A missionary speaker visited our church this weekend, we heard about missions work out in Latin America. My family has always had a love for Peru so hearing how God’s Word is being used (and abused) in these areas was incredibly interesting.
He recalled the moment that the missions organisation accepted him (several years ago now), “I thought, they’ve really lowered the bar to let me in.” “I am not like these super spiritual missionaries that are well educated, pious, biblical giants – I am just… me”
How many of us see ourselves in this way? I couldn’t possibly be used? If only they knew the real me then I would be excluded from that work. And the negative forces flourish…
Are you being called to a work for God but you have set yourself up to fail before you have even begun?
Is the voice of the enemy condemning you to silence?
Are you afraid to fail so you think it better not to even begin?
God lowers the bar to enable us to walk for Him…
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”
This man couldn’t physically walk to Jesus, he knew is own frailty all too well and yet Jesus stoops to do more for this man than he could imagine. He thought that no one would immerse him into the water and therefore couldn’t possibly be healed.
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
He made the impossible possible!
He can do the impossible through any of us. Tell him your predicament, and what you would like him to help you with – just like the man in this account, and yet be prepared for Him to work in ways you can barely imagine.
Don’t let your frailty prevent you from working for the Lord. Take the self doubt, the imaginary accusations in your mind, the expectation of failure to Jesus – let Him be your strength for everything and watch Him do mighty things through you.
The great spiritual challenge is this:
Recognising that God continuously lowers the bar to enable His children to succeed.
God’s standard is perfection but the great paradox is that we can never attain it. Just like the crippled man in John 5, we come humbly and tell him our state. He can already see… Yet, He lavishes us with extraordinary gifts in order to serve Him.
…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words
Romans 8 v 12
Often we don’t have the vision to see what we really need, our expectations of ourselves perpetuate into a cycle of guilt and acquiescence. We resign ourselves to mediocrity because we feel that to expect more is over-ambitious or prideful and yet we should desire to do great things for Him! He is the King and we are adopted into His family.
No matter what the naysayers think, be prepared to joyfully submit to the wonderful ways that He will use you. Sit next to the water and look for any opportunity to be immersed in His goodness.