Quote for Contemplation

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work & prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. -Samuel Chadwick

Sunday, 11 December 2011

God; user of the Unlikely

The last few months it has been striking me, in a rather encouraging way, that the Lord likes -maybe I should even say prefers to use the least likely people & circumstances to accomplish His will. I can think of 2 reasons as to why He works like this…first & foremost for His glory & secondly to increase our faith, to separate His people from those who are simply satisfied to accept the common, believe in the mundane & follow the crowd.

The Old Testament is teeming with examples that display this aspect of God; it was Able, then Seth, the younger brothers who found favor with the Lord; Sarai didn’t have children until she was a senior; Jacob (the younger brother) was the one whose sons founded Israel, and of those brothers it was Joseph (the youngest, from a slave to a ruler) through whom God chose to save His people during times of famine. When Jehovah led His people out of Egypt it was through a sea! When they entered the Promised Land it was during the flood season that they crossed the Jordan River. Need I mention the collapse of Jericho & Rahab’s involvement? The downsizing of Gideon’s army? The choosing of David as king? (the youngest bother in a family of shepherds); That it was King David’s underhanded dealings with Bathsheba & her husband through whom came King Solomon & later the Messiah? In the New Testament, Jesus continues with the theme from the start; conceived of an unmarried virgin, hanging out with tax collectors & prostitutes, the unwanted –the unlikely & shunning the Jewish religious authority of the time.

In fact, the only time I can recall when God chose the most likely “path” to unfold was when Saul was anointed as king over Israel. When the time of judges came to an end, the people of Israel cried out for a king –to be like the other nations. 1Samuel 9:1-2 says of Saul, “There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. He had a son names Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites –a head taller than any of the others.” Saul was handsome, the eldest & impressive. Yet, what disaster that ended in!

I think that sometimes we, as Christians, forget that God truly does choose & use the unlikely. We get caught up in the lies that we hear…& the lies we tell & perpetuate about ourselves….that we don’t have enough time, money, energy, we’ll be thought of as crazy, we’ll lose friends, etc. if we should choose to follow the promptings from the Holy Spirit. We must keep focused that those are lies, not what the word of God tells us. If He prompts us to do something, it must be because He has a plan. We forget that obedience is key to spiritual growth. We get so wrapped up in being discouraged, isolated & busy, our focus is so inward that we end up missing the point for much of our spiritual journey.

I know for myself this is true, I am learning to have confidence in Him, not in me. I am not outgoing, well-spoken or particularly attractive. I don’t have extra money, resources or time. I have no high-up connections or otherwise areas of acclaim or expertise. YET, Christ is showing me that I need to step out & follow. It’s not about me; it’s about what He wants to do through me! Whether that be to pray with the person with whom He prompts me to pray or do whatever it is he is asking me to do. The latest in this adventure has been an application I sent out a couple of weeks ago to an organization that aids persecuted Christians. I have applied to be a spokesperson for this organization in my area. Do I feel adequate? Absolutely no! Am I quaking inside? Positively. Do I believe that He has a plan and that this is a cause that truly awareness needs to be raised for? Yes! So, I am trying to plunk along & follow Him….and leave the results up to Him –regardless of what happens.

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