“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen [and use] those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
God is delighted to use you to accomplish his purposes
In every generation, God seeks men and women in whom he may show himself strong to do great exploits for him, he would that you should be one, are you willing? God is Almighty, glorious in power—omnipotent to execute missions for himself without any human agent. However, throughout history, God has used men and women to accomplish his purposes. During Noah’s generation when “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time,” God found one who “was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God,” his name is Noah (Genesis 6:5, 9).
When God wanted to establish a nation that will bear his name, he looked for Abraham, a man of righteous and obedience and he told Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). By faith, Abraham obeyed God. He left his nation, his father’s household and kindred and journeyed to a place he knows nothing about. Through Abraham, God indeed has raised a special people for himself—the Hebrews with whom God has established his old covenant. Of Abraham, it is written; “And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12).
As God used Abraham to raise a nation, he used Joseph to preserve a nation and Moses to deliver the same nation. In the face of an impending famine which would have wiped away Abraham’s descendants, God raised Joseph, the son of Jacob to preserve Israel from famine. Sold as a slave by his own brothers, God raised Joseph from a cistern to a housekeeper in Potiphar’s house, from a prison dungeon to a governor of Egypt, second to Pharaoh. Later Joseph tells his brothers that it was the plan of God that his brothers sold him though with an evil intention of harming him. Joseph tells his brothers; “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
The nation whom God has established through Abraham, preserved through Joseph ended up in slavery and God raised Moses to deliver them. Moses, born at a time when Hebrews boys were supposed to be killed at birth by the midwives was kept by God in his mother’s house for three months. God then planned to have Moses raised in Pharaoh’s own court as an Egyptian Prince. He thus caused Moses to be placed in a basket of reeds on the river Nile were Pharaoh’s daughter often comes to relax. She took Moses and raised him as her own child—an Egyptian Prince. God was preparing Moses for a mission, to deliver his people from the tyranny of Pharaoh the king of Egypt.
The Old testament is filled with men and women whom the Lord has raised to accomplish his purposes. Joshua the successor of Moses, and all the Judges including Samson, Gideon, Deborah among others were God’s agent for God’s mission. Samuel the great prophet and priest who governed Israel before the establishment of their monarchy was used greatly by God to restore order when Eli the high priest’s sons became corrupt and everyone did as he saw fit during the time of the Judges. David a man after God’s own heart was exceptional and a few other godly kings after him not to mention all the prophets; Elijah, Elisha, Huldah, Micaiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc. The exilic and post exilic leaders of Israel were raised and used for the same cause; Daniel did exploits, Esther was raised for a time as it was, Ezra, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah were men and women God sought to show himself strong through them. Lots can equally be said of the men and women in the New Testament and throughout the history of the church whom God equally used to accomplish his purposes.
In the same way in our times, God is looking for men and women such that he may show himself strong in them—to be used to accomplish his purposes. I believe God has called me and has used me in several ways and continues to use me for a special cause, one of which is to inspire and bring to your attention through this blog that God is looking for YOU to accomplish his purpose. I pray that you will be obedient to that call and offer yourself for the noble cause that god will show you. There are two key traits of men and women God has used and will use for his purpose that I would like to share with you. Like the men of Issachar, if we are to do great exploits for God today, we must be able to understand the times and know what we should do at such times (1 Chronicles 12:32). The men and women whom I have briefly mentioned above were able to fit in God’s call in their lives because they;
Understood their times—we must equally understand our times too
A man who doesn’t understand his times will live without a purpose, such are like a mass of running water which can be very destructive than constructive. Noah understood his times, he knew that his people were wicked against God and chose not to be like any of the people of his time. Abraham understood the need for a special nation and he responded to God’s call, Mordecai understood the times why Esther was in the palace and told her; “who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). The men of Issachar were very few unlike those from other tribes—only 200 with their families. But they understood the times after king Saul’s demise in a battle that it was time to have David anointed king in Israel. They formed a wise counsel to king David as many them were made chiefs because they could read and understand the times.
- Must read: Knowing the boundaries, keeping the limits
It is therefore very important that you understand the times and God’s call in your life for such a time as it is and will be. People who understand the times very well and respond accordingly to God’s call will do everything without their passion burning out. A great preacher and revivalist, a man who understood the times of the 18th century and responded accordingly—John Wesley once noted;
Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! ― John Wesley
I so much believe that God raises people in all works of life for a purpose, that purpose can only be fulfilled if you understand the times of the context in which you are. Being in the business career, politics, opinion leaders and advisors, preachers and church ministers and various professionals and the like presents different opportunities where we who are called according to His (God’s) purposes can cause effect for the Kingdom of God, but we must first understand the times. To understand the times is to be read the pages of events and current issues very well and be visionary, what Chuck Swindoll describes as “the ability to see above and beyond the majority.” Therefore, wherever you have been placed, pray that God gives you the understanding of the times and why he has positioned you there at such a time. This will gear you to be able to know what to do because as much as understanding the times is a precursor for any mission, it wouldn’t help unless;
We know what to do in the respective times
Understanding and Vision is entranced and rendered useless unless they are translated into action points which produce fruits. So, the men of Issachar went extra miles from understanding the times to knowing what Israel should do. Wisdom is proved by its ability to apply knowledge in a peculiar situation and apply it very well. Our actions must align with the need or demands of the times in which we are such that we don’t just do something but we do the right things. “A saying I heard years ago: ‘It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do something, even if it’s wrong!’ That’s the most stupid counsel I’ve ever heard. Never do what’s wrong! Do nothing until it’s right. Then do it with all your might. That’s wise counsel” (Chuck Swindoll).
Our times need men and women who will both understand it well and do the right things if we are to make advances for the Kingdom of God unto whose mission we have been commissioned. This must be in all sectors including in political governance, church ministry, in business and other professional careers. In his message; Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message, Ravi Zacharias, describes our contemporary time in these words;
We are living in a time when sensitivities are at the surface, often vented with cutting words. Philosophically, you can believe anything so as you do not claim it a better way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from eastern fold. Such is the mood at the end of the twentieth century. A mood can be a dangerous state of mind, because it can crush reason under the weight of feeling. But that is precisely what I believe postmodernism best represents – a mood.
Our political systems are broken, many of our politicians are driven by self-gratification as such graft is order of the day. Politics has buried the truth for political correctness. Secularism has taken over legislation and the justice system, as such many governments appear antichrist in their actions. Christianity has become the most persecuted religion in both nations whose heritages are very Christian and the majority Muslim world. Many business men and women are driven by egocentric profits to the extent that majority of the world’s wealth is in the hands of only one percent of the world’s population. The gap between the haves and have not’s have failed to narrow down, instead it widens every day. Churches are being reduced to become places of social gathering and agents of a secular world order in promoting values that are unbiblical and ungodly instead of fulfilling the Great Commission. What a wretched generation of our time! Yet as Christians we have been placed in various positions for such a time as this.
- Must read: Troubled but joyful–part II
How do you understand the times in which we live in your own context? Are you able to sense God’s call at such a time as this to be used by Him to an accomplishment (mission) regardless of your career? Will you be able to offer or make yourself available when the Lord comes seeking for men and women of all works of life to do exploits for him? Be it known to you that “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). At the time of Isaiah, he heard a voice from the throne of God saying “Whom shall I send? And who shall go for us?” Isaiah responded to this call by saying “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
God is seeking for men and women who can understand the times and know what to do in this wicked, perverse and “corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40). Let us re-examine our mission as the light and salt of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). May you “Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” ― John Wesley.
Dave Richards wrote a hymn in the last century of God’s desire to build a people of power and a people who will move through this land by his Spirit. I pray that you desire and offer yourself to be one who God will build and also use as an agent in our time to fulfil this prayer of Dave Richards in this hymn;
For I’m building a people of power, And I’m making a people of praise That will move through this land by My Spirit, And will glorify My precious name.
Build Your church, Lord, Make us strong, Lord, Join our hearts, Lord, through Your Son. Make us one, Lord, In Your Body, In the kingdom of Your Son.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV).
Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. For pastoral assistance you can email him or check how you can reach him here and you can also help to support this site by donating here.