Friday, February 20, 2009
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A friend of mine has served on his local school board for many years. And the more demands that have been placed on schools in recent years, the more complicated the work of school boards and school officials has become. The other day one of those frustrations surfaced in our conversation. My friend said, "You know, our state keeps passing on mandates to us for things our school system has to do, but lots of times they give us the mandate without any money. They decide what we have to do, and we have to figure out how to pay for it."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Manageable Mandates."
Mandates without resources - that's got to be frustrating. Thankfully, God never gives a mandate without providing the resources to carry it out! That's important for you to know right now, especially if you sense that He's leading you to do something where you have no clue where the resources are going to come from.
Over and over our many years of serving Him, we've made 1 Thessalonians 5:24 our bottom line, and we have never been disappointed. It's our word for today from the Word of God. It simply makes this promise: "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." To put it simply, God will never abandon you in the middle of something that He's told you to do.
Right now your Lord may be leading you toward some uncharted territory. You're being asked to shoulder a responsibility, a burden, or a challenge that you're not sure you can handle. Good. That sounds like one of those exciting times when it will be just a little bit of you and a whole lot of God. Your promise is that if He is calling you to do something, He will actually do it through you. Your job is to stay pure and show up!
God's plan will not take you where His grace will not keep you. Maybe you can't see where the money would possibly come from to carry out what God is mandating, but God's Word teaches us that what God orders, God pays for! Or as one missionary pioneer said, "If it's God's will, it's God's bill!"
Or you may just feel personally inadequate for what God is leading you to do. Good. That gets you out of the way and it insures that God will get all the glory. The great Apostle Paul put it this way: "Not that we are competent in ourselves...but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent" (2 Corinthians 3:5). God is glorified when people who don't have what it takes are the ones He uses. We're talking like a divine takeover of you, filling you with His strength, His ideas, His words, His wisdom, His love.
He will provide the emotional resources you need, the human resources, and the financial resources. Remember, God's promise is "my God will meet all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Not according to your measly resources, but according to His unlimited resources!
So really, isn't that all you need to know as you're facing a challenge that's bigger than you are, or maybe you're even considering giving up on a calling that God has given to you. What you need to know is that your Lord will never abandon you in the middle of what He's told you to do. What God mandates, God provides for!