Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
The last thing in life I ever wanted to do was speak before people. I never raised my hand in class. I always sat in the very back. I never even liked answering the phone. Talking in front of people always scared me. Anything more than a couple of good friends and I would clam up and just listen. So when God put it in my heart to enter the ministry it seemed all wrong. His Spirit gave me a great burning desire to help others grow spiritually. I was given a very strong inner compulsion to help believers learn the Bible and grow. But how could I do that if I couldn’t speak in front of people?
When God called me to speak for Him He also enabled me to speak in front of others. It is His Spirit that gives me the confidence to do so and the words to speak. I can’t take any credit for that. It still isn’t easy and I continue to find it hard to do at times, but I know if He wants me to do something He will have to enable me to do it for I can’t on my own.
Recently I have been traveling to India to minister to pastors there. God put that desire in my heart as well. He then enabled me to carry out the ministry to which He called me. That’s one of the ways God speaks to us today. He speaks enablement and ability to minister in the way in which He calls us.
Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual conversation with someone and the right words and answers just kept coming out of your mouth? You knew God wanted you to say those things, but you recognized they were beyond your ability to communicate in such a great way. That is God enabling you to minister for Him.
You see, God doesn’t call the gifted, He gifts the called. If He calls you to share a testimony, speak to a friend, sing in church, help with the youth, take a turn in the nursery – whatever it is He promises to speak guidance and enablement to you. All He requires of us is to be available. He doesn’t need out ability. He can give or take that as He chooses. He wants our availability, not our ability. He then provides the ability we need. His voice calls people into ministry (I Timothy 1:12; 2:6-7) and then tells those whom He has called what to say. Moses is an example of this (Exodus 4:10-12).
When I teach and preach or when I counsel I depend on God to give me the right things to say. That’s why I always pray before I start, asking Him to give me His words to speak and that everyone would hear Him and not me. I need to listen to Him and you need to be hearing from Him as you hear me.
1 Timothy 1:12, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.”
1 Timothy 2:6-7, “…who gave himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle — I am telling the truth, I am not lying — and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.”
Exodus 4:10-12, “Moses said to the Lord, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'”
Think of some times God has given you words to speak or in some other way helped you to minister for Him. Thank Him for that. Ask Him to help you in ways He now wants you to serve Him. Listen to Him speak enablement to you to carry out what He wants you do to. If there is anything He wants you to do but you are hesitating because you don’t feel competent for it, confess that and commit to doing it with His help. He will speak enablement to you when you need it.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 15 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on February 1, 2010