Some of us wait an entire lifetime to do something spectacular for God; others are happy to remain on the sidelines, yet others are born to the role they will play all their lives.
Samuel the prophet was brought to the temple at the age of five, and he remained a prophet all his life. There is no indication that he ever doubted his calling.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right (1 Sam 12:23 NIV).Mary, the mother of Jesus, on the other hand, was greeted by an angel on a day that showed no indications of being different from any other:
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her (Luke 1:26-38 NIV).While Mary accepted the words of the angel quickly, Moses needed a bit more persuasion. Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law when a burning bush caught his attention. God wanted him to return to Egypt he had fled forty years earlier after having murdered an Egyptian who had mistreated an Israeli slave.
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it" (Ex 4:10-17 NIV).If Aaron was a better speaker, why didn't God ask him instead of Moses? Because Aaron wasn't humble. It was Aaron that led Israel to worship a calf when Moses was talking to God on Mt Sinai, and it was Aaron that questioned Moses' right to lead Israel. Aaron became the high priest, but the role of giving Israel the Law was reserved to Moses because of his humility.
Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Num 12:3, NIV).Humility is the key to greatness, for without humility pride convinces us that the greatness comes from us.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Cor 4:7 NIV).
We don't have to see burning bushes or angels to do great things. Jesus lived in obscurity most of his life. He ministered for a brief time before dying on a cross. Most people didn't consider him to be anything other than another rabbi whom they could safely ignore. Yet, his disciples knew that there was so much more to his life than people could see.
Although we must be ready to step into any role God has prepared for us, why wait for greatness that you already have? True greatness is to know Jesus, for without Jesus nothing else matters.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phil 3:7-11 NIV)