THEN TARRY BY THE STUFF!
T. PIERCE BROWN
Most of my life as I have conducted training classes and workshops on Personal Evangelism, I have tried to encourage every person to become involved. I have quoted Jesus as he said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me and I will MAKE you fishers of men.” You can no more follow Jesus and not be a fisher of men than you can follow Jesus and not go to heaven when you die! Nor do I now want to weaken that message in any way, for the indifferent, casual and non-committed will find enough excuses to weaken it.
However, I do want to point out another aspect of the subject that may need our attention. For about 30 years I put at the bottom of my church bulletin the slogan, DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE in an effort to emphasize that every person can do something. After about 30 years I learned another truth even more significant. This is a thing that anyone and everyone can do, and when one does it, God will enable you to DO WHAT YOU CAN’T, WHERE YOU ARE NOT, WITH WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE! That is, He gives you power to do what you had no way of doing on your own. He will lead you into fields and open doors that you could not force open and He will “multiply your seed for sowing” (1 Cor. 9:10) so that you will have what you never thought you would have!
In conjunction with that thought I realized that in so many cases I may have left the impression when I was trying to emphasize the importance of personal evangelism that if a person did not do what I WANTED HIM TO DO, where I WANTED HIM TO DO IT, he was liable to my rebuke and/or scorn!
As I read again 1 Samuel 30:21-25 it struck me that many of us may have done this. And it is wrong! David had 200 men who were so faint that they could not follow him to battle. The proud, but wicked men who had gone into battle with David did not want to share any spoils or glory with them. But David said in verse 24, “But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.”
Since that was “an ordinance forIsrael” (1 Sam. 30:25) one may assume that the principle is not still valid. But Paul very clearly shows that is in 1 Cor. 12:14-26. Not all the body is feet or tongue! Everyone must be concerned about fishing for men, but the fellow who rows the boat or digs the worms or baits the hook is fishing just the same as the man who holds the pole (or rod, if you are in that more affluent group)!
Let us make sure we give honor where honor is due, and “upon those members we think to be less honorable, upon these bestow more abundant honor” (1 Cor12:23). Those that faithfully “tarrieth by the stuff” (1 Samuel 30:24) because they are too faint to go to battle are not necessarily second class citizens! Just DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE!