Summary: What are some of the steps to allow God to significantly use you?
Many people are not actively serving God because they somehow cannot see the Lord significantly using them. People with little faith usually fall prey to a low esteem. When people feel inadequate they are often unwilling to let the Lord’s grace work out its sufficiency through their service. Excuses for failing to serve the Lord are not pleasing to the Lord who wants all Christians to grow up into every dimension of life.
Maturity can only be obtained through the exercise of our spiritual gifts, abilities and knowledge. Unless someone is willing to use their muscles they tend to grow weak, frail and dysfunctional. Let us look at the life of Othniel to see how he let God use him for great exploits.
1. In Judges 3, the Israelites were serving Baal and cried out to the Lord to deliver them from the hand of their oppressors. God sent Othniel, the younger brother of Caleb, to free them from spiritual and physical bondage. Even when people are in a back-slidden state they can received help from God if they will pray.
2. Othniel had been used of God to capture Kiriath-sepher in Joshua chapter 15. Now God chose him to lead the Israelites against the Cushan people. Othniel had proven that he was faithful and successful in little things so God promoted him to assume greater responsibilities. No one will be elevated to higher levels of ministry positions until they have proven themselves effective and faithful in less significant roles.
3. Othniel had followed the Lord with all His heart, soul, strength and mind. (Numb. 14:24) He also had the privilege of seeing great faith lived out in the life of his own Godly brother Caleb. Let us recognize the impact that brothers and sisters can have on their siblings – both for good and bad.
4. Othniel had previously gone to battle and had won a great victory. Do not think that God appoints men of unproven abilities. The Lord is looking for faithful people who have proven themselves in smaller contests.
5. Othniel had demonstrated his faith and skill in working with people. Learning how to exhibit wise public relation skills is essential for getting people to collaborate in their efforts to serve the Lord.
6. Othniel was a man of proven courage, innovation and productivity. He was not content to sit until someone told him what to do. He initiated service in a way that showed he was willing to risk failure.
7. Othniel overcame his fears by trusting in the Lord to give him success in areas that were unchartered territory. People of God often have to be willing to go to areas of life that are unfamiliar.
8. Othniel overcame spiritual forces that opposed him and the Israelites. The most difficult battles will always be the spiritual contests. The spiritual warfare must be fought with much prayer and applications of the principles of spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6.
9. Othniel succeeded in leading the Israelites to victory because He motivated people by His exemplary lifestyle. It is not enough to just be successful in the ministry. We must exhibit Christ-likeness in all areas of our speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. (2 Tim. 3:10)
10. Othniel refused to give in to doubting critics who mocked his abilities as a leader. There will always be plenty of cynics, skeptics and scorners who are quick to doubt your abilities to lead. Let the Lord fight your battles for you and He will lead you to victory over all.
11. Othniel was willing to go down to the battle risking everything for the sake of the Lord and His purposes. Only when we are willing to place our life in God’s care are we able to see the greatness of God’s promised actualized. Do not just be a spectator, but engage in the good fight of faith.