July 27, 2021
There is much that poses for spiritual ministry that is a shadow of what God intends. Tragically, we regularly hear of ministry leaders being exposed who have operated with selfish agendas, ulterior motives, and even horribly sinful habits. Satan loves to manipulate those who are not operating with God’s ways to try to discredit those who are.
SIMPLE MEN AND WOMEN
But there are millions of humble men and women who are wonderfully used by God to advance His kingdom. We may not hear their names until heaven, but before God and others one day they will be greatly rewarded, and we will see the marvelous fruits of their faithful lives.
The book of Malachi records, in three simple chapters, the work of such a man. And the key to his spiritual success is found in the prepositions of the first line of this profound book.
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. (Malachi 1:1)
“THE WORD OF THE LORD”
Malachi was not bringing to the people (or to us) his thoughts or opinions. He was connected to God and given a word from heaven to share with others. In that moment, humble Malachi became a voice for Almighty God.
Those who long to be in a position of usefulness have the humility to understand this. They know they have nothing of value to give anyone on their own. They live with the constant awareness of Jesus’ proclamation that, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). This is why they pray unceasingly and read the Word of God voraciously for they know they must get a Word from heaven. But they also know that if they will abide in Christ, they have the potential to bear much remaining fruit.
God loves to speak to people, and He gives His word to His servants for a purpose. Sometimes it’s something that He needs to say to us first, to develop us, change us, and mold us into His image. But it is always intended ultimately for others. When He gives His word to us, it is designed for a broader reach.
This is motivated by the perfection of His love. “God so loved the world that He gave” is always behind every communication from our Father. He wants to restore the people around us to His original design, and He wants to use us in the process.
God uses those who do not see their lives and resources as a reservoir but a channel. If we keep our lives open and are willing to open our mouths at His prompting courageously, He will speak to people through us.
There is no greater privilege and no more effective strategy. God created us for this, and wise is the believer who keeps his prepositions in the right order.
Father, we’re stunned that you would use us. Awed that You can take sinful, weak people and give us your word for others and that it can flow through us like “rivers of living water.” Help us keep our ears tuned to You and our hands extended to others. Keep us from self-focused living and use us for Your glory!
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