Throughout scripture the Holy Spirit was at work gifting and empowering people to do the tasks God put before them. Even in the midst of Holy Spirit empowerment and direct divine intervention and calling, there were still people uneasy with their assigned tasks. Gideon was hesitant even though he was directly commissioned by an angel and the Spirit was on him (Judges 6). Moses was hesitant even though God directly told him what to do. He still made excuses. Comfortability is not a prerequisite for calling or the gifting or empowering of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. Too often, I think believers confuse their comfortability with their calling. You see this when people only want to do the things they feel they are “gifted” at to the exclusion of the possibility that God may have put them in a position to effect an eternal difference in the world AND that it comes with risk (ask Esther what she thinks about this). When people say they can’t or won’t do something because that is not their gift, the impression I sometimes get is what they are really saying is they don’t feel good at it or comfortable with it and therefore avoid it.
What God put us here to do is not correlated perfectly with what we want to do. What God put us here to do will not always make us comfortable and there is no guarantee that God’s calling comes sans-risk. It also is not a lock that what God needs you to do will line up with what you think your gifts are. It is like eating food you don’t like – there are some things you will never acquire a taste for until you try them a few times and there are some things you just have to do because you know it is right. I cannot think of a single instance in scripture where God waited until someone was comfortable before calling on them to do something even if they turned Him down.
Let us never let our comfortability define what we think God can and will do with us. I believe some of our very best evangelists have never tried because they weren’t comfortable doing it or just didn’t think it was their job. God has gifted His church and it is important that we attempt to do the things God has told us to do. In the process we might just find out we are better at it than we thought but even still being good or bad at something isn’t the condition on which we are to do what God tells us to do. All God tells us to do is try…to be obedient…and let him work out the rest.
I am afraid some of what drives our thought process on these issues is a corporate culture of doing the things you or others say you are good at or leaving specific tasks for someone with the gift to do them…then 9 times out of 10 they go undone. It would have been better to have been tried than to never happen because someone with the “gift” never showed up or got there too late. There are many things we can do for the Lord that we don’t feel entirely competent to do. The list of incompetent but effective people in scripture is long because it is the power of God at work, not our own abilities.
There is also comfort in talking to certain people Whose lives are perfect and have no questions or doubts. This lack of desire to talk to some people may be by order of someone powerful or by fear of the odd person. This comfort means that certain people are viewed just like politicians, say something simple to the odd person and move on, never asking what is really going on in the odd person’s world.
Just found this post today Matt, thanks for your heart brother! Appreciate your words.