Bible Reading: Philippians 1 :3-6
God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. Philippians 1:6
CHANG WAS a high-powered investment accounts manager for a bank. People at his church figured he was a slam-dunk for the budget committee. “He knows how to manage money,” they reasoned. Not much later Chang joined the committee.
Chang was a disaster. His smarts in money management turned out to be a gross weakness. Relying on his financial training, he saw every church expenditure in terms of “the bottom line.” If a church program didn’t show a profit -growth in numbers of people reached or dollars raised-he argued to ax it. After a blunt but kind discussion with his pastor, Chang left the committee.
As Chang grew in faith and let the Holy Spirit control his life, he had a new idea-that he’d like to volunteer in the junior-high ministry. He hadn’t worked with kids and had no training in youth ministry. But he cared for kids who came from non-Christian homes. His wife, Nikki, felt the same burden.
Chang and Nikki prayed-a lot. Then they met with the youth pastor. “We don’t know much about youth work,” they confessed, “but we love these kids and want to learn. If you can use us, we’re available.” It turned out that kids flocked to Chang and Nikki because they felt genuinely loved and accepted by them. And that group has kept growing because of Chang and Nikki’s willingness to let the Holy Spirit lead them someplace they never expected to go.
Big Holy Spirit lesson: When you allow the Spirit to empower your life and tell God you’re willing to serve wherever he wants, you might be surprised where he plunks you. God knows best how to make you competent, and he knows best where you’ll fit. Chang’s story is a prime example of how to let God lead you.
Like everyone else, you have limitations. Chang and Nikki-and youth leaders you know-don’t do ministry perfectly. But when you look at the people God uses, you notice that their real power comes from submitting to the Holy Spirit and asking God to equip them for ministry. Like Chang found out, being an “expert” in an area sometimes gets in the way.
God isn’t limited by your age, your weaknesses, or your lack of experience. Whoever you are and wherever you are in your Christian growth, you’re most useful to God if you let his Spirit empower you daily. Just watch what he can do through you when you give his Spirit control!
REFLECT: What bold new thing do you think God would like to do through you?
PRAY: Ask God to lead you wherever he wants you to go.