Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Encouragement for the Small Church and Those Who Labor in Obscurity.

It hurts to admit, but I often feel woefully inferior, extremely inadequate and completely inept.

I can fully relate with some of the Bible guys. Saul hid behind a hay bale when Samuel came to anoint him as king. Gideon shied away from God's calling upon his life, after all, he was a nobody from an obscure family from the smallest tribe. Moses tried to excuse himself from leadership  because of his speech impediment. Jepthah was ostracized because of his illegitimacy.

All of these guys hummed a similar tune, "I'm a real nowhere man, sitting in this nowhere land, making all my nowhere plans, for nobody." Okay, the lads from Liverpool hadn't come on the scene yet. But perhaps they were inspired by the likes of Saul, Moses, Gideon and Jepthah.

A church-planter friend of mine just reported to me that the initial services of their brand new church had about twice as many folks as we've ever had on our biggest days. I am greatly rejoicing for this new church, especially because 16 precious souls came to Christ. But then I hear the enemy's voice whispering to me, reminding me of my "nowhere man"ness.

Dr. Wiersbe often encourages me with these face-saving, faith-building words of wisdom, "In God's eyes, there are no small churches." What an encourager!

In Deuteronomy, we have God's encouragement to Israel as they camped on the edge of Canaan's  Land, feeling ill-equipped for the task that lay before them.

Deut. 7:7   The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Deut. 8:6   Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. 7  For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;

Do not think, because your numbers are few,
That God does not have affection for you
It is not in crowds that He takes delight
Or in our strength or power or human might
It's where two or three are gathered in His name
He has promised His presence for them just the same
So just preach and pray and plug away
And great will be your reward on judgment day! 

In those times when you are feeling woefully inadequate, consider the encouragement God gave to His out-manned and out-gunned, wilderness-wandering children.

A. Think:
1. God has chosen you
2. He loves you
3. His mighty hand is upon you
4. You have been redeemed

B. Know:
1. He is God
2. He is faithful
3. He keeps His promises
4. His design for you is the Promised land.

C. Do:
1. Keep His commandments
2. Walk in His Ways
3. Fear Him

May this little missive be an encouragement to you as you labor in obscurity. You are a somewhere man, working in God's somewhere land, fulfilling God's somewhere plan...for somebody.

And on some, have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;   Jude:22, 23

1 comment:

Herb Koonce said...

Great perspective!