-Written by Matt Clotfelter
If you are anything like me, you probably find yourself at night, lying in bed, reviewing your day. During that review, these questions come to me: Did I make a difference to someone today? Did I serve God in this world? Were my choices driven by my will or God’s will? I want to do my best to serve God faithfully with my life and work. I don’t want to interfere with His plan, but be useful to God.
As we look at the story of the redemptive work of God, there were only a few people who had truly pivotal roles in the plan. There is Jesus, of course, who is God come down to earth to redeem man. There is Mary, who gave birth to Jesus. (Jesus had to get here somehow!) (see Isaiah 7:14). We find Judas, who betrays Jesus. Pilate, who has this opportunity to release Jesus, but instead, he caves to the crowd and orders him be crucified (see Isaiah 53:3). Finally, we find the soldiers who beat and crucify Jesus (see Isaiah 53:5).
This collection of people comprise the biggest players in the drama that must unfold to redeem man back with God. These lives all intersect at this moment in time to accomplish the plan of God, made long before any of them were born.
Of course, there were others involved in the narrative. Barabas the murder who was released instead of Christ. Peter who denied Jesus. Joseph who raised him. The list goes on. Yet, these were pivotal in saving us and not one of these was prophesied about.
I don’t recall seeing my name prophesied in the Old Testament either. So maybe I shouldn’t worry about being useful. Maybe there is something bigger to aim for in my life.
Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.
We learn the names of the twelve Jesus appointed to be apostles, but there were probably dozens more who answered the call whose names we never learn. These people were not essential to the big picture of saving mankind. What they were was wanted!
How much freedom does that give us as Christ-followers? Sure, we want to do great things for God, but in the bigger picture, that isn’t an essential part of our existence. Instead, we can lie down at night and take comfort in knowing that Christ calls us to Him because He wants us. He wants to spend time with you. You have been redeemed from death by the work He has done and He wants to develop a relationship with you.
This truth frees us to serve without the pressure of being necessary. God will accomplish His goals, whether it is through you or someone else. But there is no one else who can take your place in His desire to have a relationship with you.
Matt Clotfelter is married to Amie and they have 2 children, Tyler and Marcus. Matt serves as a deacon as well as volunteers in the SoHills nursery, preschool ministry, and preteen ministry.