Friday, August 31, 2007

Competent

Bible study resumed a couple of weeks ago after a summer hiatus. Our first night together followed on the heels of a crazy day, one of those days where I had a thousand-and-one different things that needed to be done. My husband was out of town, two of my sons had practice, and on and on it went. A crazy day. And a stressful one at that.

By the time I screeched into the church parking lot on two wheels and whipped into my parking place, I was a bundle of nervous energy. Or make that nervous anxiety. My mind was scattered as it had been scattered all day. Although I had spent several hours in preparation, I knew I was in no place to presume to teach God's Word.

When I began this Monday night community Bible study four years ago, it was my desire, as well as the desire of the five other women that joined me, for God's presence to go with us and be the distinguishing mark of all we did:

"Then Moses said to him, 'If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people...?'" (Ex. 33:15-16)

If He doesn't go with us, we don't want it. But He has. He has gone with us and before us. He has been faithful to meet with us and teach us and change us through the power of His Word.

I can't tell you how many times I've walked into Bible study much like I did that night, knowing for sure and for certain that I was not enough...and yet...yet He came. I beheld His power and His glory as we gathered around the table and opened our Bibles; not only that, but to the praise of His glorious grace, I beheld His power in me, so much so my heart could break.

I don't understand why He chooses to use me. On mornings following Bible study, as I sit and reflect on our time together, so often I want to cry out to God: "Unworthy! I'm unworthy! Didn't You see what a mess I was? What a mess I am? Didn't You notice how scattered and ill prepared? How can You be so faithful?"

Yes, He sees. He knows. The fact is, I am unworthy. Who am I--sinful, prideful woman that I am--to dare to presume to teach His Word? Yet He has made me competent. He grants me the glorious privilege of being His vessel, a humble, ordinary jar of clay showing the all surpassing power is from Him and not from me.

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit."
~2 Cor. 3:4-6

12 comments:

  1. Crying here. Thank you for this post!

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  2. Amen and amen. If He doesn't go with us...but He does and he shows His mercy and love over and over. He really fills in the gaps. Blessings as you continue in faithfulness to get together and open His Word together and listen to what He wants to teach you!

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  3. Oh, this is so good!! Amen! I would love to attend one of your lessons!

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  4. I know whereof you speak.

    Oh, how I know.

    Praise His Holy Name!

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  5. "to the praise of His glorious grace"--I can only say Amen! Let it be so indeed, to me, and to each one that He chooses to use--unworthy vessels all, that His light would shine through the cracked clay jars, that His power would be evident in the weakness of flesh.

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  6. Amen! He is so faithful especially when we are not!

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  7. Every time I have to teach the last line of my final prayer is always, "Lord, I can fail, but You can not."

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who quakes before things like this! :))

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  8. I imagine that you are a tremendous blessing to those lucky ones sitting in your class because you are so willing for God to use you. I would love to be in your class - but since I can't - I am thankful to be blessed by you here in blogville.
    God bless!

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  9. oh Lisa, your words describe it so well. "an ordinary jar of clay" that He chooses to use.

    I have asked the question many times, "why me Lord, why me?"

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  10. Lisa, you not only teach Bible class, but you teach me every time I come here. Thank you for your sweet reminders of God's love for us.

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  11. And that is exactly why He chooses to use you! You are a humble woman of God. :) I think of humble Mary saying "yes" and how we are not asked to carry His Son, but we are asked to say "yes" and He will move!
    I love that scripture about His presence going before us. I often wonder how people can live in this world w/o it.

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