If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 (NIV)
It has been my experience that God helps me to mature spiritually by calling me to specific tasks. These tasks require me to behave with love towards others. He asks me to act like a believer. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13; 2 Timothy 2:22-26.
This can be a multi-fold lesson. 1) God is calling me to obedience. If I am obedient in the small tasks, which He uses to teach me, then I am better prepared for His larger tasks. 2) My obedience could be a small part, of a larger picture, that has meaning to someone else. I am not aware of them and their needs and they are not aware of me and my actions. 3) He could also be revealing Himself to me, which encourages me to grow and continue seeking His will in my life.
In hindsight (always 20/20) I can pick out some of these tasks. I see myself as an instrument that God is using for his purposes. You may know the song based on the Prayer of St. Francis; Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. I count it a special blessing when God allows me to glimpse His workings through my obedience.
At the time in my personal prayers when I was asking for strength and diligence in becoming a prayer warrior, I felt compelled to pray when I heard emergency sirens. The prompting was subtle but strong enough that when I would hear a siren I would pray something like, “Lord be with those involved in this emergency. Let everyone be okay, but if not, prepare their hearts for the journey ahead.” I believed this to be a part of my own growth and development.
I was a member of the PTA when my son was in elementary school. I led Teacher Appreciation but often volunteered to help with the annual book sale. The woman in charge of the book sale and I knew each other only through the PTA and this event. The second year of our service together her youngest son needed a kidney transplant. The situation was dire and in our PTA meetings, we always lifted her and her family up in prayer. When a kidney became available they rushed to a larger city where he received a successful transplant.
Months into his recovery she and I were working on the book sale. She shared with me. “It’s funny the things you see and think at odd moments. On the day we were rushing my son to the hospital for his transplant I was in the ambulance with him. As we were coming onto the highway, I looked over and saw your van and thought, ‘There’s Sally’. Why that stuck out in my mind, at that time, I’m not sure.”
The LORD flooded my heart at her words. I followed His request and was there to pray for another of His saints at a time of particular need. What was the fruit of my obedience? Did my praying for an ambulance, not knowing who was inside, make any difference? I don’t know. What I do know is that I felt God’s blessing that I had been obedient to his prompting. Did it further my spiritual growth? Yes! Did it influence her situation? Only God knows.
In your journey allow yourself to be God’s instrument. Be prepared for every good work.
Share a blessing you’ve experienced when given a glimpse of how God is using you.