Have you ever asked God to “use” you? Perhaps a better and specific prayer would be to ask the Lord to make us “useable.”
I’m Joni asking you: Would you like to be used of the Lord?
Well, friend, there is not a Christian I know who does not want to be used of the Lord, right? Every believer I've ever met makes it a habit of asking Jesus to use him or her. "Lord, please use me," is the cry of so many of us (and I’m sure it’s your request, too). People who want to make a difference in our world, you and I, folks like us; we want to do something that is going to count for eternity. We don’t want to be the wicked servant who buries the talent that his master gives him. No, we want, more than anything, to hear those wonderful words at the end of our life, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” In short, we want God to use us!
And if you are one who wants to be used of God, then guess what, there’s good news, because God wants to use you. In fact, He will use you; there's no doubt about it. Jesus even goes so far as to say in John chapter 15, verse 8 that:
"It is to His Father's glory that you and I bear much fruit; showing ourselves to be disciples."—John 15:8
To paraphrase it, friend, it is God’s will to use you. He has saved you in order to use you. Now, in light of this (and bear with me here), I think it’s odd then that we keep asking Him to use us, because we are being redundant. It’s already a given. I mean, after all, we are asking Him to do something He already desires to do. So, perhaps a more specific or a more correct prayer should be, "Lord, I already know you want to use me, so today, I am asking you to please make me useable."
Catch the difference? You see, if you feel like you are sitting on the sidelines watching the rest of the army of Christ marching by, do not pray to be used but pray that God will make you usable. Sure, you may have a talent for singing and you want God to use your voice, but God may be more concerned about getting your heart and character in tune. Yes, you may have a gift for teaching, but God may want to teach you a few inside lessons before you go out and lead others.
The Lord wants people He can use. People who don't have sharp edges, who don’t throw their weight around; He wants people who don't easily break. He's looking for folks who are bendable and pliable. Kind of like the old hymn that says "Mold me and make me after Thy will,” and then there's that wonderful part, "while I am,” and this is what’s so neat, "yielded,” (oh wow) "peaceful and still.” That part about yielding is what God is interested in.
He is looking for individuals who can fit in well with others, people who will humble themselves and get underneath the needs of others to serve. And this is a great thing to remember as we head into National Volunteer Week. God wants to use you. Perhaps in a nursing home, with Meals on Wheels, maybe He wants to use you in a parent support group, doing housekeeping for an elderly neighbor, or it could be the Red Cross or a women's auxiliary group that raises funds for missionaries. There are all sorts of opportunities for God to use you. So present yourself before the Lord today. Ask Him to mold you, take off the sharp edges, round off the corners, and get you into a humble frame of mind. Then watch Him work. Watch Him use you. And today, I’d like you to watch Him use my friend Veronica Hache who recently received our “Joni and Friends Volunteer of the Year” award. This woman has volunteered her physical therapy skills on countless Wheels for the World trips; Veronica has a great perspective and I’ve posted a video about this exceptional volunteer on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org.
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