SCRIPTURE: Luke 14:11 (CEB) – larger reading, Luke 14:7-14
All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up
Wakefield tells the story of the famous inventor Samuel Morse who was once asked if he ever encountered situations where he didn't know what to do. Morse responded, "More than once, and whenever I could not see my way clearly, I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding."
Morse received many honors from his invention of the telegraph but felt undeserving: "I have made a valuable application of electricity not because I was superior to other men but solely because God, who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone and He was pleased to reveal it to me."
At special events in the middle-east position was everything. It told all those gathered just how important or unimportant a person was. There was a definite peaking order within society. Jesus, in the Luke story, illustrates for each of us that we should not think more highly of ourselves. In fact, he says that it would be better to think of ourselves less than we are allowing the host of the wedding celebration to elevate us to a better seat.
Such is the role of a disciple. Samuel Morse understood that he had a role to play in God’s universe. It was a role that he humbly accepted. He acknowledged that he was the benefactor of God’s blessing to be the one that God decided to use at a particular time in history with a particular idea. To God be the glory.
Isn’t it amazing what God does with what he has to work with! Such is your lot and mine. Whatever happens in and through us is not of our doing, but of God’s plan and purpose.
We’ve all known individuals who like to be seen and heard – out front, up front, and in the limelight (so to speak). God can use those people, but only with limited results because they (we) keep getting in his way.
I remember one particular occasion in my ministry. I was serving my first church after graduating from seminary. Worship had been particularly exciting. There was lots of energy. And I thought the sermon went particularly well. As they say, “I hit the ball out of the park.” Or, so I thought. When I got home we discussed the service and the sermon. My wife’s only comment was, “Well, it was going pretty good until you got in the way.” Ouch!
Jesus taught us that we should get out of God’s way. Samuel Mores understood that. As disciples, called to be servants of the Most High God, we simply should allow God to use us as well as receive all the credit. Any talent or skills or abilities that we have they all came from God anyway.
Here’s to becoming better in this disciple business!
It feels good when we hear people praise us, but remind us that we should deflect all the praise to you. We are servants of your kingdom and followers of the King.