Praise the chisel, part two

Friends, we are a hot mess in this modern era. We’re all ego and selfishness and so many other things that have nothing to do with what we’re called to be. We’re a people who when referred to as being an instrument feel insulted by it. We’re a people who when not properly and abundantly thanked for doing a good deed suddenly feel sour and think poorly of those who didn’t abundantly thank us. We’re a people that can even twist serving others into a self serving activity as we use our good works as a way to advertise our humility and kindness. We’re a people who think we deserve some praise and glory. And I’m talking about Christians here just as much as I’m talking about non-believers. We want them to hold a clap offering in our name for all the times we’ve served in the church, for all the times we’ve dropped a few extra bucks into the offering, for all the times we came early to help set up an event. We know we don’t deserve AS MUCH praise and glory as God, but hey, credit’s due where it’s due, right? And I did play bass guitar six weeks in a row on the worship team. And I did tithe not just 10 percent, but 15 percent for the whole month of April. And I did stay late and help clean up after the kid’s church luncheon. There’s gotta be a little spot in the museum for me, am I right?

There is a place where we’ll get what’s coming to us. That place is not here on this earth. When we die, we meet God, and friends, there are two ways that meeting can go. If you were an obedient and available instrument, you already know how that meeting will go. God’s got some presents for you, the main one being eternal life with Him. If you were unwilling to release your pride, unable to accept that in the grand order of power we are God’s instruments, then that meeting is not gonna go your way. In the end, you will not receive the praise you felt was due to you, you will receive no gifts and no glory. With a heavy heart, God will grant to you the fate that you chose, and it grieves me to think of the fact that right this moment there is likely someone experiencing that most heinous meeting with God.

I am a chisel. I don’t care that this is unglamorous, because my goal in life is not to be glamorous. My goal is to be a tool that is in working order and in the proper place so that when the Master Creator reaches for me, I am ready to be used. In His goodness, I don’t go without good things in my life as a chisel. As I abide with the Creator and allow Him to shape me into a more effective tool, He tends to bless me in incredible ways. But most of all, the more available I am, the more He chooses me when reaching for an instrument. And nothing compares to knowing that I played a tiny role in helping Him create His next masterpiece. He could’ve done it without me, could’ve used some other tool or maybe just His own hands, but He chose me this time. He allowed me to be a part of the work at hand. That is all the glory or honor I’ll ever need in life.

This is a little off the subject, but indulge this paragraph please. God honors those who honor Him. You know, when I was in church this past Sunday, the congregation were singing their hearts out, man. It was during the song I mentioned yesterday, I See Heaven, and with one voice and a united heart we cried out “We give you praise and all of the glory God.” In that moment I was visited with a truth so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. We are His people. When you honor the Lord, He honors you back. When you seek Him, He is found, and when you humble yourself before Him then He lifts you up to unimaginable heights.

People use the word tool as an insult. Today I reclaim it for the glory of God. I am a tool, and I’m proud of it. The Lord referred to Paul as one of His “chosen instruments” in the book of Acts. Wanna hear something that blows my mind? I too, am one of His chosen instruments. That’s not a brag, not even a humble brag, it’s a truth. If God’s ever used you to carry out some work in this world then guess what? Just like Paul, you too are one of His chosen instruments. God chose me. God had a job to do, some work to get done, and He decided that He was going to use a tool for this one. And He looked across the entire earth, scanned the location and heart and abilities and attitudes of 7 billion people, and His eyes settled on me. “There’s the one,” He said. And He leaned down, and He gave me a little nudge towards something, and used me as His instrument to get something done.

Do I really need any praise from mankind after that? Do I need the church to line up and walk by me and shake my hand and tell me what a great guy I am? Do I need every human being I ever do something nice for to fall on the floor in front of me and sing about my goodness? Do I need the city to hold a parade in my honor? No, I don’t. I don’t need any of that. Knowing my place in the order of business shows me what I need. I just need to be present and willing to be used. The Creator has big plans, and we all know that He creates breathtaking masterpieces. What an incredible joy and honor that sometimes along the way He uses us as His tools and instruments.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, help our brains.  Help our thoughts, our twisted up sense of humility and our desperate need for praise.  Free us from this weird prison that we’ve built where if we’re not being acknowledged and praised then we feel unworthy and unloved.  I read your word and I see that you and your disciples were workers.  You were on the move, you were walking and talking and teaching and praying and then walking some more.  I think we need the hearts of workers, Lord.  We’re so sheltered and so dang comfortable, we’ve forgotten what it means to be a tool.  So I pray a hard prayer today.  I pray it on behalf of myself and those I know who love and follow you.  Peel away some of our comfort, God.  Remind us what it means to be an instrument, remind us that we need to get a little dirt under our fingernails and some miles on our shoes.  Push us, pull us, drag us, whatever it takes, I ask for it today God.  And that’s a scary ask, because you know I’m guilty of this.  I’m a very comfortable man.  Wreck it, God.  Kick down the door and drag me out into the street and set me to work for your glory.  Inspire us to rise up in this age and to make waves for you.  Remind us that waves aren’t caused by well wishes on Facebook and uplifting text messages.  You make waves by taking action, by jumping into the water.  I just feel it deep down that it’s the time.  You’ve been saying that to me lately, and I tell you right now that I hear you, my King.  It’s time.  It’s time to put it all aside and dedicate ourselves wholly and completely to you.  It’s time.  I say yes to the time, Lord, I ask that you bring me all the way in line with what that means for my life.  I ask that you reveal to others what it means to them.  And I thank you for your love, for your guidance, and for your presence in my life.  You’re worth it all, God.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Well, I love you guys.  I’m really looking forward to closing out this series on Thursday as I feel like God saved the best for last when showing me what it means to be His instrument.  I hope the week is treating you all well.  Try to get to a church tomorrow night.  God’s really moving on Wednesday nights at my church to deliver some deep knowledge and training.  It’s become can’t miss stuff for me and I encourage you to get somewhere on Wednesdays where God’s moving and experience that great mid-week uplifting.

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