I wonder how many times the Israelites asked themselves that very type of question. How in the world did we end up here? This desert wasteland is a far cry from the Egyptian cities our families have lived in for generations. Building this tabernacle for our God is a far cry from being forced to make bricks in the hot sun for our Egyptian oppressors.
Are the location pins on the map of my life really all that disconnected?
Or am I right where God intended for me to be, fully equipped for what He is asking of me at this moment?
When we read through Exodus chapters 26-36, we watch as God’s vision for the Tabernacle and the roles of His people emerge. Yards and yards of beautiful curtains are woven by skilled workers. Tons of wood are cut, crafted, chiseled, and honed into support frameworks and exquisite altars. Dozens of tools and pieces are hammered from bronze and gold.
Have you ever wondered where all of that talent came from?
God. He used the Israelites’ time under oppression to build the skills they would need in the future.
God equips His people with exactly the gifts needed to bring glory and honor to Himself.
In chapters 35 and 36, we watch as the whole Israelite community is invited to bring an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting. In just nine short verses, the phrase those “who were willing” is repeated four times. Why does that matter? I think scripture is reminding us that God has gifted and equipped us all, but that we must be willing to use those gifts and resources. He doesn’t force us, but He gives us the choice of keeping the gifts for ourselves or giving them back to Him.
On really hard days, I wonder what my life would look like if my family had not said “yes” when God asked us to move to another country. I wouldn’t wake up each morning to breathtaking sunrises over the water. I probably would have fewer bug bites than I do right now. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have made the relationships I have here - relationships that give me the opportunity to share Jesus with people who may have never heard His name outside of the context of a swear word.
Could God still have used me even if we had said, “no”?
Yes, I believe so.
However, He can use me so much more when I have a willing heart.
God has equipped you with gifts, skills, and talents that can be used to bring glory to Himself. Do you know what they are? If not, take some time to learn your spiritual gifts. Take a spiritual gifts assessment or talk with a mentor about it. If you are aware of how He has equipped you, are you currently using them for Him? Or only for yourself?
Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to show you where He is calling you to serve Him.
Memory Verse: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV