God is looking for someone available and obedient.
In the "Here For It" series, Pastor Eli Nelson has taught on ordinary people being available for God. Today, he focused on extraordinary people in the Bible as examples of how we can be extraordinary, starting with Abraham.
"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.' So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there." Genesis 12:1-5 (NIV)
Abram received a calling to leave his country when he was 75 years old. His name was later changed to Abraham, meaning “father of many nations,” and he is considered the "Father of the Faith."
God has extraordinary works for us and for us to do.
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
God has already prepared extraordinary works. Are we going to walk in them and be available for them? God is looking for you to help bring His kingdom here on earth. In John 8:58, Jesus states, “Before Abraham was born, I AM!” God had a plan in place before Abram even knew he was going to be a part of God's plan.
Being extraordinary is not about our occupation, title, or position. God can use you right now. Being extraordinary is about being available and obedient. It's about understanding the significance of the role you play right now. Being extraordinary is not necessarily about achieving something, but realizing the potential you can do now. It’s not, “Someday when….” but “Right now.” If you have the availability, you have the ability to transform someone’s life for eternity.
"Being extraordinary is not about what you can do for God. It’s what God can do through you." ~ Pastor Eli Nelson
God works through people. Yield to God. Ask Him, “God, what do you want to do through me?” When you have plans on how you want to be used by God, then you put a limit on how God can actually use you. What we have to give God is not as extraordinary as what He wants to do through us. God wants to use you by grace. He chooses you because of His grace and love for you. For every person doing the will of God and remaining available to Him, the sky is the limit.
The pattern we are developing right now of being available for God to use is what leads to being extraordinary.
God doesn't just look at a person's potential. He looks at a person's pattern. Saul and David were both kings. Saul had a goal, and that’s where he stopped. David lived a life of pursuit, and he had no limit. Our heart posture is important.
"Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all." Romans 4:16 (NIV)
When did Abraham become extraordinary? Or Elisha? Or David? At what point in their lives did they move from ordinary to extraordinary? They became extraordinary when they developed a pattern of availability. When wondering, “God, how are you going to use me?” Just be available. When you see a need, meet it. Mary became extraordinary the moment she came into agreement with what God wanted to do through her. Abraham became extraordinary when he believed what God spoke over him.
Stop striving and start trusting
When your calling feels like it's eluding you, God is really just preparing you. What is in you today that you have let die? What dreams? What calling? If it is still in you, don’t give up on it. Do not think that God can’t use you, or that you’ve wasted too much time. Don’t write off God. Don’t put a period where God puts a comma. If you are still breathing, God is not done with you. He hasn't given up on you. Don't give up on yourself.
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:18-21 (NIV)
Paul (the author of Romans) stated that Abraham did not waver, but we can read in Scripture that he did (e.g. Hagar and Ishmael). Rather, Paul is saying that Abraham’s mistakes were not the end. They were not relevant because Abraham kept believing.
The word for the year for My City Church is STAND. For that thing God has placed in your life, are you going to get back up again? Everyone will get beaten down at some point. Keep fighting. Choose to stand in what God has spoken over you. He is with you.
Pastor Eli showed a movie clip from Avengers: Endgame where Captain America gets beaten up and is the only one left to fight an evil army. But he gets back up and straps on his broken shield. Then the other avengers arrive with an army of their own. The God of angel armies is always on your side. When God calls you to stand, you will not necessarily have to fight. And you won’t have to stand alone. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight of faith.
Until your dying breath, keep believing.
Pastor Eli read the entirety of Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. God is looking for a people who will stand for Him and stand for faith, regardless of whether they see what was promised to them in this lifetime. God’s plans are bigger than our individual lifetimes.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
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