Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's All God

“‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6b, NIV 2011).

She was a beautiful young medical student who had just stepped into a leadership position with the Christian medical student group in Albania. Her English was less perfect than many of the students, but she was chosen to be my translator. It was my turn to deliver the Christian message to 150 medical students, most of whom were not followers of Christ. The message was important.

As I spoke, she stuttered and struggled in finding Albanian phases to translate for the students. Very likely, my words were jumbled and distorted throughout the message. Afterwards, she had tears in her eyes, crying at her inadequacy. I told her, “Your translation was perfect. This was never about my words. This was about God’s words spoken through His Holy Spirit. You and I prayed for His presence and power before we started. His message came through exactly as He wanted.”

The next evening I was scheduled to deliver another message, another important message, through which God might transform lives eternally. That morning, I found her and asked her, “Would you please be my translator tonight?”
Her smile could have swallowed the sun.

It’s hard for me to get this message. Sometimes I learn it myself when I deliver it to someone else: It’s all God’s business. No transformation that brings others to eternal life ever happens because of our skills or gifts or language.
It is all God’s presence and God’s power.
Our job is to show up.
Certainly, part of showing up includes preparation and hard work and deep prayer.
We are to “Study to show thyself approved…” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).
We are to “Put on the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:11, ESV).
We are to “Be prepared in season and out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2, NIV).
We are to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).
But this is all part of just showing up.
We should never confuse our showing up with God’s power. And we should never refuse to show up.

Dear Father,
Help me to do my best, but let me know that it is all up to you.

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