While out for a walk last Sunday, I spotted a Dad riding a tandem bicycle with his little boy behind him peddling like crazy. My friend and I laughed because we knew the father was really doing all the work while Junior, who thought he was helping His Dad with all his peddling, was really just along for the ride.
It reminded me of how often we think we’re doing “ministry” when our Father was really just nice enough to bring us along because He wanted our company. It also made me wonder how much we tire ourselves needlessly with activity that accomplishes little in the long run. As I’ve learned to rest and observe just how much my Father is doing despite my efforts, I’m just thankful He even wants to bring me along for the ride.
God seems to enjoy taking us along on impossible tasks to demonstrate His power and glory. That usually involves unlikely people and unlikely circumstances. In Exodus 3, God called Moses to lead His people out of the land of Egypt, a task which Moses attempted at the peak of his physical strength 40 years earlier and failed.
Now 80 years old, Moses begged God to let his brother Aaron help, as though God didn’t know what He was getting into. In short, Moses compromised. And down the road, it backfired when Aaron proved himself incompetent, costing himself, Moses and God’s people more than they were willing to pay.
When God calls you to do something, He is calling you – not your brother, sister, father, mother, cousin, pastor or friend. He will enable you, empower you and bring you people and provision if and when you need them but it is not for you to decide how God should accomplish His plan for your life. It is simply for you to say yes or no. God isn’t looking for other options to consider – His plan is perfect, while yours is, at best, flawed.
When God asks you to do something clearly beyond your ability, it’s natural to experience fear. God is pretty gracious – He doesn’t mind you seeking Him for confirmation and timing (think Gideon, David, Paul and a number of others in the Bible), but it’s never okay to compromise His plan.
If God has asked you to do something and you’re looking for someone to help you or trying to come up with an alternative plan, stop and ask for wisdom to discern the steps and timing. Then do yourself a favour and just do what God is asking you to do. Moses didn’t lead the people out of Israel in one easy lesson, but God worked with him one step at a time to accomplish something he could never have done on his own.
Never mind how big your vision is or how impossible it seems to be. Just stay behind your Dad, do what He asks you to do and peddle a little here and there to make it look good if you want to.
Sure there’s some work on your part, but God really doesn’t need your help (after all, He created the Universe all on His own). He brings you along because He loves you, wants your company and desires to partner with you hand in hand to accomplish the impossible together.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. Psalm 108:13