Summary: We often talk about wanting to be used by God but aren’t willing to discuss what we must be willing to do for that to happen.
Do you think God can use you? As Christians we should have the confidence that God can use us, but often we don’t. Why? The simple answer is a lack of faith, but what does that mean? Jesus talked about faith moving mountains, but most of us don’t have any connection with that level of faith. Does that mean God can’t use us? Can Jesus use people who struggle with the mountains of life? I believe He can and does! But it takes some commitment on our part, and that commitment takes faith. So what does it take to be used by God?
Text: Hebrews 12:1-3
I. He Needs to be our Center of Attention
1 …let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith…
If we want to be used by God then HE has to be our focus—the center of our attention. There are so many things that compete for our attention, that it is often hard to keep Jesus in the very center of our life. But if we want to be used by God that is exactly what we must do.
What can focusing on Jesus do for us spiritually, and how can that help us be useful to Him? When Jesus is the CENTER of ATTENTION in our lives we can…
1. See our Sin Problem
If we aren’t focusing on Christ we will never SEE our sin problem. Listen to what David said about the “wicked” Psalm 36:
There is no dread of God before His eyes, for in His own yes he flatters himself too much to discover and hate his sin. (Psalm 36:1-2)
Instead of flattering ourselves we need to be focusing on Christ which is what we are challenged to do in Psalm 119:
Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways. (Psalm 119:37)
I like the way the Living Bible paraphrases this verse:
Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours.
If our focus is not on Christ, then we won’t be able to turn away from any other plan but God’s. Let me illustrate using God’s call of the Prophet Isaiah. Before Isaiah could respond to God’s call to be SENT, he had to understand the problem of His SIN. Isaiah was given a vision of God being “High and lifted up,” and of the angels calling out, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts.” His response to that vision—to the Lord being the CENTER OF HIS ATTENTION:
“Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean life and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)
Isaiah saw his SIN PROBLEM, but that isn’t the end of the story. Because of his repentance God provided forgiveness. And angel brought a burning coal from the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips and said:
“Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, and your sin is atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:7)
Once Isaiah had SEEN his SIN PROBLEM, then he was ready to see His…POTENTIAL for SERVICE:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Who should I send? Who will go for Us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
Like Isaiah, once we see, and address our SIN PROBLEM then we can…
2. See our Service Potential
I have said more times than I can count that Jesus doesn’t save people to SIT, He saves them to SERVE! Many of you could probably quote, or at least come close to quoting Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lets anyone should boast. (NKJV)
Unfortunately, not nearly as many can quote the next verse:
For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
Is Jesus the CENTER of your ATTENTION? If so, then you should be SERVING Him. If you aren’t SERVING then He is CENTRAL! Jesus himself addressed the challenge of keeping our eyes on Him when it comes to being His disciple:
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Let’s face it, if you try and plow while looking backwards you simply aren’t going to get the job done. And what you do get done is going to be a crooked mess! Your SERVICE POTENTIAL is directly related to your willingness to keep your eyes on Jesus! Let’s move on to another principle that is necessary if we are going to be used by God. Not only does Jesus need to be our CENTER OF ATTENTION…