We are not Misfits – We are Beautiful Messes
I Corinthians 1:26-27 says
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…
My favorite part of this verse is…
God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.
We may think God can’t use or won’t use us, because maybe we feel we are “unimportant” or not smart enough or just feel we can’t. That could not be more wrong.
From a lowly shepherd boy to the worst sinners and doubters, God has used the most unlikely people to do the most amazing things.
Let’s start with Joseph; he was sold into slavery by his brothers, taken far from his home to Egypt, thrown into prison after being falsely accused of something he did not do. But God had a plan, He always does. God had given Joseph the gift of interpreting dreams. And it was through that gift, that Joseph interpreted a dream of Pharaohs, one that would make Joseph rise in power. The dreams were about a famine that would last seven years. But since Joseph interpreted the dream before the famine began, he saved Egypt from it.
When Joseph was sold into slavery, the last thing he would think possible was saving Egypt and practically becoming second to Pharaoh. But it was all according to God’s plan, He can use anyone, even the ones who doubted God and His ultimate power.
Last summer for Sunday school, I taught through the book of Judges, and it was by far a favorite. The basic “plot” of the whole book is the Children of Israel would sin by turning their backs on God and worship idols instead. God would, in turn, punish them by allowing another country to conquer and take Israel captive, and sometimes it would take Israel years before they would turn back to God and cry out for help, God would then raise up a judge to deliver the people of Israel and conquer the enemy that had taken hold of them.
Gideon was the fifth judge God used to deliver Israel. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him that he was going to become a great man of valor and he was going to save Israel. But Gideon doubted God, he believed God had forsaken Israel, but Israel had forsaken God, He wanted to make Israel uncomfortable so they might turn back to Him.
Gideon also was afraid of the people holding Israel captive, despite the fact the God was talking to Gideon, he doubted that he could conquer the opposing army, and he used many excuses and argued.
But really, Gideon was not going to conquer the army, God would, He was just going to use Gideon in an amazing way.
Gideon had an army of 32,000 to the opposing army who had 135,000. But Gideon was trusting in his men rather than fulling trusting God in the battle, so, God told Gideon his army was too big. God had Gideon send home all the men who were afraid to go into battle.
From 32,000, 22,000 left, leaving Gideon with 10,000 men. Then God put Gideon’s men through another test and the 10,000 dropped to 300. Through God, Gideon defeated the army and freed Israel.
God used Gideon not only to show him that through God all things are possible, no matter the odds.
But God also wanted to show Israel once again, there is only one God, no idols were going to save or provide, only God can do that.
Joseph was an imprisoned slave, Gideon doubted, Moses stuttered and argued with God, David was a shepherd boy when he was anointed king and defeated Goliath, and Lazarus was dead.
Mary and Martha had a brother named Lazarus, and he had died. When Jesus came to visit, Lazarus had been dead for four days. But Jesus brought Lazarus from the grave.
John 11:43-44 says
Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
And through that amazing miracle, many believed in Jesus and became followers of Christ.
Now there was a man named Saul, if there was one man who one might think would never change, it would be Saul, he persecuted the followers of Christ. He was a sinner, he hated Christians. But his life would be changed like no other. In Acts 9, we find the changing of Saul; on the road to Damascus he was blinded by God and then God spoke to Saul.
Acts 9:3-5 says
Then he [Saul] fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…
Saul was shaken, to say the least, verse 6 says
So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Saul was changed that day, he was saved, his name was changed to Paul, and became one of the greatest missionaries in the Bible. He wrote 12 books of the Bible and started many Churches.
No one is too far gone from the saving hand of Christ. God can and will use anyone for His will.
And more often than not, it is a simple, poor, or weak person.
We are God’s instruments, and while some can be out of tune, God can fine-tune us for His purpose and glory.