I don’t want to write. There I said it.
The other day I was reading through some of my journals from the past 4 years (during which time I have been making a living as a youth pastor) and I noticed there was one, singular plea over and over again: God use me. Almost every page or prayer contained those 3 words.
I’m done being used. There I said it.
My buddy, Jake (everyone needs a friend like Jake) comes to my office every week and prays with and for me. It has become the most important hour of my workweek. I guard it like I hope to guard my daughter’s virginity throughout middle school…and high school…and college…and early adulthood…well, if I have my way, her whole life. She would make the most beautiful nun. She really would. I’m getting off topic…
This past week I was sharing some of my frustrations with Jake and as he began to pray he kept referring to this image of an invalid who gets so comfortable maneuvering around in his wheelchair that he confidently stands up to walk only to fall down on his face.
I get what Jake was saying, but it just wasn’t connecting with me. I get that just as an invalid constantly needs his wheelchair to move, we as sinners constantly need Jesus to be effective…but that wasn’t my problem. I know I need Jesus. I know my thoughts and my motives and they REALLY need Jesus. (It’s crazy that I still have a job in ministry…you too!)
By reading past journal entries, I saw how obsessed I am with asking God to use me or for Jesus to show up or something like that.
You may say, “Jesus wants to use you! Isn’t that awesome? And it’s a good thing you know you need Him in order to be an effective minister. And it is great that you are constantly asking Him to work.”
Yeah, it is! It’s the greatest rush to feel used by Jesus. To be the conduit by which there is healing and redemption and restoration. To see a glimpse of His Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven…
But what about when He doesn’t use me?
I’m so afraid that one day He’ll stop using me. One day He’ll decide, “I’m done.”
So today I don’t want to write. I don’t want to be used. Because I’m scared to face reality if it includes God not using me.
In the Gospel of Luke there is a record of Jesus sending out seventy-two disciples to preach the coming Kingdom of God. Luke tells us when they returned; they were filled with joy because “even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Hear Jesus’ response:
“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However…
Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
So glad it’s all about grace.