A Vision of Biblical Proportions
And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. - Exodus 36:2-7
At age 44, and for the first time in my life, I’m reading through the Bible from cover to cover. Beyond learning that Leviticus contains more sacrifices and blood than any metal band has ever dreamt up, I’ve uncovered hidden treasures like the passage above.
Since transitioning Come&Live! from a creative worship, non-profit record label to a straight-ahead, challenging-artists-to-preach-the-Gospel-outside-the-church missions community, we’ve faced (and struggled in) two major areas that would hope to dissuade us from pressing through.
First, we see Moses had called “every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.”
God has released excellent craftsmen (and women) to us, but Come&Live! has yet to see “every quality craftsman whose heart has been stirred” joining us in the work of reaching and discipling the global youth culture for Jesus.
Secondly, we have not yet had to “restrain people from bringing because we have more than enough; too much even.”
God has released massively undeserved, committedly generous creatives and supporters to us - just not to the point where we are required to instruct donors to stop giving.
This passage out of Exodus 36 provides me, and hopefully you, with a prophetic glimpse of what is possible when the children of God put their hearts together for an effort unlike anything else on the planet. These words in Exodus are meant to remind us that God is more than able to raise up workers and givers. Exodus 36:2-7 is a bright, bold guide, pointing us toward carrying on the labor meant to set men free and bring them into right standing with Jesus forever.
Moses received a plan (instructions for building/filling the tabernacle) from God. When God is the one releasing His plans to His people, we can be sure that He will call forth skilled craftsmen and generous givers to see the plan to completion.
Two things struck me most from this passage:
1. The work was being done by hearts that were stirred up. This wasn’t a forced labor of love; it was a voluntary, spontaneous reaction of love.
2. Offerings were being made from a position of freewill, not of scripted coercion.
Failure, especially when it comes to sharing Jesus with those who don’t know Him, is not an option. That’s not the same thing as saying failure isn’t possible. Failure is always possible where risk and humans are involved, but failure isn’t the choice we’ve been called to make.
Success, for Come&Live! and our extended community, is to call on the power of God for a continued release of heart-stirred artisans and freewill givers, so that the work of proclaiming the revolutionary message of Jesus outside the church happens at the highest level possible, by as many people as possible, for as much glory to Jesus as possible.
What role is God calling you to play with us?