Thursday, August 15, 2013
Problem Solving is the current study series in our Sunday School class, covering the book of 1 Corinthians. This past week’s scripture covered five verses in chapter 1:26-31. One question asked was: What qualifications does God require in the people He uses?
They really are simple because He uses ordinary people who humbly respond to Him. Now, some of them grew to be capable, wealthy, powerful, but they didn’t start out that way. Move through the patriarchs until we reach Abram. Somewhat well off, already 75, he responded to God’s instructions and to God’s promises. Those promises were kept.
How about Moses, who questioned God when he was called:
And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? Exodus 3:11 KJV)
He led God’s people through wilderness and trouble into promise – yet arrogance kept him from setting foot in the Promised Land. Let’s skip to Saul, a humble man who thought of himself as the least of the least:
And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? (1 Samuel 9:21 KJV)
Until he became too arrogant, usurping the priest’s function, and the kingdom was given to another – a humble shepherd boy who was as good with a harp as a sling. David, too, became grasping, taking what was not his and destroying a man’s life. Even though he repented, trouble followed his family, and he was denied permission to build a temple for his Lord.
Time after time, calling after calling, those called did not believe themselves capable of fulfilling God’s request – yet, they did. Why then do we believe we are the first to be inept – unsuited for the time and place?
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)
There’s a promise I like even better:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)
Through faith, that is an absolute truth. We have a cloud of witnesses whose faith confirms this truth:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)
Look through the Bible for those who were called, responded, slipped yet completed their responsibilities with God’s help. When going alone – away from the path laid out for them – there were problems again and again. This is true of the entire Nation of Israel as well as individuals. As it is for us.
We have choices to make – hear God, respond with His strength not ours and complete the race that is set before us. That’s all a part of problem solving.