Friday, April 28, 2006

Waiting in Submission

Samuel 3 tells the story of how Samuel had his first encounter with God while still very young. God gave him a message for Eli, the high priest and Samuel’s mentor. As we read this passage, we realize that Samuel was afraid to deliver the message. Let us read in Samuel 3: 15 – 18,

Samuel 3:15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.
Samuel 3:17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.
Samuel 3:18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

Samuel avoided Eli. But, Eli came to Samuel. So, when it was time for little Samuel to deliver the Lord’s word to Eli, Eli himself asked for it. God then gave to Samuel the words to say, the opportunity, and the courage to speak. Samuel waited to use his gift when it was given to him to do so.

This is the way God works. God may give you a message and the gift to deliver it. Or, He may give you a work and a gift to perform it. Buy, the exact details on how the message will be delivered or the work will be done, are normally on a need to know basis. If it is a message, the exact words to speak, the tone of voice, when and where to say to deliver the message God will provide. If we make ourselves available to His work in us, and if we listen to His Spirit, we will deliver the message as if He himself would have. This is how the Lord worked with His disciples.

Jesus told His disciples just before His ascension and after giving them their commission, "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" Luke 24:49.

And, tarry they did. They lingered in Jerusalem studying the Scriptures, confessing and repenting of Sin, forsaking self-righteousness, and yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. They believed the promise that Jesus gave them, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” Acts 1:8.

Ten days after the ascension of Jesus something incredible happened. Let us read in Acts 2: 1-6,

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Acts 2:2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
Acts 2:6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

The Holy Spirit took care of everything. He gave them the words to say, the manner in which they would be spoken, and opened up the opportunity. The sound of the Spirit rushing in the window as violent wind and the voices of the disciples speaking in foreign tongues unknown to them, however known to the people gathered in Judaea for the feast attracted the attention of the people.

There was no need for advertisement, promotions, or handbills. There was no need for preaching or teaching classes. There was no need for a market assessment or study. All that was needed was a heart in submission to the Indwelling Spirit of God. The disciples waited to use their gift when it was given to them to do so.

If we yield to God as little Samuel did. If we wait in submission to the Spirit of God as the disciples did. Then we will be waiting to use our gift when it has been given to us to do so. Then God will give us the words, the power, and the opportunity to say them with the power and manner in which to say them. So let us wait in submission and listen.
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