Are You ‘up to it’?

     Is anyone really “up to it”?First place winner in FUNNY KIDS by Johnny Bravo richard by JJ & Special K

 Personally, if I was honest about it (which I am on my better days), I’d have to say that I am not quite up to it.

The task of going out into the world (or just here on the net) and bringing the name of the Lord to a world that is starving for it…I’m not up to it.

I am not always “on fire for the Lord”. I am not always in the mood to talk to others. I am not always eager to serve. I often just want to laze around. I often do not want to serve. I often want to be served.

I don’t read and study the scriptures as I ought. I don’t read and study the Church Fathers, or the Lutheran Confessions like I ought.  I don’t pray like I ought.

I do not seek out those on the margins of life in order to make their lives better and to give to them the good news of Jesus Christ. Not all the time I don’t. Not even 10% of the time. I’d hate to tell you the percentage of my time and treasure that I put into that area of need. 

I’m not up to making time for those in my own congregation. Those in need of help, those that are sick, those that are hurting from the day to day pitfalls in their lives. I often don’t even take the time to pick up the phone.

I’m not really up to the task of fighting off the world, my own sinful flesh, or the devil…I’m just not.

When it comes down to exhibiting the bold,  exhuberant, life of one who has been given new life,  the forgiveness of his sins, and salvation…I’d have to say that most of the time…I’m just not up to it there, either.

But I do know someone who is!

I do know someone who fits the bill exactly…all of time, in every circumstance of life, who is never too busy or self absorbed. He is smart enough, stong enough, wise enough, powerful enough, loving enough, forgiving enough to get the job done….and perfectly…every time.

He is the One who hung on the cross for me and told me that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

He is up to it.  He is up to it for me,  and He is up to it for you. 

And He will fill our poor words and our poor efforts with His love,  His power, and with His purpose and will.

I don’t know about you, but He gives me strength to persevere when I know that I am not really up to any of this.

What do you say? 

Are you up to the task at hand?

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21 Responses

  1. We war against the flesh every moment.

    There are times where I determine to go out and witness to the lost and times when I am standing in line at the grocery store not wanting to talk to the person right next to me.

    There are times I can’t get enough of the Scriptures and times I just turn on the TV with the Bible on the table looking at me.

    Sometimes I wonder if the ‘cloud of witnesses’ are rolling their eyes and throwing up their hands in light of my failures.

    It is then I am reminded of Paul when he talked about the wretched man he was….Paul, wretched?

    WayneDawg; very wretched.

    Praise God I have a Savoir who has forgiven me and did something for me I could not do for myself!!

  2. Wayne,

    “We war against the flesh every moment.”

    In my case, Wayne, it often seems like a war that I am losing.

    But, it reality, I am not losing. The war has already been won, even though battles still rage on.

    He has won it for me (as you ) on that cross, and in out baptisms, and each time we receive His body and blood.

    He wages war against the world, our own flesh, and the devil, each day and continues to do so for us each day until our last breath.

    St. Paul writes, “for those of us who ARE BEING SAVED…”.

    This may be a good topic for another controversial posting, but our salvation isn’t a one shot deal. In some ways it is…but in some ways it isn’t.

    So our Lord Jesus takes up the role of Good Shepherd and continually brings us back to the fold…time and time again…all throughout our lives.

    Thanks Wayne!

    – Steve

  3. What is the task at hand? Eating sliders and drinking scotch? Then I am in.
    We really can’t do anything without God, without Christ. And what we do do with him is always good if it is according to the ten commandments, no matter how bad we are at it.
    Devotions Steve are where it is at. I’m serious here. Gorge yourself on God’s word, be a glutton about it. Don’t think of it as a chore. Just get up and do it. Then go for a walk down your beach front promenade. Life is just better that way.
    I’m big on recommending a disciplined devotional life for the Christian. Not as a law oriented thing. You should do this… but as something that is just plain good and refreshing to do. the Holy Spirit dwells in the word of God, you can’t go wrong reading it. It only helps you grow. Makes it easier when it comes to evangelizing too. You can only give what you have. the more you read God’s word the more you have to give.
    Then go get a job, but nothing too invasive. Wouldn’t want to be stranded at the airport because my friend had to work….

  4. Bror,

    No doubt a steady diet of God’s Word is helpful for a man or woman in their daily walk with God.

    But I’m wordering at what point that old Adam/Eve rebelling aginst God leaves us perpetually ‘not up to the task’ (of being fully human) what Jesus was …and is…always “up to it”.

    A job sure wouldn’t hurt, either!

    What airport?

    I don’t know nothin’ about no stinking airport!

  5. No were never up to being like Jesus, that is why we need his word, Forgiveness.

  6. His Word and Sacraments give us the strength to persevere and obey. Relying on oneself won’t do it. Hearing and reading Scripture and commentary help us realize that our walk is sustained by the power of the risen Savior. His forgiveness empowers us to love one another as He commanded. We are blessed even when we cannot feel it to be so. Thanks be to God!

  7. God will help me overcome..

  8. James,

    ” His forgiveness empowers us to love one another as He commanded. We are blessed even when we cannot feel it to be so. Thanks be to God!”

    Amen, James!

    He certainly is “up to it”. and does in us, through the power of His Word, whatever it is we happen to need.

    We are truly blessed!

    Thank you, Sir!

  9. Cecille,

    “God will help me overcome..”

    He will. You can count on that, Cecille!

    Thanks very much, Cecille!

    You have a very interesting blog site, Cecille. I look forward to doing some reading overe there.
    http://cecille-theredeemed.blogspot.com/

    – Steve

  10. Steve,
    I appreciate this post more than you can ever know. I am in the middle of my toughest week in 15 years as a minister. I am dealing with heartache and broken trust and hurt and anger and need on a level I haven’t had to before. Father said there would be days like this and I am leaning on Him a lot right now. But I wanted to tell you in regards to this post that I am definitely not “up to it,” on my own, but I know I don’t have to be. He is already “up to it” for me on my behalf. Like Paul said, “when I am weak, then I am strong.” If you think about it, pray for me and for our church. We have a family that is going through a lot right now.
    Jeff

  11. Jeff,

    You are so right, my friend, we don’t HAVE TO be up to it. He is ‘up to it’ on our behalf!

    I’m sorry times are tough for you now at church, Jeff.

    I certainly will pray for you and your church that the Lord will get you all through this crisis and strengthen your faith and your church in the process.

    Hang in there, Jeff, this too shall pass.

    In Christ,

    Steve

  12. If anyone out there can pray for Jeff and his church, that they would overcome hardship and any obsticles in the path of their mission, I’m know he would appreciate it.

    Thanks very much!

  13. You, Steve?

    Somebody else could probably explain this better. Except Bror asked: What is the task at hand? That’s a good question. It has to do with vocation.

    Once I was sitting at a table at a ski chalet, with all the kids up on the hill, with two luth. pastors and a wife. Pastor T. was going on about how in Christ we are always pleasing him, how whatever it is we are doing, however, mundane, is for him.

    (I was not totally convinced when I thought about how we all sitting there could be eating something more healthful than burgers and fries, and maybe even get up on the ski hill, until a more adventurous mom came off the ski hill with her arm broken.)

  14. Brigitte,

    I like that answer, “vocation”.

    Our understanding of the Christian life isn’t a list of most important down to the least (first God then family, then work, then…whatever), but rather it might look like a wheel where the hub is Christ and all the spokes go out to the different arenas of our lives and Christ is in it all.

    And because Christ is at the core, and He is up to that task of holding the whole thing together, I do not have to be. And that is a good thing because I certainly cannot handle it. I am far too weak, and too self-obsessed to make it “all work together for good”, as He does.

    I always thought that having a burger and fries could be good for you. You have just given me proof positive!

    Thanks very much, Brigitte!

    – Steve

  15. I am really up for this task… but not till tomorrow! :-).

  16. Well now that Steve has a job, part time as it may be, he may not be up for it, but he ought to get up for it.

  17. Jon,

    “There is nothing that can be done today that can’t be out off ’till tomorrow.” – The Procrastinator’s Creed

    Don’t worry…you’ll rise to the occasion…then! 😀

  18. Bror,

    Tomorrow may be my last day, because I may not be (or get) uo for it.

    Work is a four letter word, you know!

  19. im up to him being up to it.

  20. and thanks for this post. it encouraged me.

  21. Graceshaker,

    I’m up that you’re up that He’s up to it!

    I guess that what’s we do…encourage each other in the grace of Christ Jesus.

    That we can be up for (thanks to Him!).

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