Before you read this, ask yourself this question: what was one solid point that I took away from the last sermon, podcast, etc. that I listened to?
If you have gone this far as too click on a link that brought you here to my page, here are three points I will make in this piece that will help you be an instrument for noble purposes:
1. Be prepared
2. Be disciplined
3. Refuse timidity
If that is all you read of this page, then at least you have laid just a tiny bit of a foundation in coming to realize how you can be an instrument for noble purposes. But if that is all you ever do, then you are from being an instrument, and saying that you are such is a lie.
I would be willing to bet that most people are familiar with the parable of the sower in the Bible. The short scoop is that a dude goes out and plants seeds on a path, in the rocks, in the thorns, and on the soil. I have heard that passage so many times and it always resonated with me in a surface level experience. It wasn’t until I asked myself the question that I put at the beginning of this article. I didn’t have a clue as to what my preacher had talked about the last Sunday. Reading through Mathew 13 a couple of weeks ago, I came up with the realization that, for the most part, the “church” is not prepared. We are just like Mathew 13 in that we hear God speaking and do one of the following: 1. We hear the message, don’t understand it, and don’t seek answers 2. We hear the message, receive it with joy, but quickly discard it 3. We hear the message, but the worries of life, money, and all of this world’s physical things take priority and choke out what God is trying to say to us.
Most of us just go to church to get our weekly fill of Jesus in and proceed on with our life. No wonder the church gets a bad name. No wonder so many people thinks Christians are passive, timid and weak. We don’t prepare ourselves to wage war. If we are to call ourselves instruments, we have to prepare for the known so that the unknown can be conquered. To accomplish this, we must receive the word and soak it in like fertile soil that is watered continuously and tended to. We must be ready to be an instrument for noble purposes in and out of season. Evil doesn’t care what season you are in; it will prey on you like a wolf. It is out there waiting to hit us at our weakest point, and if we aren’t prepared, we will fall. Don’t let that wolf catch you. Prepare yourself to be an instrument for spiritual warfare.
Being well prepared leads to being well disciplined. There are two different angles in this point that I have found that are necessary; we must 1. Be disciplined in what we do, and 2. Must be able to accept discipline.
As everyone knows, discipline sucks. Straight up. No matter how skilled you become, discipline always hurts. Hebrews 12:11 says it perfectly: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” By choosing to follow after Christ, you are consciously making a decision that will demand you to remain disciplined and require you to be disciplined. Following Christ doesn’t make discipline any easier, but it gives us a foreseeable goal to which we can strive towards. This makes any form of discipline worthwhile. Men and women show their power by being self-disciplined. Now being self-disciplined requires that we be strategic in our actions. We cannot just “run aimlessly or fight like a man beating the air” for a season and then come out and say that we have prepared for spiritual warfare. You may be prepping for a hundred-meter dash when God has a marathon waiting for you, or you may be prepping to fight someone in your weight class when God has a heavyweight champ he wants you to take on. Discipline takes preparation. We must make our body a slave to preparation and discipline because the body will fight us. Your soul is willing to take on these challenges, but the body is weak.
We cannot be an instrument for noble purposes if we do not humble ourselves to be self-disciplined for the Lord and to receive his discipline humbly.
By preparing yourself and finding discipline, we must wage war against our body’s worldly desires. This is not a 3-step program, and this 3rd point is not the summit of the previous two. If you think that by doing these first two points that you will somehow reach your end goal, you are far off my friend. Only by preparing yourself and staying disciplined over and over and over again will you achieve your real end goal when Christ calls you home. For some people, this means 90+ years of service, and for others, it only involves 1 week of service. (If that previous sentence confuses you, read the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Mathew 20.) We don’t know how long we have on this earth, and thus life is too short to live in a state of timidity. Come to the Lord with the description that is found in 2nd Samuel 17:8, where David’s pursuers describe he and his men like “fighters as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs.” If you have never seen a momma bear with her cubs, I can assure you that you do not want to be the object that is in between her and her little ones as you would soon feel overwhelmed, to say the least. By preparing yourself and staying disciplined with an attitude that refuses timidity, the areas in your life that you and your peers see as spiritually weak will change over time. You will begin to see those areas change and over time will be able to say I was once weak, but have been made strong. This is a process. Don’t be scared of the process, for as soon you become proud of yourself; humility will fall in your lap.
To sum up this short read, know that what you do today reflects on tomorrow. Your actions today may seem insignificant, but somewhere down the road, you will either reap the rewards or consequences of your efforts from the past. Life is too short to act timidly, and every day is precious.
We are not promised tomorrow, so don’t put off being an instrument for noble purposes today.