Tuesday, December 1, 2015

God, use me in a mighty way

Do you ever pray that God would use you mightily? I do. I want to be used by Him and magnify His name. We often think of women in the bible who were used in a mighty way because they did mighty things. Deborah, military victor. Rahab, courageous with the spies of Israel; Mary humbly bearing the Savior. When we think of "mighty" we think of events large in scope.

But to be used of the Lord mightily can also be small in scope - but mighty just the same. The LORD will prosper His name and cast Glory onto Himself through His works. There is a small moment in the Bible worth looking at where a mighty work was done, glory shone on the LORD, but the one who did them is not even named! Yet her faith and her 'one, small act' was indeed mighty in scope and nature. Best of all, the Lord was glorified through them.

Naaman's wife's maid.

Rhoda was a maid, but named in the Bible. This girl was not even named. But no matter. Her act lives on! 

Naaman was a Syrian General, humiliated because he contracted leprosy. Meanwhile, back at his home, his wife had been given a little slave girl to attend to her. This maid was an Israelite, captured and brought to a strange land. The Israelite slave girl was strong in faith and knowing of the works God through His spokesman at the time, Prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 5:1-19)

When Naaman and his household bemoaned Naaman's leprous state, this little girl piped up. Her time away from her culture, the temple, the assembly, her God-loving home did nothing to diminish her enthusiasm for Yahweh. She extolled His virtues to Naaman's wife, burbling over the many miracles of Elisha and the works God did through Him. This girl was small, but she knew her God was big.

I can't imagine such strong faith. She bore no resentment toward her captors! If it was me, I'd probably mutter something like, "Good, he deserves leprosy. I hope he rots." But then again, we know that what we deserve is death and hell. Only the largess of the grace bestowed upon us by God saves us from "what we deserve." So this girl unashamedly and enthusiastically shared the knowledge of the Holy God who is able to do miracles. She did not hold back and lived a life of proclamation in word and deed. When the moment arose, she did not hesitate to share God as the solution to Naaman's uncleanliness. Though Naaman's leprosy was very real, in the Bible leprosy is always a metaphor also for unrighteousness. A leper was never pronounced cured. He was always pronounced "clean."

We know the rest of the story. Elisha's servant met the General, the General in his pride was angry. The prophet told the general to dip in the Jordan river seven times, Naaman's pride again led him away from God's solution. But entreaties from Naaman's servants enticed Naaman to the river, and he finally did as he was instructed. he came up the 7th time, clean.

Naaman became a believer! (2 Kings 5:15a). The little girl was a messenger of the Good News, that cleansing was available from a Holy God. One might wonder why the second in command of an entirely strong nation would listen to the urgencies of a little slave maid. Her life was not contained in one plea to her mistress, but her life must have had a persistent genuineness and a spiritual credibility so that Naaman's wife listened, and Naaman in turn listened too.

This nameless sprout of a slave from Israel living in captivity in Syria and to which only 20 verses recount the story, did a mighty work for God. When he returned to Syria who knows how much Naaman's worship had an effect. A MIGHTY effect.

And then there is the lad with the loaves...(John 6) whom Andrew said were nothing against so many. Never let yourself feel that your words, your act, your gift, is too small and insignificant. The unnamed slave girl's proclamation of God led to the mightiest work of all, a cleansed heart. The lad's loaves in God's hands multiplied and fed thousands. You don't know, maybe your act or your few words, small as you think they may be, will be multiplied in ways incalculable for the Kingdom and in a manner which brings glories you cannot see to the Lord. Have faith and keep heart. You are not insignificant, but mightily significant!


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