The Power to Bless:
Part 5 - You Can Be an Instrument of God
June 21, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning! I want to talk with you this morning about this very simple idea: You can be an instrument of God. Close your eyes for a minute and picture yourself as a musical instrument whose inner inspiration is God. Picture yourself as someone who acts out what God wants to do in the world. And as you do that, say out loud, “I am an instrument of God.”
You know, instruments are such beautiful things. Isn’t this a wonderful piano? It is a remarkable world-class instrument, as is this organ. It can express anything a pianist wants to put into it. [Pastor Tony playing gently “Blessed Assurance.”] It is a fine instrument. Why is it a fine instrument? What makes it so good?
Well, one of the things that makes it a good instrument is that it is steady. This instrument is steady. It doesn’t have loud spots and soft spots. It doesn’t have out-of-tune notes and in-tune notes. It’s steady throughout. It’s dependable for the person that’s playing. [Pastor Tony plays a scale or two.] That’s what we need to be, too, isn’t it?
If you wake up in the morning and say, “Today I’m going to be an instrument of God,” go into your day being a steady instrument of God, whether things are going really well or things are going not so well. Say, “I’m going to act out what God wants me to act out in the world. I’m going to be a good, steady instrument of God today.” And that way, God will be able to depend on us to do the things He wants to do in the world. Isn’t that an exciting thing?
God has a plan for the world, and God has a plan for us. We just have to be steady and commit ourselves to being the instruments of God's plan.
You know, as wonderful as this instrument is, what makes it incredible is that it is an extension of the one that plays it. Where does the music come from, really, Sunday after Sunday? It comes from Dr. Bell’s heart and her invisible, powerful spirit; it came from Colby this morning and the other young musicians of our church. From the heart, through the instrument, to the world. And that’s what happens for us. God can inspire us to do remarkable things in the world; we just have to be steady and obedient and listen for God's nudgings.
The second thing about a good instrument is its sensitivity. Now, I can come to this instrument and tell it to play full or tell it to play softly. That’s what makes it a really good instrument. Are you sensitive to what God is asking you to do? Am I? As we are, life becomes more exciting, and we become the instruments of God’s own love.
The other thing to remember about being a good instrument is that the instrument is special. There’s not another piano in the world that sounds like this one. There’s not another organ in the world that sounds quite like this. And that’s the way it should be. Every instrument is unique. Every instrument is special. And so are you! You are special; you are unique. There’s not another person in creation like you, and not another instrument that can sing your song. There’s not another instrument that God can use that can do what you can do. You are special. You are God’s instrument: you are steady; you are sensitive; and you are special.
Let me tell you, friends, I can’t think of anything more important to do in the world than to be God’s instrument. It’s so exciting. It’s so enjoyable. I invite us to wake up in the morning and say, “I am an instrument of God. Lord God, sing Your song through me today.” And then let God do it! Let God sing His song through you to the world. What an important job!
And now, to the miracle I promised I'd tell you about. God gave me an opportunity to be His instrument.
A couple weeks ago, I was up to my ears in preparations for Miracle Sunday and the work of the church and getting ready to preach. And during all this, I felt a nudging - I heard a message, very subtle, deep in my heart – “call Sylvia.”
Who’s Sylvia, you say? She was the delightful neighbor who invited me and my sister Angie to the Methodist Church for the first time, to come with her to a play they were having in their sanctuary, and a fellowship tea afterward. A few weeks ago, I told a story about her mother, Mrs. Rapp, a Methodist Sunday School teacher whose warm and confident faith influenced my faith so deeply. I haven’t spoken to Sylvia or her mother in 42 years. Forty-two years!
Anyway, something in my heart said, “Call Sylvia.”
I don’t really have time.
I don’t even remember Sylvia’s married name.
And in that box was an address book from 1968. I thought it was interesting – it listed folks I knew at the time, reminded me of things I used to do. And there, listed, were Sylvia and Ernie, her husband, and their last name. Unbelievable! This little book just fell into my hands.
(Now, all of you who know me are probably amazed by this because you know that all my stuff is categorized by year and cross-referenced alphabetically ;-) Those of you who really know me know differently... but this in itself was a miracle, that this particular little book should fall into my hands, don't you think?)
So, I did an internet search and found their number. I called and said, “I don’t know if you remember me. This is Anthony Godlefski. You were a neighbor of mine way back when. Call me if you’d like.”
I got a call a few moments later. “Anthony, this is Ernie. We’ve been talking about you. We’ve been looking for you. Do me a favor – Sylvia is in the hospital right now. She’s going to be wheeled into surgery shortly. She wants to talk to you. Will you please call her? Unbelievable! He said, “If you have trouble getting through to her, call me back, and I’ll make sure you get through.”
Well, they were great at the hospital. I got to talk with Sylvia just before she went into surgery, very serious surgery, and I had a prayer with her, and tried to encourage her and bring her reassurance.
She is doing very well now. I went out to Pennsylvania and visited them yesterday. We had a prayer again, and experienced what it means to be united in the Lord.
If we listen, God wants to sing His song through us. God wants to bless the world through you, through your own unique connections, through your own personality. Won’t you do it? Won’t you think about it this week? When you get out of bed in the morning, say, “Today I’m going to be an instrument of God. I don’t know how, but Lord, I know You’ll tell me how. I’m going to sing Your song; I’m going to play your tune and brighten the world with it.”
My friend, Dr. John Heath, has said, "Pastor, we live in an amazing world." It is so true. People who are in tune with God know the truth of this so well.
God needs you , my friend. God has a song of blessing to sing to the world, and He needs you to sing it. St. Francis knew it when he prayed, "Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace…." Won't you look for ways to be God's instrument in the world today?
God loves you, and I do, too. I wish you a wonderful week. Amen.
© 2009 Anthony J. Godlefski