Americans have a very impressive can-do attitude. When that gets applied to the church, people feel that they have to “do something” and by that they do not mean grow a relationship over a period of time with their Creator. They mean some kind of physical activity.
That’s one of the reasons, I believe, that many are taken in by cults or works-based faiths where they believe that they have to work for their salvation or do something that the Lord will grant them mercy.
However, this doesn’t reflect what we see in the Bible about the way God acts. What we see is that God is always at work, and about to do something when He speaks to a person.
Look at Moses. He tried to do something for God and he ended up spending 40 years in the wilderness tending sheep. Only when God was ready to take the people out of Israel did God come to Moses and tell Him his plan.
Same thing with Abraham, Elijah, and the rest. God comes to ordinary people and lets them in on the extraordinary. God delights in using the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. He gets glory to Himself when it’s obvious that He has done the work, and that it’s something beyond the servant’s ability.
James tells us that Elijah was a man just like us. Acts tells us that Peter and John were considered commoners1. D. L. Moody was a poorly educated, unordained, shoe-salesman who felt the call of God to preach the Gospel. He heard Henry Varley say “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him,” and decided, “[B]y the Holy Spirit in him, he’d [Moody] be one of those men.”
God is at work, He wants us to join Him in that work, but we need a personal relationship with Him so that we may hear Him speak, and so that others may see Him through us—not just see us.
- Except they noted that these two had been with Christ.