I like to build to a point, but I’m going to come right to it. Through the Bible God calls people into his service that are, for lack of a better term, screwed up. No one used by God in some great way has their act together. Consider a few examples; there are many others.
In Genesis 15:6 Abraham becomes the first person of faith. He believed God, and God counted it to him as righteousness. He is lauded in Hebrews 11 for having the faith to offer his son Isaac. But before Isaac was born he father Ishmael by the Egyptian servant Hagar. He lied twice about his wife Sarah was his sister. A role model of faithfulness, perhaps not so much for other things.
Moses was 80 years old at the time he encountered the burning bush. He offered God several excuses, including a speech problem of some kind, before finally coming right out and saying he did not want to do it and that God should send someone else. God anointed him to lead the people of Israel, but he had a propensity to lose his faith and his temper, which ultimately led to his not being allowed into the promised land.
Saul went out of his mind, David committed adultery and murder, Solomon polluted God’s temple with dozens of idols and altars to pagan gods. Then things got worse. John the Baptist wore camel’s hair garments and ate bugs. Jesus was born to a 14 year old unwed mother; in a barn. Peter was chosen to lead the Apostles, that is after Jesus forgave him for denying him three times. The Apostle Paul was killing Christians before his conversion on the Damascus road, and by his own account is not very attractive. I could go on.
God calls the small, the weak and the broken to do his work. The Pharisees were the wealthy, educated elite in Jesus’ day but he prescribed woe and condemnation to them. Jesus was born to unwed parents, worked manual labor, and came from Nazareth. Can any good thing come from Nazareth Nathaniel asked Phillip in John 1:46. But that was the point. The Son of God came not only in human form but in the lowliest, most humble way possible. He entered Jerusalem for the last time riding a donkey, even as the crowd hailed him as king. He washed the disciples feet, and ultimately died on the cross. He didn’t just give his life; Deuteronomy 21:23 says that any man is cursed who hangs on a tree. The NIV actually says that man “is under God’s curse.” And so Jesus was, having God’s wrath poured out on him. Humbled as a servant (Phil 2) to the point of death, even death on a cross.
God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27). He uses the small, the weak, and the broken. He opposes the proud (James 4:6) but gives grace to the humble. So when you think you aren’t fit to be used by God – you have a past, are not smart enough, not educated enough, too poor, can’t sing, too short, too tall, etc. etc. etc – I have news for you. That’s exactly what God is looking for.
**And now this post has a Part 2.