The least is called
Paul was a big man. He turned the world around for God. With everything in him he believed that Jesus’ message of salvation had to be spread to all the nations and that is why he left no stone unturned. Therefore, nothing got in his way. Even though he was often threatened, even thrown in jail a couple of times, nothing could stop his passion to spread the gospel.
What a wonderful example for all of us.
But he didn’t see the same picture. He gives us a glimpse of what he saw in the mirror: 8I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. He realized that he could do nothing in his own strength. He realized that nothing that he had achieved to date was from His power. Therefore, he didn’t take any credit and remained humble.
How did Paul succeed in remaining so humble?
I think he was very much aware of his own shortcomings. He realized that he couldn’t do anything in his own strength. He knew he was wired to destroy, about the same way he was in his BC (before Christ!) days when he killed the Christians. He knew that he actually deserved to go to hell, but in a way God intervened in his life and turned everything around.
That is where humility originates: When you know who you are and what you actually deserve compared to where you are going. The fact that Paul and you and I are no longer going to hell, is not because we’ve earned it. Actually, we’ve got nothing to do with it. No, it is because of Jesus. And that is why we can’t stand in line taking credit for ourselves. We can’t take anything. God and Jesus and the Spirit deserves the honour.
We must be humble. We must know our place and know that we’re nothing at all.
But God holds Paul and you and me in such high esteem that He picks us. Without us asking it like Donkey in Shrek jumping up and down crying: Pick me! Pick me! No, we wanted to turn away. We can’t believe that God calls us. That is why Paul was amazed that God wanted to use him: 8… God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
God chooses ordinary people like us. Yes, God does use ministers, pastors and people with big voices, but He also uses ordinary sinful people like us. I have told God that I simply cannot be the one that He wants to use. I’m just too sinful. I’m simply just that: Simple. And that is why I’m amazed when I receive one e-mail after another thanking me for sharing the gospel with them. Again and again I respond: I am amazed at the way that God can hit such a straight shot with such a crooked stick as me. ALL honour and glory to Him!
But if God could use Paul who had killed dozens and dozens of God’s children and if God can use me who has failed so often and has repeatedly tested the boundaries, then God can use you too. Yes, God wants to use you, even if like Paul, you think you are the least, worth so little. There where you are. God wants to use there where you work, walk and play.
Be silent and ask God how He wants you to show Him to the world and when you get something right, remember where you come from. Remain humble, because you know it’s not you who did something right. May the world look different because you have done your bit in God’s Kingdom.
Do you believe that God can use you?
Father, I read this message with some hesitation, because I feel I’m not good enough to work for You. But thank you for letting me know that You do want to use me. Please open my eyes so that I can see where You want to use me today. Amen