein. As I've sought to "live a life of no regrets" I've been more faithful to obey the small, inner promptings -- those feelings that in years past proved to haunt me if I didn't follow through on them -- without predetermining what the outcome should be. The truth is, I can't know the outcome, I can only do what I think is right.
Putting words to the principle I've been intentionally living out, the middle of this little book said this: "Perhaps I need to grab hold of the reality that what God has equipped me to do, he has invited me to do." That's where I'm at. The days of trial and error in my own areas of gifting are passed. I've tried many, many, many facets of ministry and I know which ones give me joy, which ones give me pause and which ones give me the the heebie-jeebies. Therefore, I do not continue to force the issue. I know my strengths and I work within them, hoping that they'll just get stronger as I do. This means I've whittled down my list to a very select few areas that I know I am equipped for and because that equipping is already there, I move with those promptings.
This is at odds with an oft quoted modern proverb, "God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called." I don't know where this quote came from, but it single-handedly derailed my service efforts for years. So, nervous was I that I no longer had a "call" and was no longer qualified for service that I made very few attempts to work within my strengths. I did other things, behind the scenes things, took on support roles, joined bandwagons and took very little risk. I daily hoped that not only would he equip me, but he would, once again, call me. It produced many unsatisfactory days...years.
These are two very opposite and yet trust-filled statements. One has you on your feet and one has you on your knees. But...
...waiting on your knees has a place and maybe, even, a time limit. How long do you stay there before you rise up again and go and be? I've been and I've seen friends paralyzed by the continual act of prayer without action. Praying just to double-check direction sometimes turns into second-guessing God rather than trusting and that's yet another hole to throw yourself into while you wait for the slave caravan to pass by. Keep moving. He put you in the position you're in because you are already, in some way, equipped to be there. Moses, Mary the mother of Jesus, David, Simon Peter, others... seemingly ill-equipped were exactly the opposite. Perhaps the equipping was hidden to them. Yet one more reason we need community around us to help define and redefine where we should be -- as they all did.
God could use anyone, but I think he's much, much smarter than that, and he's always more than one step ahead. Trust him and steward well what you already have and know and are.