I’m hoping to embark on a pretty big project in our student ministry soon. Actually, it’s an idea that’s been broached before, but failed to launch for some reason. I’ve been reading through Exodus lately and found a great picture yesterday in the 35th chapter of how God’s people once tackled a big project:
The Hebrews had escaped Egypt and were entering into a covenant with their Deliverer. Free from slavery, but not quite into the Promised Land… Part of that covenant was the construction of the tabernacle, a meeting place for God and His people. This was a huge undertaking for a displaced tribe of wanderers, but they did it. I think there are some notable factors to their success in building the tabernacle that we can learn from in the church today.
– They had a clear picture of what was to be done. In Ex. 35:4 “Moses said… ‘This is what the Lord commanded.'” Moses had been given clear instruction and was able to articulate God’s vision to God’s people.
– They were invited to contribute to the work. “If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the Lord their offerings…” Their gifts weren’t coerced or given out of guilt – they were moved by God to give! “Everyone who wanted to help in the work the Lord had given them…” brought the materials needed for the construction of the tabernacle.
– They entrusted their offerings to those best gifted to make use of them. God had chosen Bezalel and Oholiab and filled them with His Spirit and the ability “to create beautiful objects…” and also to teach their skills to others. These guys were gifted by God to lead in this project, so Moses gave them the materials that the people provided. Then he let them do their work.
– They gave “more than enough to complete the whole project.” God had provided all the resources needed to accomplish the work He wanted to do – and when the people set their hearts to do what He wanted, they gave so much that there was extra.
I wonder who really wants to help in the work God has given us today?
Do we have a compelling picture of what that work really is?
We have a huge job to do. God has not called us to merely get together and sing our favorite songs once or twice a week. He has called us to awaken the world to the reality of His love for them. He has called us to bring hope where there is no hope, to bring life where there is only death. He has given us everything we need to accomplish the work, and He is stirring in the hearts of His people right now – moving them to action, inspiring them to give themselves to His work to redeem humanity.
Spend some time with God today and find out what you can give…