A few days ago I shared part 1 of 3 parts of this series called Greater Things. I opened up about my great sense of inadequacy to believe God could use me. God met me on a trail when I was walking home from class in college and spoke to me in a way that I knew I would have to decide when I stepped off that trail if I would follow Him or go my own way. When I stepped off that trail I knew what I was being called to do….
I applied to be an intern at my church.
I was sure they would find out who I really was and turn me down lickety split. On my 3rd interview, I sat down across from the Senior Pastor and he asked me if I was willing to try preaching. I said “Me? No way! Never! But I’ll clean toilets, greet old women, play dodgeball and talk to sassy teenagers about Jesus, but I will NEVER speak up front and actually have something to say that will change lives. Plus they will see my butt. And no one needs to see that.” They turned me down. Of course they did, I thought. I had an opportunity to do greater things but I walked away because I couldn’t believe God could use me…
Are you walking away from opportunities to do greater things because you struggle believing God can use the likes of you? I think you want to change the world and I think you think that the very thing that it’s going to take is the very thing it’s not. Some of you are waiting. You are waiting to get cooler. You are waiting to get tighter with the Big Man upstairs. You are waiting to sound more spiritual. You are waiting for a degree. You are waiting for your wounds to go away. You are waiting for your insecurities to be replaced with a strong self-confidence.
And you can wait until you’re blue in the face honey, ’cause you being more isn’t what’s gonna change lives. What’s gonna change lives is Jesus Christ and when I see Jesus Christ change lives it has little to do with what you’re waiting on. When I walked away from the opportunity to do something only God could do through me, I kept thinking about Jesus…
Jesus fiercely challenges our confidence problem.
Every thing I saw in Him told me that I was wrong. I was believing lies. I was letting my past determine my present. I was letting my wounds win. I was letting my insecurities call me. Are you doing that?
Everything in me wanted to turn around and take God at His word, counting on Him to be who He has always been. And who God has always been is a God who uses unlikely people. Throughout history God has used fraidy cats, punks, failures and big bad sinners with painful stories and sketchy pasts to change lives. God picks the least likely.
If God used the people we would use, then…
- Goliath would still be bullying people. Instead God used an insecure, unequipped, young man who stepped up and didn’t let insecurity in what he didn’t have get in the way of what he was called to do. God used David to pelt an oppressive monster straight square in the eyes with a mere pebble to rescue His people.
- Gideon’s people would still be oppressed while he put his confidence in his sissy baby self. Instead, God found that unlikely wimp hiding in fear, peeing his own pants and God used him to set His people free!
The 5000 hungry humans would still be hangry but instead God chose to use an unlikely little boy’s lunch to feed a small city.
- The Israelites would still be slaves for Pharaoh, the Red sea never would have parted and we would be missing one of the best Disney movies ever if Moses would have let his stutter and disability determine what he was supposed to do with his life. Instead Moses allowed the call of God to be louder than his weaknesses and that saved a nation.
- The 5000 hungry humans would be hangry right now if God hadn’t chosen to use an unlikely little boy’s lunch, 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish to feed them.
- The Philistines would still be oppressing the Israelites had God not chosen to use the jawbone of an ass to turn them into Philly steak sandwiches.
You can sit around until you’re 105 saying “I’m too.” I’m too young in my faith. I’m too much of a disappointment. I’m too stained. I’m too plain. I’m too different. I’m too weighed down with baggage. I’m too ungodly.
I’m too? God’s too.
God’s too BIG! God’s too SUPERNATURALl! God’s too MIGHTY! God’s too POWERFUL! God’s too AMAZING! God’s too everything you’re too not! If you think its unlikely God can use you, you are in the right place. That’s where Moses was at the burning bush. That’s where Gideon was in the winepress. That’s where Joseph was in a hole his brothers threw him in.
Unlikely is God’s middle name. It is there people will know His first. God uses unlikely people so we know it’s Him and it’s when you start to believe this, it will be you He uses! It’s often when you are peeing your pants, when you are stuttering, when you are a harlot, it’s in that kind of unlikeliness that God does His greatest things!
God confounds us.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28 says God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…
The word shame is more accurately the word confound which means to: bring to ruin, destroy, baffle, frustrate, throw into confusion or perplexity. God will confound you by who He uses. God will surprise you. God will not be predictable in His power. His power cannot be made sense of by man. So then when He uses nitwits, depressed artists, recovering drug addicts and shy people, only God gets the props. “It must have been His power,” people will say.
God wants to confound people with your life. Will you let Him?
Come back Tuesday and be continually encouraged that God can and will do greater things in and through your life!