Sunday, July 9, 2017

If He Calls, He Equips

I have a clear picture in my mind of my husband watching a softball game this past spring. He's standing on a hill just beside right field, away from the crowd so he could monitor our sons in the nearby playground. Ball cap, jeans, sneakers, he holds nothing in his hands, but they are lifted up to his shoulders as he grabs onto the straps of a black backpack. If you looked inside the backpack you'd find camera equipment, nothing else.

Most people who looked his way would have just seen a dad, watching a game.

But I saw more. Because there's so much more there to see.

My husband is a pastor. I don't know if you know any pastors in a non-pastor way. A family member, an old friend, a co-worker. Pastors are just regular guys. But their calling is hard.

People are hard. We are loyal and fun and smart and genuine and loving. But we are also messy. And my sweet husband does the work of helping people sort out their messes.

He does a good job. A hard job.

So when I look at him, standing on that hill, I see a man asked to a high calling. Taking care of Jesus' people. And in that backpack isn't camera equipment, but he is equipped.

Callings scare us. When we're asked to be bold for Jesus a dozen questions come to mind:

Who? Me?
I haven't been to seminary.
I don't know the answers.
I'm scared of what they will say.
I'm not smart enough.
I don't love enough.
I don't have enough faith.
That's too hard.
Fill in your blank here.

I don't know what you've been called to do, what situation God has asked you to step into. But I do know this, if Jesus has called you, He will equip you.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, though Jesus Christ...
Hebrews 13:20-21

I own an art studio. And if you've known me longer than five years, you've probably asked yourself, "Was Jennifer an artist and I just never knew it?"

This question makes me laugh because it is such a good one to ask. I was not an artist growing up. But God asked me to open an art studio. He equipped me with artistic gifts in my mid-30s. Gifts I didn't even ask for. They just appeared. He was equipping me with the talents I needed to open His studio. It still marvels me today when I paint, draw, or letter on a project. I praise Him because it's all His equipping. 

Listen to me when I tell you none of us is special. We are all apart of that big conglomerate of messy people I mentioned before. None of us is perfect, none of us better than the rest.

But there is one thing that sets some apart and that is the word, "Yes." 

Because when we say yes to the call from God, great spiritual work is done in us. Vast doors are flung open from the Holy Spirit and we receive knowledge, peace, and abilities that are not our own doing. 

I think of Acts 2 when the disciples began to preach the Gospel in languages they had never spoken before:

And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them that ability. 

God will not equip me for a task I will not say yes to.

I see my husband on that hill, holding on to that backpack. I see him leading a church, teaching and loving people. I see him leading our family. And I see him standing alone doing it. The weight of it hit me deeply. But then I saw the backpack. And the still, small voice says:

I've called him, so I've equipped him. I've equipped him with wisdom and peace and my very own presence.

And the same goes for you, dear friend. And for me. 

God will ask us to do big things and small things in His name. For our good and for His glory. And we may think that we're just not enough. 

I'd like to tell you that's a lie, but it's not. We're not enough. Our talents and brains aren't enough to accomplish the high callings of heaven. But if we step up to our calling and say the yes, we get the equipment. 

"But my God shall abundantly supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus," says Philippians 4:19. 

The riches of Jesus are pretty vast. If I were to dip into His supplies for my calling, I feel certain I would be properly empowered. 

So what's holding you back? Time? Education? Energy?

Or is it fear? 

Why don't you say yes? And watch that empty pack on your back be filled with all you need to succeed. 

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