Step Up

We had a guest speaker at Clovis Hills yesterday. I can’t remember the guy’s name now, but he’s a pastor who spent years working in East L.A. and for the past 8 years has lived in India. This guy understands what it means to give himself for others.

Two things the pastor said on Sunday really stood out to me. First he spoke about how most everyone has something they are hiding deep in their memory. We’ve all done something horrible that we’re ashamed of. Some sin that we can’t let go. And that sin keeps us from stepping up and helping others. We ask ourselves what good can we be when we are so rotten inside? Moses was a murderer. A man on the run. Doesn’t get much worse than that.

The pastor then continued to talk about how God works. And he quoted a verse where God tells Moses: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land”. And I thought this was so exciting! God sitting in heaven about to unleash his mighty power upon the Egyptians and right the terrible wrongs that had been done! Wow, this is the making of a great movie. And then the pastor continued reading: “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” AGH!!! What??? How does this work? God in his mighty wrath is sending a cowardly murderer to walk up to the king of the most powerful country on the planet and demand that he release his entire slave workforce? That will never work!!!!

But it did.

The bottom line is that God works through us; Regular, imperfect people. If he can send a cowardly criminal to free an entire race of people, what can he do with us?

I’ve learned that He can use us to help a kid from a broken home understand his math homework so he can do better in school. He can use us to organize sports in bad neighborhoods so kids can have positive role models in their lives and maybe keep them out of gangs. He can use us to counsel drug addicts and help them get beyond their addictions. He can use us to help people keep their marriages together. He can use us in a million ways, but we gotta step up in a consistent way and let Him work through us. We have to make compassion a part of our daily lives. It’s not enough to drop few bucks in a collection plate on Sundays. It’s certainly not enough to just take care of our own and then complain about the rest of the world.

We gotta step up.