His Baton or Yours?
James C. Denison
In the battle of Jericho, Joshua had the priests blow “seven trumpets of rams’ horns” and march around the fortified citadel (Joshua 6:8). I’m a “priest” (as it were), and I play the trumpet (or at least I used to). I’ve often wondered what they played. Perhaps “Taps” for the inhabitants? “Reveille” for the Israelites? It’s actually a trick question. I played a “rams’ horn” in Israel–it made only two notes (and sounded like a dying cow). Their part was easy.
Ours is harder. Our instruments have valves and scales and options. How can you be sure that you’re playing what God wants? What’s the relationship between your hard work and practice, and his direction and plan? I’ve struggled with that question for much of my Christian life. My hard work cannot save a single soul or change a single life. And yet God has given me gifts and abilities, and you as well. What is the relationship between his will and our work?
Recently in my journal I recorded a metaphor which helped me greatly: God is the conductor and I’m in the orchestra.