Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stirred and Willing

Ex 35:21 "Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD's offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments." (NKJV)

After Moses received the commandments from God the first time; after he smashed the original tablets because he saw that people were worshipping a golden calf; after he went back, experienced God's grace, and received new tablets…the time came for the tabernacle to be constructed. Now, this could not happen without money and supplies. Somehow, someway out in the middle of nowhere they had to come up with the wood and cloth and gold that they needed to put this all together. How did it happen? Did God provide it like He provided the manna and the quail? No. This is where the people came in. This is where commitment came in. This is where the rubber met the road and people had to give from what they had.

This could have been a tough assignment for Moses. I mean, he has a bunch of complaining, stiff necked people that he is dealing with. Now he is going to ask them to give up their stuff? How is this going to work out? Even though they had seen God's miracles in the past, they still griped and whined. Were they going to do the same thing when Moses asked them to give their gold and cloth and possessions? Apparently not. Even though God did amazing miracles in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in feeding them and quenching their thirst, God did an even more amazing miracle this time…He worked in people's hearts so they gave willingly.

Two things happened: 1. Their hearts were stirred; 2. Their spirits were willing. First, their hearts were stirred. I have written about the word for heart before. It is "leb". It actually means the inner man. What drives us. What motivates us. What gets us going and prompts us to act. Their inner man was stirred. The word for stirred is cool. It is "nasa" and it means lifted up and carried away. (I wonder if the North American Space Agency knows this…possibly.) These people's inner man was lifted up…it was carried away. They got excited about the possibility of having a place where God would actually come and meet with them. Second, their spirits were willing. The word for spirit here is actually mind. God had to work in their inner man, but then He also had to bring that to their mind so that they would eventually do something. Their minds were willing or impelled, incited, compelled. They could not help it. Once their inner man was lifted up, once their minds were incited, they had to give. And they did.

Leadership in the church always wonders how to motivate people to give. Do you browbeat them? Do you beg? Do you pass the plate over and over again? Do you have capital campaigns? Do you draw pictures? How do you do it? You don't…God does. This has to be a work of His Spirit in the lives of people. He has to lift up their hearts. He has to incite their minds. He performs this miracle. These people got excited and gave, I believe, because they saw what God was going to do. Moses had to communicate it, but God did the work in their lives. We have to do the same. We have to communicate God's vision to people so that they can see what He is going to do, and then we have to pray like crazy that He will perform a miracle and stir spirits and move hearts.

I wonder how much time we spend praying about this? I wonder how well we communicate what is on His heart?

No comments: