Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 21 — God Needs Your Personality
Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."
God made you to fill a particular need. You are different from everyone else who came before you, and you are different from everyone else who will come after you. This means you are unique! There has never been anybody like you, and there will never be anybody like you. Just as there are no two snowflakes alike, no two grains of sand alike, even so, no two people are alike. That leads us to several conclusions:
1. God's need for you is unique. There is something that you can do for God that no one else can do. Since man was made for the praise of God's glory and for fellowship with his God, then each man has a particular fellowship to offer God that no other man has. I love that. If I do not praise God and offer Him my praise, there is a unique praise He will not receive, for nobody's praise is exactly like mine and nobody's worship is exactly like mine, for nobody's soul or personality is exactly like mine.
2. Your relationship with Him is unique. We are not simply a choir of robots chanting praises to God; each of us has his own personality made by God to fill an appetite. There is no one who can give God exactly what you can give him. For example, among His Apostles was one such as beloved John, who was affectionate and steady, and there was one like Peter, who was quick to speak and yet very zealous. There was Andrew, unspectacular, a good children's worker, but very predictable, and then there was James, who was very businesslike and pastoral. No two apostles gave to Jesus exactly the same thing. Each had his own peculiar relationship with Christ.
This is true in a church. There are thousands of members of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, but each member offers to his pastor something that no other member can offer, and each relationship is unique to itself. I find this true on my church staff. There are no two people who offer the same thing. Each relationship is different and none is like it.
Years ago I was teaching my soul-winning course in Jacksonville, Florida. It was taught in the afternoon, and after the course was over, a man was driving home on a trip of about 40 miles, I think, in order to get his wife to bring her back to the service that evening. He had just taken the soul-winning course and was wanting to put into practice what he had learned. He pulled over to the shoulder of the highway and offered a ride to a hitchhiker. When the hitchhiker got into the car, he pulled a weapon on the man and announced that he was going to kill him. The man said, "All right, go ahead and kill me, but I just took a course on how to win a soul, and while you are killing me I am going to be telling you about Jesus and how you can go to Heaven when you die." Soon the would-be murderer bowed his head and received Christ as his Saviour and the would-be murdered became a soul winner. The new convert handed the weapon to the one who had led him to Christ and came back to church with him that night. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience when the man who was going to kill stood beside the man who was going to be killed, arm in arm praising the Lord together.
The strange thing was the way people responded that night. I remember one red-faced fellow jumped up in the back and shouted, "Well, glory!" I recall another fellow who got so happy he laughed and laughed and could not control his laughter. While one was shouting, "Well, glory!" and one was laughing out of control, I was weeping. Over in the corner another was so happy he was clapping his hands, and dear Dr. John R. Rice was saying very sweetly, "Amen! Amen! Amen!" Don't you see? Each of us shared the same experience with the rest of us, and yet no two of us responded exactly alike.
Even so, Jesus needs you to fill a particular need that no one else can fill. He needed a Mary to sit at His feet and worship Him. He needed a Martha to prepare His meal. He needed a John to lean on His breast. He needed a David to play his harp. He needed a Jeremiah to weep. Thank God that none of these can offer God what I can offer Him. I cannot offer Him as much as they, but I can offer Him something different. That means He needs me, and He needs you!
3. Your privileges are unique. An illustration of this would be the staff of the First Baptist Church of Hammond. Randy Ericson, the dear man who oversees all the maintenance of our church, meets with me weekly and we have a good time. Steve Sloan, one of our custodians meets me at my care when I arrive every morning and we chat together for a few minutes. Larry Weller drives the van and chauffeurs me from the airport each week and often drives me to speaking engagements, so we are together in a different way. Elmer Fernandez sees me every other week for appointment, and he almost always brings me a bite to eat. All of the men on my staff are important, but each one has privileges and contact with the boss that none of the others have. Ray Young, John Colsten, Larry Bullard, Keith McKinney, Bill Schutt, Roy Moffit, Jim Wertz, Eddie Lapina, etc. have different and unique privileges that they receive from me and contributions that they make to me. The same is true with God. You have privileges that nobody else has. There is something that He allows you to do that He allows no one else to do in the same way.
4. Your responsibilities are unique. My mother is, at this writing, 94 years of age. I have one living sister (two are in Heaven). Now my sister has one type relationship with my mother and I have another. Both are important, but they are different. I provide for Mother and have for years. My sister very patiently and gently cares for Mother. They live together, and no one could be any more careful or loving toward her mother than is my sister. Mother needs me because it is my responsibility to care for her financially and to offer her security. She needs my sister as much as she needs me, but in a different way. She needs my sister to help her get to church, to give her companionship at home and to watch over her health and care.
I am grateful to God that I am different. He has millions of children, but not any is exactly like I am. I have a relationship with Him that is different from that of any of His children. He needs me in a way that is different from His need for any of His other children. My privileges with Him are different from any other child of God, and my responsibilities toward Him are unique and different. This means that I can love Him in a way that no one else can love Him. I can praise Him in a way that no one else can praise Him. I can serve Him in a way that no one else can serve Him. I can be to Him what no one else can be to Him. This does not mean that I serve Him better or praise Him better or that He loves me more; it just means that I am different from every other child of God, and since I am different, my relationship is like none other. How wonderful! How blessed! Praise God, He needs me! I am so glad!
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