Monday, June 3, 2013

God's Wimps Part 1

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
2 Corinthians 4:7

       This is a continuation of my earlier article "The Mighty Men of God." That topic was a bit challenging considering God’s favorite people to use are wimps. He loves to use men and women most people would overlook. These next two articles I write will focus on the wimps, the outcast, the unlikeliest of heroes, and the sinner, God uses to advances His plans. I chose 2 Cor. 4:7 because I like how Paul says that we have a treasure in jar of clay. Clay jars were easy to make, a denarii a dozen. In Bible time they were the most common jar and if someone was putting a treasure in something they would use a jar made an alabaster or another sturdier vessel, but God chose to use lesser beings to accomplish His will. Not angels or famous people but ordinary humans with extraordinary potential.
       Moses is one of the most unlikely heroes. Not only is he a murder, but he also stuttered. When God called him, he made a whole list of excuses. If I was a shepherd and my daily work consisted of leading a bunch of sheep around, I'd probably be shocked if God not only talked directly to me and revealed Himself to me but also told me that I was going to lead His people to the promised land.
       Most of us want to know God’s plan for our life, but we’re not sure how to find it. One common misunderstanding is the idea that God’s guidance will come to us out of the blue, and it will have nothing to do with our plans or what we are already doing. Gideon is one of those people; he has a limited vision for what God can do and what he can do himself. His story starts with the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invading Israel, stealing everything and destroying what they can’t carry. The Bible calls them "like swarms of locusts…they invaded the land to ravage it" (Judges 6:5). The Angel of the Lord came to Gideon, who was threshing wheat in a wine-press to keep it from the Midianites. Threshing is not done in a wine press; it usually done on a hill where the wind will blow away the chaff and the wheat grains will drop to the ground. Also when the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Just saying, Gideon does not look like a mighty warrior to me, but God is able to use Him to free the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites. 
       Peter, like many of the disciples, was just a common fisherman, one of the lowest jobs on the Jewish totem pole. The job was hard, smelly, and paid little. The fishermen in Bible times were usually foul in smell and temperament, and on top of that, Peter had a terrible time keeping his temper under control. Yet he would go on to do extraordinary things in God's kingdom. Peter is the best example as he would be an apostle, a leader of the early church and he would write two letters in the Bible.
       Here are three excuses we give God for why we are wimps or why He can’t use us. Excuse one: We aren’t good speakers. The Lord's answer: “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12). Excuse two: We have no authority to get this done. God's answer: Our authority come from Him. "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God" (2 Timothy 1:7-8).* Excuse three: We fear rejection. God’s answer: He was rejected, too. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:18-20).


*Information and thoughts borrowed from a talk by Dr. Tommy Carrington at TeenPact National Convention 2013


Post a Comment