The Nobility of God's Nobodies
- 2002 11 Oct
As we look at our world today, it's not uncommon to find professional athletes, movie stars and recording artists who outwardly acknowledge Christ. It is exciting to see these social icons who are chosen to serve in the Kingdom of God. But you know, I'm afraid that if we are not careful, we can believe the subtle message that you must possess some extraordinary ability before God can use you.
Think about the disciples of Jesus. Were they famous for their accomplishments before the Lord used them? No, they were peasants and fisherman, and one was a tax collector. They belonged to the smallest geographical section of the world at that time. Yet they were the chosen vehicles to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
When God chooses to do His work, He doesn't just pick members from society's elite. First Corinthians 1:26 says, "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." It may surprise—and liberate—you to know that God doesn't take the majority of His workers from the ranks of the wise, mighty or noble.
Yes, God can use the nobility of the royal or the wisdom of the scholars, but they are in the minority. So who are the majority that God uses?
The Chosen Nobility
"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; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are" (I Corinthians 1:27).
God is able to work through the non-intellectual things in this world. I think of D.L. Moody who was an uneducated and uncultured man. He had no educational advantages, yet he established the Moody Press, the Moody Bible Institute, the Moody radio stations, and the list goes on. He serves as an example that God's power is not resident in our wisdom.
Sometimes when we feel physically or spiritually weak, we are tempted to take a "time-out," thinking that God will use us again when we are stronger. In Judges 6, we're introduced to Gideon who you might say was taking a "time-out." It was wartime, and Gideon was in hiding when an angel of the Lord appeared to him to tell him that he would be the one to save Israel. Can you imagine Gideon's astonishment as he declared, "How can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."
Perhaps you know how the story ends. After God enlisted the nobody Gideon, He had to get a nobody army. Then God took that nobody general and that nobody army, and He won the battle! God takes us in our weak state and uses us, so He alone can be glorified.
By the world's standards, "the base" sounds about as far from nobility as you can get. Yet as we look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we find that God defines nobility very differently. Christ's genealogy includes Tamar who played the harlot, Ruth the Gentile, Bathsheba the adulteress, and Rahab the harlot.
God's Reasons for Nobodies
God wants to take us down to the very depths of ourselves to teach us that if there is any power, it is the power that is in God, and not in us. God doesn't need to make us into superstars to use us. Instead, He's looking for men and women who have hearts that say, "Lord, I'm a nobody. I'm nothing without you. Will you use me?" When God finds such a heart, something extraordinary happens—that nobody is promoted to the ranks of God's nobility.
This article was taken from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's bi-monthly Devotional Magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your copy of Turning Points.
If you enjoyed this article, we'd like to recommend Dr. David Jeremiah's series entitled The People God Uses.