Here are 4 things that will happen when God is telling you to stop resisting so he can use you.
1. If You Are Doubting God’s Call Because You Are Too Focused on Your Human Limitations, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Stop Resisting and Let Me Use You!”
So often we resist God’s calling because we look to our own power to accomplish it. We feel the weight of his mission for our lives and we know we can’t lift it. This is what happened to Moses. In Exodus 3:10-12 it says:
[The Lord said], ‘Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.’”
Moses made the mistake we all make. God gave him a mission but he looked at himself and knew he couldn’t do it. What was God’s response? “But I will be with you!” Despite God’s reassurance, Moses could not take his eyes off himself. He continued to focus on his own weaknesses:
- Exodus 4:1, “Then Moses answered, ‘But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, “The Lord did not appear to you.”’”
- Exodus 4:10, “But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’”
- Exodus 4:13, “But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
- Exodus 5:22-23, “Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.’”
But notice God’s response to Moses in Exodus 6. He doesn’t give Moses a pep-talk of self-confidence. He doesn’t disagree with Moses’s complaints. Moses really was insufficient to accomplish God’s calling on him. But God’s call on Moses was never dependent upon Moses’s ability. It was dependent upon God’s ability. In Exodus 6:1-8, God answers Moses by again pointing to himself (emphasis mine):
But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’”
If you are resisting God’s call on your life because you are focusing on your own inability, stop. Look to God, not yourself. His call will be accomplished through his power. You have to keep your eyes off yourself and keep them fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).
2. If You Love Too Much That Which God Is Calling You to Leave Behind So You Can Follow Him, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Stop Resisting and Let Me Use You!”
Jesus’s twelve were not men of special ability. Rather, they were men who obeyed his call. They left what they had in order to gain that which Jesus was offering. Matthew 4:19-20 states, “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
“Immediately.” What a word! When God calls, what right do we have to wait and think about it? What does it say when we have to put Jesus on the scale and our life possessions on the other scale and then weigh which one is worth more to us? You don’t have to be special to be used by God in powerful ways. You just have to be immediately willing when Jesus calls you.
Jesus didn’t wait for those who had excuses (Luke 9:57-62). In response to those who heard his call but looked at their lives and loved them too much, Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God,” (Luke 9:62).
Those who are so attached to the pleasures of this life are not those who will overcome the attacks of the evil one. As Revelation 12:11 (NIV) states, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
3. If You Are Wrestling God to Avoid His Holy Wounding, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Stop Resisting and Let Me Use You!”
A.W. Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” He also wrote:
The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs; and through the grace of God, maybe we shall; yes maybe we shall. But for the most of us it could prove at first an embarrassing experience. Ours might be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes who have fought the fight and won the victory and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.”1
There’s no glory for a soldier with a clean uniform. Medals are for those who have sacrificed their blood and embraced the cost of being useful for the cause. When we fear the wounds of warfare, we resist the call of our God.
When God started to wrestle with Jacob, Jacob started to wrestle back. Genesis 32:25 says, “When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.” Before God will bless you, he will remove your ability to wrestle with him. He will strip all of your power. He will break you down so he can build you back up. Once God finally blessed him, Genesis 32:31 then states, “The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.”
For the rest of Jacob’s life, he now had a limp. But this limp was a constant reminder of God’s blessing that only came when he was first wounded and weakened enough to receive it. Like Jacob, if you want to have the power to fulfill God’s call, you have to allow God to wound you deeply. In other words, you have to let the cost of following Christ take its toll on you. Stop resisting the cost. The call is meant to cost you. God’s grace is free but it is not cheap. To take such a treasure you must open your hands by releasing your death-grip on safety.
No one makes it through life without wounds. What affect those wounds will have on you, however, depend on your response to them. Will you let God use your pain to launch you into his purpose? Or will you let the fear of more pain imprison you to passivity? Psalm 119:71 states, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” Paul would agree. He said:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
Allow God to use the deep wounds in your life that he might use you greatly.
4. If You Are Trying to Use God to Do What You Want Rather Than Allowing God to Use You to Do What He Wants, This Is a Sign He’s Saying, “Stop Resisting Me and Let Me Use You!”
Be an empty vessel. Let go of your desires and embrace submission to God. And in the process, you will often find that God will give you the very desires you sacrificed because it was him all along who gave you those desires in the first place. But he needed you to stop demanding him to do what you wanted. He first needs you to do what he wants. Oftentimes, you both want the same thing, but you have to let God lead. As Jesus said:
Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:27-28)
Stop trying to use God to do what you want and allow him to use you to do what he wants. When you submit to the will of God, your will can then be accomplished too because his will for you will become your will for yourself.
Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”
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