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About this series
Precious in His Sight
Seeing Me Through Jesus' Eyes
This series, taught by Theresa Ingram, wife of Chip, helps women understand that they are fully forgiven, deeply loved, and have great worth because of their relationship with Christ. We all spend many hours and days trying to be someone significant, only to realize we often don't like the person we see in the mirror. Little do we know how precious we are in God's sight.More from this series
Well, the third roadblock is: focusing on what I don't have, instead of on God, Who is my adequacy in all things. And I could say, “I'm not adequate enough. I don't think I'm adequate enough for God to use my life.”
And we can limit God, because we think that we don't have enough training, that we don't have enough education, or that, Maybe I'm too old, or, Maybe I'm too young. I'm not smart enough, or, I'm not . . . I'm not . . . I'm not . . . We can come up with all kinds of reasons that we think we're not adequate to do what God would want us to do.
God says to us that we can do all things through Him, because He is our adequacy, even things that we think we’re not able to do. In 2 Peter 1:3, He says, "Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything – everything – that we need pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." And in 2 Corinthians 3:5: "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God." It is from God. It's not from us.
Because God is our adequacy, we can do greater things than we ever thought that we could do. And all God desires from us is that we are willing, that we are willing to do it, and that we have a heart open towards Him, to be obedient. And then, He'll do the rest. He'll provide all that we need.
After 40 years in the land of Midian – getting back to Moses, again – Moses probably felt like a failure. I'm sure he did. And he probably had a poor self-image. Did you ever think about that, that Moses could have had a poor self-image? Maybe had an inferiority complex because he had a speech impediment. I'm not sure, you know, how that all worked, and what he sounded like, but the Bible tells us that he had a speech impediment. And he probably thought he was permanently disqualified from God's service, from God using his life.
And when God's call came to Moses, in the burning bush, and He said, “I want you to go back, and I want you to speak to Pharaoh, to deliver My people.” And Moses offered excuse after excuse of why he was inadequate to do the job. He said, "You know, God, I just don't have what it takes. I just don't have that. Take someone else." And he said, "You know, God, I can't talk,” or, “They won't believe me.” You know, “I can't go." And he used all kinds of excuses of why he wasn't adequate to do what God was calling him to do.
But God said to Moses that He would provide all that Moses needed to do the job, to go and deliver God's people, and that God would be his adequacy in everything. And we see this – what God provided for Moses. And He provided it beforehand. He showed Moses what He was going to do. In Exodus 3:12, God said to Moses, "I will certainly be with you." You see, He wasn't sending Moses out there by himself. He was going to go with him. He was going to be with him, in a powerful way. He'll go with you wherever He wants you to go. Whatever He wants you to do, He'll be with you.
In Exodus 4:2, He gave him a rod to perform signs, as a witness of God's power. He gave him something that would authenticate that he was from God, that God was sending him to perform miracles with, and whatever. When God asks us to do something, He'll give us what we need. It's probably not going to be a rod that does miracles, but He'll give us what we need to do that.
In Exodus 4:11, God says that He will give Moses the words to say. He says, “You don't have to worry about it.” He says, “I'll tell you exactly what you need to say. I'll show you.” And then, in Exodus 4:14 and 16, it says, God gave Aaron – that's Moses' brother – He gave him as his mouthpiece, because Moses was unable to speak clearly. And so, He said, “I'll bring Aaron, and you take him with you. And I'll give you the words to say, and Aaron will say the words for you.” And so, God provided everything that Moses needed to do His will.
And God tells Moses, in Exodus 3:14 – He says to Moses, "I AM who I AM." That's how God described Himself: “I AM who I AM.” And He said, "And you shall say to the sons of Israel I AM has sent you." And God told Moses, and He told the children of Israel, that, “Whatever you need, you see, I AM. Whatever you need.” And God says to you, to His beloved children, “Whatever you need, I AM.”
And so, think about what's God calling you to do. Are you willing? Are you willing, and available, to use your life as God would want you to? And God doesn't have a list of assignments, and degrees, that you need to achieve before He'll use your life. It doesn't work that way. All He requires is a woman who loves Him, and who’s willing to be obedient to God's will for her life. That's all. And so, we can say to God, with a sincere heart, “God, I love You. My life is Yours. Use me. Use me, Lord, in whatever way that You would choose.” And you'll be amazed at what God will do, and at the powerful way that He'll work through your life.
And I’ve just learned, every time that God calls me to do something, that instead of dwelling on my inadequacy, I begin to thank Him for my inadequacy. Because I always feel inadequate. I especially feel inadequate doing this. But you know what? I can thank God for my inadequacy, because, you know what? In my own inadequacy, I know that I can be dependent upon the Lord, because He will do it. He will be my adequacy. And He will get the glory, and He will get the honor, you see, not me. That's why He wants us to realize that we're not adequate without Him.
In II Corinthians 4:7, He says, “But we have this treasure” - this life of Christ that we have – “in jars of clay” – “in jars of clay” He describes our weak, human, inadequate bodies – “that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God, and not of ourselves.”
And God takes these blobs of clay –that's how He describes us – and He molds us into a beautiful vessel, into a masterpiece, to reflect the image of God. And He is the treasure that's found inside of every one of you. And, if we will allow Him, He will be our adequacy, in all that we do, and then, people will see Christ, and not us.
In fact, every time I get up to speak to a group, or to teach a class, I'm amazed at the power of God at work in my life. Because I know where I came from. You know, I know that I can't do it. I remember a day when I could barely communicate, verbally, to anyone, about anything that was going on deep in my heart.
And early on, when we were in ministry – here I am, the pastor's wife . . . I remember sitting in a group, and sharing things, and my heart would start pounding, because I wanted to say something, but I didn't have the courage to get it out. And I just couldn't get it out. And fear so overtook me. And when I felt God's call on my life to begin to get up, and to teach, and to share of what He has done in my life, I just felt like a Moses. I thought, God, you've got to be kidding! You want me to do that?
But in my fear, I was willing to be obedient to what God was calling me to do, and to trust that God would do it, and that He would be what I needed. And He promised to be my “great I AM” for whatever He called me to do. And He's been so faithful, and I’ve just seen Him work in my life, and change me. But do you know what? I know that it's Him, and it is not me.
And it's not easy. Even though you know something is the will of God, and you know God's gonna be with you, it's still not easy to do; it’s still hard. But I know for certain that He'll give me what I need.
And “I AM,” the “great I AM,” is calling each of us to be His ambassadors, and to let our light, the light of Christ, shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who’s in heaven. And so, I just encourage you to quit focusing on all the things that you don't have, to quit making excuses, like Moses did, but, rather, focus on the God who will give you all that you need, to do all that He's called you to do, for every good work, and for sharing the message of Christ in our world.
The fourth roadblock is: unwillingness to believe God's promises. Just an unwillingness to believe: I just don't believe that my one little life can make that much of a difference. Who, me? My one little life could make that much of a difference?
In Hebrews 11:6, it says, "But without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." When we step out in faith, God says that He rewards that, and He's very pleased when we do that.
And faith, or belief, is an action word. It's not just trying real hard to muster up certain feelings. You see, faith isn't a feeling, and it's not just saying, over and over again, “I believe, I believe, I believe,” until I believe it. It doesn't work that way. But it's hearing God's Word. It's hearing His truth, and His promises to me.
And then, it is stepping out to serve God, based on the faithfulness of His promises, and knowing that He will keep His promises. It's a firm expectation that God will do what He said He'll do. It's a firm expectation.
Faith is what pleases God, not accomplishing things, not accomplishing things that, outwardly, make us look significant, but, by faith, doing those things that are God's will for each of our lives. And even though those things may seem mundane, and even though they may go unnoticed by others, they are significant to God. And when we step out in faith, and we do God's will, it pleases Him, and He rewards us, and we have spiritual blessings that are just so wonderful.
And it takes, sometimes – I've noticed in my own life – as much faith to step out, and do those mundane things in our daily lives, and believe that they are important, as it does to step out, and do something that's really big, and something that we feel like we're not equipped to do. Sometimes, it takes just as much faith to do those little, tiny things.
In Romans 10:17, it says, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." You see, our faith will not grow, if we're not in the Bible on a regular basis. And I know we talked about this a lot last night, but it's just so important. I see how it affects every area of our lives. As God's Spirit lives inside me, He helps me to understand God's Word, and He helps me to apply His Word to my life. And it's God responsibility to make me mature. It's His responsibility to grow me up in Him, and to give me all that I need.
But you know what? It's my responsibility to pick up that Bible, and read it, and to fill my mind with His truth, and to meditate on it, and allow its transforming power to work in my life. But it's a choice. It’s a choice that I have to make. God's not going to take control of my arm, and make me pick up my Bible and read it every day. It's a choice that I need to make. It's a choice to step out in faith, and do what God is calling me to do. And I can either say “yes” to God, or I can say “no.”
You know, I spent time with a young woman this past year, counseling her some. And this young woman was really destroying her life by the negative beliefs that she had – physically destroying her body because of how she viewed herself, and how she believed God viewed her. And as I shared with her, and as I prayed with her about how God viewed her, and her value in Christ . . . She told me one day, as I was praying, and as I was praying God's truth into her life, that, inside, in her heart, she was shaking her head “no.” And you see, she was refusing to believe. She just refused to believe God's truth. It takes a step of faith. It takes a choice, an act of our will, to say, “Yes God. Yes. I will do this. I will believe.”
And so, how about you? You know, are you continually shaking your head “no” to God, to all that He has for you?
Or will you decide to act by faith, to say, “Yes. Yes, Lord, I want all that You have.
Yes. Thank You, Lord, for what You've done for me,” and say, “I'm willing, Lord, for You to use my life in whatever capacity that You would choose. And I know that I'll never deliver a nation of people, like Moses. And I know that I'll never lead a kingdom, like David, and I'll not be an apostle, like Paul.” But that God has gifted each of us, and chosen us, to be a reflection of Him in the sphere of influence that He has given us. And God needs, and will use, your one little life. He'll use you.
Here's an example of one little life that God used: A Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball wasn't always sure his life had had much consequence, either. In 1858, he at least was able to lead a shoe clerk to Christ. Now, probably, in your life you think, Well, that's okay, but that’s not a significant impact.
Look at what happened: The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist. And, in 1879, Moody awakened an evangelistic zeal in the heart of a man named F.B. Meyer, the pastor of a small church in New England. Meyer, preaching on a college campus, won a student named J. Wilbur Chapman to Christ. While Chapman was engaged in YMCA work, he employed a former baseball player named Billy Sunday to help with evangelistic meetings. Sunday held a series of services in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, and a group of local men were so enthused by the meetings, that they planned another campaign. This time, they brought preacher Mordecai F. Ham to town. During one of his meetings, a young man named Billy Graham yielded his life to Christ. Since then, millions have heard the Gospel through Graham's ministry.
Kimball had started quite a ripple effect. So can you. In fact, you're probably already making a greater impact than you think you are. Now, that's quite a testimony: one little Sunday school teacher, one little life.
And so, are you ready to claim your inheritance? I am. Are you ready to fully claim your identify in Christ, and not turn back, not look back? You know, God wants to use us, cracks and all.
In 2 Timothy 2:20 and 21, it says, "Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things – and “these things” could be unfaithfulness, corruption, false beliefs – cleanse ourselves from these false beliefs – “he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." That's who you are. “The Master was searching for a vessel to use. Before Him were many. Which one would He choose? “‘Take me,’ cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright. I'm of great value, and I do things just right. My beauty and luster will outshine the rest, and for someone like You, Master, gold would be best.’
“The Master passed on, with no word at all, and looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall. ‘I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine. I'll be on Your table, wherever You dine. My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true, and silver will always compliment You.’
“Unheeding, the Master passed on to the brass, wide-mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass. ‘Here! Here!’ cried the vessel, ‘I know I will do. Place me on Your table for all men to view.’
“‘Look at me,’ called the goblet of crystal so clear, ‘My transparency shows my contents so dear. Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride, and I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide.’“The Master came next to a vessel of wood, polished and carved, it solidly stood. ‘You may use me, dear Master,’ the wooden bowl said, ‘but I'd rather You use me for fruit, not for bread.’
“Then, the Master looked down, and saw a vessel of clay, empty and broken it helplessly lay. No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose to cleanse and to make whole, to fill and to use. ‘Ah, this is the vessel I've been hoping to find. I'll mend it and use it, and make it all Mine. I need not the vessel with pride of itself; nor one that is narrow to sit on the shelf; nor one that is big-mouthed and shallow and loud; nor one that displays its contents so proud; nor one that thinks he can do all things just right; but this plain, earthen vessel filled with power and might.’
“Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay, mended and cleansed it and filled it that day, spoke to it kindly, ‘There's work you must do. Just pour out to others, as I’ve poured into you.’”
Let's pray. Father, we thank You so much that we are Your vessels of honor, and that we're but clay pots that have many, many cracks, but that You use those very things to draw others to Yourself, and You fill us with Yourself, and that You're our adequacy in everything that we do. Thank You, Lord, that You are our great “I AM.” You are everything that we will ever need.
We love You so much, and we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.