God Uses "Nobodies"
- 2011 8 Sep
EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)--God doesn't take the majority of His workers from the ranks of the wise, mighty or noble. 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."
Continuing in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 27, "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."
Paul says to get His job done, God uses things which are foolish, things which are weak, things which are base, things which are despised.
God is able to work through the non-intellectual things in this world. D. L. Moody was an uneducated and uncultured man. With no educational advantages, he established the Moody Press, Moody Bible Institute, the Moody radio stations, and the list goes on. He's an example that God's power is not resident in our wisdom. God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
Weary, feeble, powerless... Sometimes when we feel physically or spiritually weak, we're 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 was taking a "time-out." It was wartime, and Gideon was hiding when an angel of the Lord appeared to tell him that he would be the one to save Israel. Imagine Gideon's astonishment: "How can I save Israel? Lord, I come from a nobody family, and I'm the lowest nobody in my family. And You're going to use me?"
After God enlisted the nobody Gideon, He got a nobody army. Then God took those nobodies and won the battle! God takes us in our weak state and uses us so He alone can be glorified.
Of the four women in Christ's genealogy, one played the harlot, Tamar; another was a Gentile, Ruth; another an adulteress, the wife of Uriah; and the fourth a harlot named Rahab -- living proof that God can and will use anyone, regardless of their past actions, class or occupation.
Why does God delight in using nobodies as His nobility?
The first reason is found in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 29: "that no flesh should glory in His presence." When we get to heaven, not one of us will be able to say we got there on our own merit. We're saved simply by the grace of God. The second reason is found in verse 31, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." If we operate in our own strength and not God's, we risk taking the glory and credit for ourselves. Scripture tells us that we must be weak and low enough in order for God to use us.
Adrian Rogers told a story about a woodpecker pecking on a tree. In the middle of his pecking, a bolt of lightning hit that tree, splitting it right down the middle. The woodpecker backed off, surveyed the situation, and flew away. Later that day he returned with nine other woodpeckers. Proudly he said, "There it is, gentlemen. Right there. That's what I did."
When we do that as men and women, God shuts off the lightning. When you try to take credit for what God is doing, God shuts off the lightning and you are left with what you can do alone.
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 performers or superstars in order 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.
Originally posted May 20, 2010.
(c) Bapist Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
David Jeremiah is the founder of the radio and television program "Turning Point for God," and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.