I own a couple of used cars. One of them is really "used" as it has been driven close to 300,000 miles. My plan is to keep using it until it breaks the Odometer, breaks a mileage record or it breaks apart. I like to use things until they can't be used anymore. This applies to soap, toothpaste, shoes, clothes, cars, food, wife, etc.
Here in the United States, we throw many good things away simply because they are used. Many nations could be well fed with the food that is discarded every day from restaurants, hotels and super markets. The same could be said about clothing, shoes and a host of other products.
The urge of buying new cars, cell phones and many other material things is overwhelming for many Americans. The problem with those "new" products is that they become used as soon as we acquire them. A few months (I mean weeks) later a newer version appears in the market and we feel disappointed with our now used (and seemingly useless) possession.
The average Christian is similar to a brand new automobile in a showroom. They both look great, shiny and with lots of potential. What good does it do for a new car to remain in a dealer, or for a Christian to hide in the church? There are far too many "brand new" believers around, and I am not referring to their recent conversion. They are new in the sense that they are rarely used by God.
Let me ask you a question: Do you think that God wants to use every Christian? The answer is yes, of course. Every believer is an important member of the body of Christ and has a function and a purpose. I want for God to use me in any and many ways. I pray that He uses these writings to bless you.
Used things are anathema to the world, but Christians that are used by God are a sweet smelling offering that is pleasing to the Lord. The more that we are used by Him, the more glory He receives and the more blessings we and those around us enjoy. Even people like Mark, who refused to serve God and be used by Him at one point, can be used again as Paul testifies: "Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry." (2 Timothy 4:11).
Believer, be useful to God and not useless. This is the right thing to do. This is our life's purpose
"Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)
A few days ago, I had a really weird experience: I was locked in in my own barn. I have been locked out my house several times before, but never locked in.
As a teacher, I have taken part of several "Lock In" or "Lock Down" drills in our school. At the sound of the alarm, teachers must turn off the lights, barricade the doors and sit on the floor with the students and out of sight. Hopefully, we will never have to take part of in a real Lock In, when armed intruders invade our campus.
As a youth leader, I also enjoyed a few nights together with the group. It was a lot of fun to be up all night playing games, talking, praying, studying the Word and goofing off a little bit. This is the kind of "Lock In" I love. Being trapped in my shed or barn, however, is not one of my favorite experiences.
I was busy inflating a tire, while all of a sudden, the door closed with a loud bang. I tried to get out, but the latch was firmly attached. I started screaming my wife's name, but no one came to my rescue. The seconds turned into minutes, and the minutes seemed to last like hours. It was a real life horror movie. I started praying and banging on the walls until she finally came (thank God) and opened the latch.
Have you ever felt trapped like this? I think about the people that were trapped in Mexico City during the earthquake a few weeks ago. It must be horrible to be locked in under the rubbles, but it is worse by far to be a prisoner or our own emotions and thoughts.
Elijah felt like this after he was told that Jezebel wanted to kill him. He prayed:
“It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:1-4).
This is the prayer of someone that is locked in, in a "room" of despair and depression. This same kind of prayer was uttered by another prophet.
"Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” (Jonah 4:3).
I have been "Locked In" in this manner more times times than I can remember, but God has delivered me from them.
The book of Psalms is compilation of songs and prayers for deliverance. All the psalmists were locked in at one time or another, but the grace of God came to their rescue again and again.
If you are locked in today, call on Jesus. He has promised that if you,
“knock...it will be opened to you. For everyone...who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7, 8)