On July 4, 2004, Grace Fellowship celebrated their first worship service in a high school theater. That first service happened because of faithful servants who were willing to do whatever it took reach people for Jesus and help them grow in their faith. Most of those faithful servants weren’t on the stage with a microphone. Most were in the background quietly serving Jesus by serving others.
Fast forward to 2021. Lives changed. Souls saved. Jesus glorified. But many of those who started with us have graduated to heaven or life’s circumstances have led them to move to be closer to family. Those who once stepped up and answered the call of service are no longer able to fulfill that calling.
It is said that our greatest ability is our availability. In so many ways that is true. It doesn’t matter how skilled or gifted we are if we are unavailable when the Lord brings opportunities our way.
Way back in the Old Testament we find a poem written by a judge and prophetess named Deborah that reflected on a battle against the Canaanites. In her poem, she shares some interesting insights – “That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!” (Judges 5:2)
In verses 13-18 of Judges 5, Deborah lists the tribes to stepped up to answer the call to defend Israel. Among those tribes were Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun, Issachar, Reuben, and Naphtali. These tribes were willing to risk it all to defend their immediate families and their kinsmen. But she also mentions the men of other tribes – Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds, to hear the whistling for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan; and Dan, why did he stay with the ships? Asher sat still at the coast of the sea, staying by his landings. (Judges 5:15-17)
What a contrast! Many of the tribes rallied to the cause, but others chose to twiddle their thumbs, to play it safe, to look after themselves without regard for their brothers. Their own comfort and safety in the moment overrode the great need for their nation.
When God sends opportunities our way, we have a choice. We can step up and serve or we can step aside and let others carry the weight. If enough people step aside, then those who step up become overburdened or the work simply doesn’t get done.
If you’re part of the Grace family and reading this, then I want to challenge you to consider stepping up. Be ready to say “yes” unless the Lords leads you otherwise.
So, what do we do when opportunities come our way? Are they all from God? Should we simply say “yes” to every opportunity? No. We can’t do everything. We need wisdom to know what we should embrace and what we should let pass.
Here are some questions you can ask to evaluate whether this is an opportunity for you –
Will saying “yes” keep me from fulfilling my responsibilities to my family?
Will saying “yes” provide an example of faithful service to my family?
Am I saying “yes” because of of guilt or human pressure?
Do I have a good motivation for saying “no”?
How will saying “yes” help my church fulfill its mission?
How will saying “no” hinder the mission of my church?
Is it the right time to say “yes”?
But the overriding question we must answer is this – Is God calling me? If the answer to that question is “yes,” then it is time to step up and embrace that call. Grace Fellowship has 17 years filled with men and women who said “yes,” and because of their willingness people were blessed and God was glorified. Is it time for you to step up?