September 24, 2007

That We Would Be Effective In Our Circumstances

It’s pretty hard to get too carried away with praying for things for yourself after reading about the Apostle Paul and what he asked the church to pray for at the end of his letter, Ephesians.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20

Note what the Apostle Paul didn’t ask for here. How many times do we ask God to take us out of our present circumstances? Or we ask Him to change things around us. Paul was in prison, he had been whipped, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked! Most people would have been pleading with God to change the situation around them. Paul recognized that God was using him despite his circumstances. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says “But he (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “

Paul didn’t want to put himself in any position that might cause him to boast about his own strengths or accomplishments. He recognized that in his circumstances he would be kept humble and kept leaning on God’s strength to do anything! If he was going to minister, it would have to be God to get the message through. My pastor in church said something interesting yesterday regarding this passage and Paul’s experience. Effectiveness is not determined by our circumstances, but by what we do in those circumstances.

Often I wish my circumstances would change, or if I was just in a different season of life I would be more effective to minister, or just be able to do other things. This is totally and completely wrong thinking. If I am going to be an effective witness for Christ Jesus, than I need to be asking Him to use my circumstances to bring glory and honor to Him. It was God who placed me here to begin with!

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