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Hello, this is Walking in Step with God, and I am Steve McDonald.
When we seek to have a relationship with God, we should also consider it similar to other relationships; there should be times of giving and times of receiving. Think about someone in your life who you trust: a friend, a family member, maybe even a coworker. Does your relationship only consist of you giving and not receiving, or does the relationship consist of both giving and receiving?
In the early stages of our relationship with God, it is typically one where we are seeking things from God, so we mostly are on the receiving end of the relationship. God’s love is so absolute that He is willing to bless us without anything in return. With that being said, we can truly find fulfillment and joy in our walk with God when we decide that our relationship with Him will also consist of us giving to Him. Giving of our time. Giving of our praise. Giving of our worship of Him, and giving ourselves as a vessel to be used by Him.
While God does not need any of us, He delights when we present ourselves to Him to be used as a vessel. In my own walk with God, I can recall that in the early days of my walk, He would present scenarios and opportunities for me to give and to be used by Him.
If I am being totally honest, I shied away from these opportunities. I would ignore the opportunity or do my best to avoid it. In retrospect, I think I did not fully understand the privilege of being a vessel for God and the ways in which He would equip me to be a vessel–even an ambassador for Him in random situations.
Today, I can very clearly see when God has placed an opportunity or individual in my path so that I can be used as a vessel. He does this with such frequency now that I can ask HIm for direction and instructions when I see the opportunity approaching.
Today I want to discuss 3 ways that we can be a vessel for God
Before we dive in, why don’t we take a quick break? I will be right back.
Welcome back. Let’s continue in our discussion of 3 ways that we can be a vessel for God.
As I explained before the break, God does not need us in any shape or form, but we can truly strengthen our bond with Him when we realize the joy that can only come from serving Him.
Think about it – the creator of the universe is giving you a special assignment to be a vessel for Him. Doesn’t that sound exciting?! It may be to assist someone who is a complete stranger or someone you know very well. Here are 3 ways to prepare to be used as a vessel.
#1 Ask Him
The first and most important step to be used as a vessel by God is to decide that you are willing and ask Him to use you as He sees fit. In our walk with God, I believe He will present us with situations to be a vessel even without us asking. When we ask, I believe He will dispatch us into the world with even greater frequency.
I recognize that asking God to be used by Him may seem open-ended and a bit broad, maybe even scary. God already knows the situations and scenarios you are and are not equipped for. He also knows when you would feel uncomfortable or out of place. Don’t worry, He would never put you in a situation that is more than you can handle. I am not saying that you will always feel comfortable, but I am saying He would not put you in a situation that would not benefit you in some way. He will place you in situations that will allow you to grow by gaining courage and confidence for future assignments!
#2 Pay attention
God will teach you,one situation at a time,how to know that you are approaching a situation where you will be used as a vessel. God will place you in seemingly trivial situations with complete strangers who were meant to cross paths with you so that you can be used by Him. God will also orchestrate scenarios where you are a vessel over a long period of time–perhaps weeks, months, or even years.
As an example, I definitely recognize the instances in life when I set out to run an errand and, through some random event, I end up in a place where I can be used as a vessel.
One example of this is when I had to visit a UPS store in a part of town I did not know very well. I drove to an address and the location was closed temporarily. I was angry for a moment, but then I noticed there was evidence of a homeless individual nearby. The individual had a shopping cart full of possessions. I did not send my package, but I did buy food and leave it in the shopping cart of possessions. I trust God used me that day to feed that individual a meal. I can also attest to the fact that I have relationships in my life with friends and co-workers that I can sense and detect intention and purpose over the months of our relationships. I feel that God uses me to convey information to them over time and the information that comes does not seem to derive from my own thoughts. I absolutely believe there are times I am used as a vessel to speak words to these individuals as divine instruction.
So, pay attention and keep your eyes and ears out for the situations in which God is using you as a vessel. Over time, you will become accustomed to the tug on your spirit and you will learn to lean on God for instruction in these times.
This is something I want to invite everyone within the sound of my voice who seeks to be a vessel for God to start today if you are not already doing it. I invite you to decide that from now on, you will keep a list of individuals to pray for. This is something I started when I saw a relative was doing it and it occurred to me the power in doing so. Prayer changes things. Prayer moves things. God hears our prayers. Yes, God can and will use us as vessels in the right time and place, but prayer is something you can do to show God your intention to serve for the long haul. I want to invite you to start tracking the individuals you encounter from the situations and scenarios we have discussed today. Then, find time on a regular basis to pray for these individuals one by one, presenting each before God in prayer. You may or may not be able to identify the individual by name, maybe the entry on your list reads as follows ‘The person I saw in a wheelchair at the market in July of 2023’. I eventually started recording dates and locations for each individual to help me remember their faces. Be as specific or as general as you wish when you identify each individual, but be intentional in mentioning them in prayer, even for a few moments. God knows who you are referring to.
For me, praying for the individuals I encounter over the course of my life has been one of the most rewarding acts of being a vessel for God. I have been blessed to remember the face of every individual on my list, so I am able to do a brief prayer for each person, one face at a time in my mind. I invite you to consider the same so that God may continually use you for each individual on your list. Decide on a cadence that works for you. For me, I pray every week. For you it may be more, or less. The point is that you are serving each individual on your list by praying for them.
Today, we have touched on 3 ways to be a vessel for God. We learned that while God does not need any of us, he is delighted to use us if we present ourselves to Him. We learned the importance of being observant in our surroundings. If we ask God to use us, we will be placed in situations where we can be of service to someone, be it a stranger or someone we know very well. Over time, we will be able to sense when God has presented an opportunity for us to be used as a vessel and we can ask Him to equip us in that moment to do so. We also discussed the power of prayer. We learned of the powerful opportunity to pray for the individuals we encounter over the course of our lives, especially those who God has used us as a vessel to reach. When we pray in silence and in private for others, we are serving God and each individual in the process.
Decide today to be a vessel for God. God can and will use you despite what you feel is your readiness or ability to be useful. God will use gifts planted in you to bless others. He will shape you and equip you in ways you never imagined were possible. Ask Him to use you today.
Are you interested in discovering more about the guidance offered in this message? Learn more in the companion article Going Deeper with the Word: How to Be a Vessel