“‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts.”
Sometimes, I need a reminder that God does not need the things that we think He needs. In truth, He does not need anything from me. There are things He wants from me and expects from me, but He does not need them.
This verse is spoken to those who were rebuilding the temple. God made note of how sad it looked; how unequal to its predecessor. God was not trying to depress anyone — they were doing what He had commanded them to do; they were walking in obedience — but rather to call their attention to their inability to finish what they had started.
So, too, is it with anything in which I step out in obedience and faith. I may begin with the resources God has placed in my hands, but the completion of the work will require far more than my meager resources. What God points out to the remnant working on restoring the temple is the same thing that He wants me to remember whenever I am in the midst of obeying Him: God has what I need to complete the work. My will decides whether or not I want to obey, but God’s strength is what enables obedience to come to completion. I may begin to serve Him with the meager talents He has given me, but serving God requires God’s resources if it is to be done correctly.
The reminder is an encouragement on two fronts. First, He reminds me that my paltry contributions are not unnoticed. God sees my efforts and knows them for what they are. He is not deluded into seeing a palace when I have built a shack. He also sees the heart behind it, and that heart can make of that hovel what no house built without that heart could ever be: His home. Second, He reminds me that He is never setting me up for failure. The remnant did not have the resources to restore the temple to its former glory. But God knew that when He commanded the to start building. It was no surprise. His statement that the silver and gold are His is not some Scrooge McDuck statement of greed, but rather an assertion of sufficiency. The remnant did not have the necessary resources. God did. Likewise, when God tells me to step out and do something, He knows that my resources are not equal to the task. He is not telling me to do something to which I and my abilities and talents and resources are equal. He is telling me to do that to which He and His abilities and talents and resources are equal. When what is His is flowed through human hands, that is miraculous. And miracles have a tendency to catch people’s attention.
This morning, I do not know what it is that I am called to that God wants me to remember His resources are equal to — perhaps being a husband or a father, neither of which I feel equal to with any regularity — but He reminds me that it was never my resources that He planned to use to complete the work. He has always planned to supplement; to complement my pathetic contributions with His own awesome ones. My meager stores of patience He plans to augment with His own limitless supply. My sad attempts at obedience He wants to cover with His own perfect obedience and to pour more of that perfection into me. My time, so very limited, He wants to use for His purposes and remind me that He created time and can therefore do with it as He pleases. Twenty-four hours is always twenty-four hours, but God can pack more into twenty-four hours than I ever can on my own, just like He can feed more people with five little bits of bread and a few fish than I can feed with a banquet hall. He does not need my resources. He wants my obedience. My obedience frees His hands — hands which were constrained by His holiness and righteousness and justice — to open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out His resources on the things I have done and am doing in obedience to Him.