Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Don't Just Stand There, Do Something!

"Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the LORD brought about a great victory." 2 Samuel 23:11-12

In my last entry, I spoke of knowing God's calling and purpose for oneself, yet having a sense of missing God about that purpose. That even though I am certain of my call to pastor and shepherd the flock, I still at times feel like I missed it somewhere. Today, I want to talk with a different group of people. I want to talk to those who, though they love the Lord Jesus, still are unsure of the call and purpose.

Much of my ministry has been to young people. Though I haven't been the Youth Pastor, I have worked closely with youth. One thing I have found to be common with teenagers is that they are unsure of what their God-given purpose is. It's not just teens that feel this way. There are many, both young and old alike, that are trying to figure out what God has for them to do. Tonight, let's focus on this statement: If you don't know what to do, do something.

In the scripture above, the Philistines had again, like many times before, come against Israel. People started to panic, and everyone fled. Everyone, that is, but a guy named Shammah. He was one of David's "mighty men", a warrior. The Bible says that they were in an area with a piece of ground for growing lentils. When everyone fled from the enemy, Shammah decided to stay and fight. Because he stayed and fought, the Bible goes on to say that the Lord brought about a great victory.

What I love is that this hero of the Bible has no real mention. It doesn't tell us that he had some blessed experience of being called out by God's prophet and anointed, as David had. He simply decided that he was not going to retreat in the face of danger. When everyone else did nothing, he did something.

This past Sunday, I spoke on this subject to the Youth Sunday School Class. The majority of those in the class admitted to not knowing what God had in store for them. So I put the question to them. Is it easier to just sit on your hands and do nothing when you're unsure of God's call? Or is it easier to take the initiative and do something? Overwhelmingly, they admitted that it was easier to sit down and do nothing. Friends, just because God hasn't made clear to us our calling, doesn't mean that He wants us to sit around and do nothing till He tells us. When you don't know what to do, do something. Maybe you can start a lunchtime Bible study at work. Perhaps it's getting together with another believer to pray for your work or school. Start going door to door, sharing Christ with your neighbors, or passing out Gospel tracts in places where larger quanities of people gather. Perhaps your church has an outreach ministry that you can get involved with. Many times, while I was trusting God to clarify my call, I would hit the streets to walk, pray and witness to those I passed.

I'm reminded of a parable that Jesus told. In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of the talents. In this story, a wealthy man was preparing to go away for a while, so he called his servants, and put each in charge of something. In Luke's version of this parable, he tells the servants to "do business" till he comes. Two of the servants did good work, and they were commended, but the third, fearing his master, decided to bury the money entrusted to him, and did nothing. Upon his master's return, an account of his work was required. What strikes me is what his master said. "Why didn't you at least put my money in the bank? Then at least I would have earned interest on it." In other words, he should have done something. Now, while this man's motivation was fear, yours may just be that you don't know what you are supposed to do yet. But be encouraged, friends. There is always work to be done for the Kingdom of God. So whether it's hitting the streets and witnessing, or hitting your knees and praying (or both!), find a place to work, and plug your self in. God bless!

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