In view of the fact that as a child I was a Brownie, then Girl Scout, I was forced to become a sales person at a very early age. Without fail, each year the time would roll around for selling Girl Scout Cookies, which back then, I might add, were only fifty cents a box! That would be only the beginning of things that I would be asked to market over the years that followed in junior high and high school as fund raising events found me peddling everything from candles to candy bars. I was reminded of all this just the other day when a knock at the door found me face to face with teenage girl selling the wares of her fundraiser project. She was so sweet about it all as she described the different offerings to me. When she paused to take a breath, I said, “I would love to, but…”
I think I raised her hopes in the moment as all she heard was, “I would love to.” A smile was beginning to come across her face until she had a moment to digest the but of the sentence which ended with, ” I don’t think so right now.” Having been in her shoes, I felt badly for her as she walked away. I hate to disappoint people, and I had clearly let her down.
However, this was somehow enough to bring about a moment of conviction from the Lord. Perhaps it was my choice of words in the exchange that zinged me. I would love to, but… I was reminded of the times I’ve said those exact words to the Lord in response to His requests to do things for which I felt ill-equipped or perhaps selfishly disinterested in doing . Stating my case nicely, politely with God seemed much better than stomping my foot and telling the God of the universe, “No!” Remember Moses (Exodus 3 and 4) who completed his sentences decisively with excuses, “But, Lord, I am not a good communicator. But, Lord, they won’t believe me. But, Lord, I do not possess the skills to do this.” There it is, “I would love to, but surely I am not the person for this job.” Sound familiar? He must have felt pretty confident of his lack of skills because there was Moses in front of the burning bush arguing with God about his poor credentials! Sounds silly that Moses would argue like this with God, who created him for this purpose, but he did and we do! And there I was feeling badly for turning away the young girl at my door. What about disappointing God?
Sadly enough, I believe we are often guilty of trying to rationalize ourselves out of the purposes that God has for our lives, shooting down opportunities for ministry when they come our way. Much like Moses, we have debates with God based on our perceived insecurities and fears. However, each of us is equipped by God with every tool necessary to complete our mission here on earth, and just as God made provision for Moses in each situation as it arose, He will do the same for us. It may not always be easy or comfortable, but God will always there. His love and direction will pave the way for each step we take toward our purpose, toward reaching the lost, toward bringing Him glory.
Have you declined God recently in some request He has made of you? Today, claim victory over Satan’s accusations against you and your abilities! Be it large or small, practice saying yes instead of but when God calls on you. Be watchful for opportunities in your church, your community, or at work. Be faithful. Be selfless. Be ready to step out on faith, to be a servant, to trust God to give you whatever it is that you will need to answer His call on your life. Draw close to God so that He can make you fully aware of what His call is for you. Reply as Samuel did, “Lord, speak for your servant is listening.” (Samuel 3) Take a deep breath and with God at your side, simply say, “I would love to. As your servant it would be my honor. Here am I, Lord, send me.” And claim Philippians 4:13 in the Bible which says,” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Now go and be about your Father’s business! To God be the Glory!