by Pastor Tim Burt
About ten years ago, I was asked to take on a position of responsibility and leadership over an area of ministry that was foreign to my base of knowledge and experience—different from anything I had ever done in the past. I remember my first thoughts when asked: There are a hundred people I know that are more qualified to take this on Lord. Why would you want me to do this? I know almost nothing about any of this. This morning I was reading Moses reaction when God asked him to lead in a role outside of his comfort zone. Exodus 3:11 (NLT) “But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Do we all sound like this when God asks us to do something we don’t know how to do?
Most of the things God has asked me to do have been through some kind of impression upon my heart and usually when I’ve been reading His word or praying. But sometimes He simply has someone ask us to do something, and deep down we know its God asking. The Lord taught me something critical in my early years of Christianity. When He was leading me to obey and do something for Him, He taught me to: a) follow His leading, b) set my questions and feelings of inadequacies on a shelf, and c) trust Him.
In my early days, some of the things the Lord was leading me to do seemed somewhat unimportant or insignificant. The kinds of things your brain would wrestle and whine about doing and your flesh would resist wanting to do. I remember a time when I felt the Lord impressing me to use one of my days off from work each week (when I was working for the airlines,) to go do volunteer painting at a church. The church had expressed the need and it was something I could do. I was obedient but felt unnoticed and unappreciated. It didn’t matter. I knew the Lord wanted me to do it. I did it unto Him and I committed to it for a year. That year helped me more with developing a right motivation than any other of my life. God was building character within me. There were other things God led me to do that were more spiritual in nature—having to do with the development of my personal disciplines such as studying God’s Word or praying. Sometimes the Lord would lead me to do acts of kindness for others. Whatever I felt He was leading me to do, I tried to be obedient.
The Lord knows exactly how to get our attention and lead us. I remember I’d be thinking about something I felt like the Lord wanted me. Suddenly our Pastor would be preaching on that very subject. There were times when I could just sense the still small voice of God inside compelling me to obey Him. I could have easily blown any of these heart-leadings off as imagination except that the Lord kept bringing a verse to my heart that became a Word from Him to me. It was about being faithful and obedient in the small things. One day the Lord spoke to me through a verse that would become foundational to the way I thought and responded to the Lord for life. It was Luke 16:10 NLT and it said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” He was teaching me that faithfulness to these things was my preparation to do greater things throughout life. I’d often hear Him say in my heart, Tim, if you can’t be faithful in the little things, why would I trust you with greater things?
This word from God compelled me to pay attention, quit making excuses, and do the small things I felt He was leading me to do. In His way, He was showing me that He was building me from the ground up. There were periods of time when I didn’t sense any great leading from God. I didn’t because He had already given me things to do that would take time and development. I just had to do them. He knew how to get a hold of my heart when He wanted me to do something. I just needed to communicate with Him daily and tell Him, Lord, here I am. Help me to obey you as you lead me today. When I did that, I was more sensitive to His leading.
I’ve learned over the years that things that might initially seem insignificant, can turn out to be life changing—for myself and others. Learning to follow God’s leading is a precious thing and critical to the character development of becoming a Christ-like leader.
Revelation 7:17 (NLT) “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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