December 2020- January 2021
Passing the Faith
by Eddie Moody, Executive Secretary, National Association of Free Will Baptists
We Need God
We need God! We hear that often today as we consider our circumstances. Throughout history, people have said this when experiencing famine, mistreatment, impossible obstacles, and all types of danger. Romans 15:4 tells us “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” As we read our Bibles, we find hope. For example, we learn God used Joseph to save many from a famine. God used Moses to lead His people out of oppression. Joseph and Daniel helped people with impossible problems. Nehemiah, Esther, and Mordecai saved their people from those who meant to harm them. In the Bible we see that when people cried, “We need God!” God sent His people to bring them through. What are some of the characteristics of the people God used?
Spirit of God
God used people noted for having the Spirit of God. After observing Joseph, Pharaoh asked, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” (Genesis 41:38) The queen of Babylon recalled the same characteristic in Daniel when the writing on the wall appeared (Daniel 5:11). In both examples, people consulted the magicians, astrologers, and soothsayers of that day but found no help for their problems (Genesis 41:15, 24; Daniel 5:8). In desperation, they finally turned to people who had the Spirit of God in them.
All these individuals had a clear, biblical perspective on life. Consider Joseph’s perspective on the abuse he received from his brothers. He consoled his brothers about their guilt regarding his mistreatment. Rather than becoming bitter, Joseph noted their intended harm was used to save lives (Genesis 45:5, 7). Joseph probably used this perspective to cope with the treatment received by Potiphar and his wife (Genesis 39:11-20) and perhaps his disappointment in being forgotten by the chief butler (Genesis 40:23). You might say this perspective was “baked in,” as Joseph mentioned it again in Genesis 50:19-21 which sounds much like Romans 8:28.
Concern for Others
These biblical heroes were more concerned about others than themselves as seen by Joseph’s dealings with the butler and the baker (Genesis 40:5-6). Moses demonstrated concern in his intercessory prayer for Israel (Exodus 32:32). Daniel expressed concern in his counsel to the brutal (Jeremiah 29:22) King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:27). Nehemiah’s concern is reflected in his response after learning of the suffering of the survivors (Nehemiah 1:3-4). When these people saw others in distress, they were moved to action.
Many people today see the pain and anguish of others, but few are willing to sacrifice to allow God to work through them. This was the point of the interaction between God and Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3). Moses knew the cost of helping Israel. You could argue he’d already tried to deliver them but was rejected (Exodus 2:13-14). Nehemiah walked away from his prestigious position as the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:1) to battle with the likes of Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10). Mordecai risked his life to save the king (Esther 2:21-22), and Esther risked everything (Esther 4:14) to save her people. You can’t help others until you are willing to sacrifice yourself.
So, when you hear people say, “We need God,” what they are really saying is “We need you to allow God to work through you.” They need a servant (1 Corinthians 9:19-27), an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), a real neighbor (Luke 10:37) who has the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23), a biblical perspective (Romans 12:2), concern for others (Philippians 2:4), and the willingness to sacrifice (Philippians 2:3), if necessary. They need you.
About the columnist. Better Together is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Eddie Moody, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life and ministry. Have a suggested topic or question? Contact Eddie: email@example.com.