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Pointers along the way #109

Would you like God to use you?
- Jacob Ninan

God said through the prophet Ezekiel that while the people were turning away from Him into wickedness and oppressing others He was looking for (at least) one man (or woman) who would stand in the gap and build up the wall (Ez.22:29,30). But He could not find even one. Perhaps this makes God sadder than the fact that many are turning into wickedness. Why is it that it is difficult for Him to find people whom He can use in this manner?

Isn't it because it would cost us something to be such people? It might cost us some inconvenience and discomfort, when what we would like is a comfortable and easy life. We may be so busy doing many things which we like that we don't have much time to spend with God or for Him. We like to make our own plans about how we want to serve God, and He wants us to go another way. It might cause us pain when some people don't understand us, and we don't like that. We may be hesitant to step out in faith when we can't see the way ahead clearly, and we would rather see and understand things first before moving forward. We may not be very comfortable being alone, even though we know God is there, and we would rather be where everybody else is.

Of course we would like the honour and name of being used by God, but we don't like the hard times that come along with it. Is it any wonder that God is not able to find many who will stand in the gap for Him? Pious wishes and emotional consecrations are not substitutes for taking up our cross daily, denying ourselves and following Jesus (Lk.9:23).

We would wish that when we have asked Jesus to come into our heart everything should be nice and cosy afterwards. If at all anything that looks like trouble comes our way, we think, all we need to do is to shoot a prayer heavenwards and then it will be just a cakewalk! But the hard grind of daily life tends to make us think, "Hey, this is not what I expected!" That is when we slip out of the 'gap' and seek for a little comfort.

Don't we need to become a little tough if we are to endure? Don't we need to mentally prepare ourselves to work hard through the little hardships that come our way? Paul's guidelines to Timothy included: 1. Willingness to suffer hardhsip in life. 2. Not to get over-occupied with the things of this life. 3. To have the express goal of pleasing the Lord. 4. To live according to the laws of God. 5. To be prepared for hard work. (2Ti.3-6).

Let us learn to be such people.