I’m penning this from The Bible College of Wales (BCW) in Swansea, UK, as we graduate the 9th batch of students from the 2019 Autumn Term. It’s been an amazing journey with these 33 students from seven nations, together with our awesome BCW staff members.
With ages ranging from 19 to 71 years, you couldn’t tell the difference when you witness their fervency and faithfulness towards the purposes of God. This thrills my heart because God sees beyond the years and ages, and the possibility of using anyone who avails himself or herself to Him. Your age doesn’t have to label you as not having enough experience nor cause worry about what others think – that you’re incompetent to complete the work God has called you to do. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’ (NIV).
Why should you let the fear of what others think stop you from doing what God’s calling you to do? The truth is – God can use you however old or young you are. What matters is to have a willing heart to listen and do what He’s asking of you.
When God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, he doubted whether God had chosen the right person. “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But God replied,”Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you” (Jeremiah 1:6-7 NIV).”
Obedience sets the trajectory of our lives, regardless of where we live, whether we support through prayers, giving or going, because our one desire is to labour for the spreading of the Gospel to those who’ve never heard it. The ultimate issue is not whether we stay or go – it’s whether we obey. And for some, obedience will mean staying; for others, obedience will mean going.
For every follower of Jesus Christ, it’s to put a blank cheque with your life before God, saying to Him, “Whatever You want me to do, I’ll do it. Wherever You want me to go, I’ll go. No strings attached.” It’s to ask God with open hands, “Are You leading me to go? Are You redirecting my future, even if it’s my family’s future, towards a life in the nations?”
In the Gospels, Jesus picked a bunch of earthen vessels – His disciples – to put His treasure, so that the surpassing greatness of the power would be of God and not from any man. He used humanly unimpressive men, which should give many of us hope that perhaps He can use common people like us to help further His Kingdom.
I love this portion in John 17:1-5, where Jesus prayed for Himself, that He’d be glorified through the Cross and so, in turn, glorify the Father. In verses 6-19, He prayed for the disciples, that they’d be kept and be set apart from the world as they remained in the world. In verses 20-26, He prayed for future believers, that they’d be one so that the world may believe that the Father sent Him. And Jesus prayed that all whom the Father gave Him would be with Him to see His glory. This is an amazing prayer of Jesus for His Church.
God is calling us to work His works, and whether He’s calling us now or in the future, do not doubt His call. Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (NIV). God has given all of us gifts and skills which will bring glory to Him and help others know Him more. Somebody out there somewhere, needs something we have. If we ask God, He‘ll show us who they are. And when He does, we need to get engaged!
To reach the world, to every tongue, tribe and nation, God uses people whom He has given to His Son, who will know and obey Him, whom He keeps while they’re in this world.
Join me this coming Thursday in praying for the 9th graduating batch of the School of Ministry in BCW. As we release them into their God-given calling to fulfil the purposes God has already set before them, may they be kept and set apart from the world as they remain in the world, just as Jesus is now praying for them.
And I invite you to seriously consider committing to come for the 2020 School of Ministry in BCW. I promise you, it’ll make a difference in you for the next three months, putting you onto a trajectory for the purposes of God!