THE SERVANT GENERAL
Today, from the readings, we look at three great stumbling
blocks to being used more effectively by God. Holy warriors
are to strive with all their God-given strength, by the grace
of Christ and the power of the Spirit, to overcome these.
and foremost is sin. Now of course we are all sinners, and
God knows that. But do we know it or admit it? Like David,
we better do. “For I know my transgressions; my sin
is always before me.” (Ps 51:5). God is of course patient
and merciful. But we do not take that for granted, and so
we must always pray, “Have mercy on me, God, in accord
with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot
out my transgressions.” (Ps 51:3). But God expects us
to avoid sin and to grow in holiness. We must strive at all
times to be pure of heart and mind. Our constant prayer must
be: “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within
me a steadfast spirit.” (Ps 51:12).
are some manifestations of an unclean heart?
Becoming comfortable with works of the flesh.
Being worldly in personal desires and lifestyle.
Looking to power, position and perquisites in doing service
Not desiring or actively pursuing holiness.
Second stumbling block is lack of faith or trust in God. We
must know God to be the loving Father who provides richly
for the needs of His children. He is the Master who has made
Himself the servant to His people. He is the all-powerful
Spirit who guides us and equips us for our work. He makes
all things work for the good of those who love Him and are
called according to His purpose. Jesus already gave his life
for us, so will he withhold anything else?
should know all that, and so we profess our faith and trust
in God. But oftentimes, when trials and great challenges come,
we falter. Much like Peter. He had faith in Jesus, which caused
him to walk on the water at Jesus’ simple word, “Come.”
(Mt 14:29). “But when he saw how strong the wind was
he became frightened, and, beginning to sink, he cried out,
‘Lord, save me!’” (Mt 14:30).
are some manifestations of a lack of faith?
money before mission rather than mission before money (deciding
to move on leadings of the Spirit, with the confidence that
resources will be provided).
Focusing on our weaknesses and shortcomings rather than
the strength and power of God.
Not moving forward because it is too difficult.
and falling back when we see the great opposition and hurdles
Third stumbling block is envy of others, especially other
leaders. We are called to be one body and one army in Christ.
We have one vision and mission. We do one work. All these
should be enough to get us working well together, looking
to the good of our brethren and co-workers, and rejoicing
and weeping together in victories and setbacks. But the enemy
not only assaults us from without, but works from within in
order to undermine the body. One great weapon he utilizes
is stirring up envy, especially against leaders who are successful
and fruitful in their service. Such was the case with Moses
and his siblings. “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses”
(Nm 12:1a). What they complained about was revealing. “Is
it through Moses alone that the Lord has spoken? Has he not
spoken through us also?” (Nm 12:2). Why him and not
this sin is unchecked, it escalates quickly. Among the fruits
of envy would be gossip, backbiting, calumny, factionalism,
and even rebellion. Instead, we must desire that others succeed,
even surpassing our own contributions to the work. We must
do what we can to help others succeed, even seemingly at our
own expense. We must rejoice that God is using not just us
but others as well, for His glory and the good of the body.
are some manifestations of envy?
Putting down other leaders or minimizing the good that they
Thinking we are better than others.
Not cooperating with the one we are envious of, or at least
not going all out to help enhance his service.
Being competitive and even putting stumbling blocks in the
way of others.
We are so privileged to be called and chosen to be God’s
holy warriors. We must be holy as God is holy, and we must
follow only His agenda, priorities and work. Keeping us from
this is our own sin, our lack of trust in God, and our lack
of charity towards our co-workers.
must know not only what our call is, but who we are. Being
sinners who have been granted the privilege to do divine work,
we must be humble. Just like Moses. “Now the man Moses
was very humble, more than anyone else on earth.” (Nm
12:3). Then just like Moses, God will be able to use us to
do great things for Him and for His people. Then we must strive
for purity. “Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure”
(Ps 51:9a). Finally, we must have full and complete trust
in God. We must strive to have that faith that moves mountains
…. or allows us to walk on water.