A few days ago, an elderly gentleman said to me, “Brother Roy, I don’t know why I’m still here. I’m ready to go home to heaven. I’m not able to do anything. I’m of no use to the Lord. I don’t know why I’m still alive.” Across the years, I’ve I have heard similar expressions many times. My wife’s grandmother was 96 years old and blind when she voiced such feelings.
On the surface that question may seem to have some merit, but when considered in the light of Scripture it is not a legitimate inquiry. On two occasions, God has interjected Himself into human affairs to reveal His plan for delivering His people from bondage:
- First, it was to Moses at the ‘burning bush’. God announced: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7, NIV). God had a plan to deliver His people from their bondage in Egypt.
- The second time, His announcement came to shepherds in Galilee. “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:8-11, NKJV). God had a plan to deliver all people from the bondage of sin.
On both occasions when God revealed His plan to deliver His people, human instrumentality was the key. God unveiled His plan to Moses, “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). Jesus revealed His plan to His followers, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).
Believers are the Lord’s plan to reach out to the lost and dying world. There is no ‘Plan B’. Like Moses, most of us move to the default mode of ‘excuses’ when God identifies us to carry out His plan. Excuses will not avail. The Lord knows our strengths and weaknesses. We ARE the plan. We dare not fail. Family, friends, and a lost world are depending on us. God’s word asks, “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:20-21). Amazingly, we are His chosen ones even if we feel insignificant and weak.
In His design, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27, NKJV). We are all part of the body of Christ, therefore, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (I Corinthians 12:21-22).
When we realize that we are God’s plan to reach lost and dying people, may we respond like William Borden, the millionaire who gave up his fortune to become a missionary to the Uyghur Muslims of northwestern China – when he died en route to the field of his calling, his Bible was found to be inscribed with three phrases: NO RESERVES – NO RETREATS – NO REGRETS !
~ Brother Roy