By Tony Harriman •
I want to focus on the "versatility" aspect of the product. And the particular product I have in mind right now is Electricity. Perhaps in our present world there is nothing quite as versatile as … electrical energy; I'm speaking of the domestic kind, the kind that arrives in our homes through wires.
Think about it: virtually every home in the developed world has electricity pumped into it. This invisible power courses across the land, under or over practically each and every byway, across our lawns and into our homes. Access to this power is granted through relatively small, but conspicuous, outlets on just about every wall in our homes and businesses.
Think broader: perhaps we'll use the power to light up a neon sign with which to advertize our wares. Maybe we'll plug in and illuminate our window displays. Maybe we'll guide the planes in by lighting up the runway. None of this power is free, mind you. No usable electricity currently falls from the sky into our transformers. And until the work of Mr. Tesler is taken more seriously, we'll have to continue to feed the power companies on a monthly basis for the privilege of lighting up the neighborhood.
As each year passes, it seems we find more and more ways to try to drain the bottomless battery of its power using various devices: cell phones; computers; surround sound systems; ovens; dishwashers, and on and on and on. With the exception of the math dictating AC or DC, we don't change the power … we just change the appliance — the unit to which the power is applied. The demonstration of domestic electricity comes in myriad forms.
Electrical energy is used almost everywhere in our daily lives. You want to take digital photos? There's power for that. MP3 player? Same. Nuke a bowl of soup? Ditto. You want to surf the Web? There's an app for that (to use a more modern slogan which will likely be quickly absorbed into the vernacular).
Power generators are constantly being built into moving devices, some as big as cars, trucks, ships and planes, or even the International Space Station. An aerial nighttime view of our world shows a constant pulse of electronically-generated red and white moving from city to city. Lighted civilization shows up almost everywhere on the planet, with the exception of Antarctica, Central Australia … and North Korea (so much for Communistic progress).
Much safer than it used to be, electricity has come a long way, Baby. Domestic electricity was early thought to be "of the Devil" — one of the highest orders of spiritualism; as was the telephone. The idea of pumping power across the land or transporting someone's voice through a wire to show up a hundred miles away in your hallway were strange notions. Some parents today still wonder about these two subjects when the respective monthly bills arrive, as do a handful of religious groups.
There are many verses throughout the Scriptures that give some indication that the Spirit of God works differently with a variety of people. Some people are able to heal, others are given the ability to teach, preach, speak foreign languages etc., etc. In every case the illustration is that these various people are given something they didn't have before they plugged in. To mix the meal with the metaphor, notice that not everyone is a light bulb, or a microwave oven, a computer or a copier. Not everyone becomes something that cools, or that heats. But do notice this: everyone becomes something useful as a tool in the hand of God for the salvation of souls — and ONLY for the salvation of souls.
I suppose if you wanted to find a distinction between those people who have been given a gift from God, and those who have painstakingly developed their own skills, take a look at who is being glorified by their gifts. Does the gift produce an income which helps only to increase the size of a collection of valuable cars? Does the power help only to heighten the pile of gold in the vault? Jewels in the crown? Things in the garage? Stuff in the den? If you can picture Jesus getting delightfully lighted up by the gathering of treasure to bury in a field, then I invite you to look again at the life of the Biblical Jesus, and the promise He left regarding what would be the general lot of those who followed Him.
So many of us are reluctant to even consider the possibility of allowing God to work through us. Who among us will ever feel worthy — really? But, come on, draw some encouragement from the choices Jesus made at the beginning of His public ministry; bypassing the noble schools and esteemed synagogues, He walks one day by the sea and gathers up a third of His devoted entourage from the fishing boats. Peter, Andrew, James and John would not have been your choice for teammates in the Greatest Work that Was Ever Done, right? I honestly believe Jesus is teaching you and me a lesson here. He doesn't seem to care who you are; just be willing to get plugged in. And when you ARE plugged in, then your ministry for the salvation of souls is going to be incredibly effective. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that your work as a seed-sower will take on a whole different meaning; more power will be given to your drive train, shall we say.
Here's how I see it: whatever your religion/persuasion or school of thought, if you honestly ask God — I'm talking about THE GOD who made us and everything around us — If you ask Him to course through you to do the things that please Him and that tend toward the salvation of souls, then I honestly believe He will honor that request. You might even add to your prayer that He is welcome to work inconspicuously through you, just so long as your life can be useful in the big picture. You might actually be surprised at how much can be done with you. No offense meant, but even a lowly mop is often quite useful in a kitchen; I'm sure you'll agree.
Here's a slogan you can take with you: "What Would Jesus Do?" Amplify the thought and ask, "What would Jesus like ME to do?"
And that's just my take on it ….