It happens to all of us fairly often. Someone approaches us with “I was wondering, would you….be willing” or “be able to do” such and such. As we listen to the request, we begin to experience emotions that either affirm a desire to help or a panic rise as we scan our brain for an excuse that can provide us the best escape!
If you have ever agreed to do something that was totally out of your comfort zone, then you know what I am talking about.
If the request is presented with a desperate plea or an undertone of “you should feel guilty, if you say ‘no’,” then we especially squirm. We struggle with wanting to see the need get met and wondering if we should just get over our self and say “yes”. We don’t want to be selfish, we know we should serve, but how do I evaluate it before I answer?
Exodus 25 and 26 carries some great insight about the Israelites building the Tabernacle of God. Three main key words occur throughout these two chapters; skill, ability and willingness.
Exodus 36:2 “Then Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab and every SKILLED person to whom the Lord has given SKILL and ABILITY and was WILLING to come and do the work”.
So first of all, the ones who were to build it needed to be skilled in the area of construction.
Secondly, they needed to have the ability to do so. Skills without the ability to carry them out are useless. If you are a skilled craftsman but have no arms, this isn’t going to work, unless you use your brain to direct someone with arms to do it. However it gets done, there needs to be the ability to pull it off.
Thirdly, it is important to be willing to use your skills. If the only reason you would be motivated is out of guilt or feeling trapped, then you will do so with a less than willing attitude.
I might be willing to sing at Carnegie Hall. However, if I don’t have the skill or ability to do so, it is not a good idea. I may have the ability and skill to sing at Carnegie Hall, but if I lack the desire to practice for the performance, then it is obvious, there is no real willingness.
Willingness looks for a way to make it happen. Resistance finds all of the ways it can’t.
It seems that God was looking for all three qualities in building the Tabernacle. He didn’t want to force just any skilled people to do the job, but rather skill accompanied with willingness.
Many times, there are people who are willing to take on jobs or help in areas they are not skilled in. If they aren’t sure of whether or not they are wired for a certain work, then they may need to try it for a bit or get input from those who know them.
I would agree that sometimes we need to help in areas that are not our gifts and that personal sacrifice of time and preferences need to be weighed out accordingly before the Lord. But more often than not, God is going to meet the need through those He calls and equips.
It is apparent though, that because God gives us spiritual gifts as well as skills and abilities, that He desires us to use those all to His glory. We need to say “yes” to those things which He has designed us for with a willingness to be used by Him and be o.k. with a “no” when it is not our thing.
When God is in a work, He provides workers with the skills, abilities and willingness to get the job done. If begging, pleading and guilting is the only way to make something happen, it just might be an agenda that is not the Lord’s.
If all of us would serve with our areas of skills, abilities and a willing heart, we would see the body of Christ functioning in the unity and wholeness that is outlined in scripture.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”