“I wish I had the guts to __________________.”
“I wish I had the ability to __________________.”
How often do we hear those words? How often do we say those words? How many things would we just go forward and do if only we had the courage? If only we knew we would have the skills and abilities to do those things?
I know I’ve said those words. I know I’ve thought them even more frequently. Sometimes I say those words about far-fetched things, especially when it comes to ability. I wish I was able to play the piano. And believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve taken piano lessons several times in my life. And, in college I would find available pianos when I could and try and try to improve my skills. I learned that if I practice long enough on one song, I can play it decently. (Long enough typically equals about six months.) It’s not a matter of practicing the concepts and then applying them to music in general – I have to literally teach my fingers to play one specific piece at a time.
The problem doesn’t come when I say “I wish” about things like playing piano. It comes when I say “I wish” about things that I will not truly put the time and energy into. It comes when I feel an urge to truly try something, but I’m not bold enough to actually step forward and do it. It comes when I say, “I just can’t.” And, it’s a problem because when I say I can’t, I’m really saying that I don’t trust that God can. I’m relying on my own abilities when He has time and again shown His faithfulness to provide every skill and provision needed to accomplish the task.
Exodus 35:30-36:5 is a beautiful picture of God providing both skill and materials to accomplish a task. Scripture tells us that God instilled in Bezalel and Oholiab incredible skills. In fact, the Bible ties the filling of these two men with the Holy Spirit together with filling them with knowledge, wisdom, and all craftsmanship skills. Because the Holy Spirit was upon them, they were able to do whatever God asked of them, including overseeing the intricate and specific craftsmanship of the beautiful tabernacle!But, God didn’t stop there. He then filled the people with an incredible desire to be a part of this project. They gave so much that Moses had to tell them to stop giving because they gave too much!
Thanks to Christ’s death on the cross, if we are believers in Him, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. He fills us with the wisdom, knowledge, and ability to do anything He asks of us. If it was His intention that I be able to play the piano, He would give me the skills to do so. But, why focus on the piano when there are so many other things He’s given me the ability to do? There are so many abilities that I don’t exercise to the fullest. Why? Because deep down I don’t trust that God will provide what I need to truly accomplish those things. Whether it be skills, ideas, funds, materials, or even time, I hold back, not believing that He’s going to provide for those tasks He leads me to accomplish.
Can you imagine what we would be like as a church if we responded as the Israelites did (at least that time!)? If all of us would make full use of the wisdom, knowledge, and ability He instills within us? If all of us would give so much of ourselves and our possessions that the provision was overflowing? It gives me chills just to think about it! Oh, may we stop holding back! Oh may we no longer live in timidity! Oh may those little ideas that the Holy Spirit introduces to our minds be brought forth to maturity because we are willing to boldly tap into every resource He has given us!