Often we can find ourselves feeling like we’re too small, unskilled and unimportant to be used by God. These feelings can stem past experiences or relationships; perhaps we feel this way because of our family background.
Regardless of the cause these feelings, there are 4 key principles that I want to draw your attention to:
- God takes ordinary people and uses them to do extraordinary things.
- Often He chooses us while we are going about our daily routine.
- Self-doubt, fear and a sense of inadequacy are not uncommon.
- The tasks and purpose we are called to do will most likely require us to step out of our comfort zone.
Many of the people God used in the Bible were going about their daily tasks and routine when they were called. Some were even living in obscurity and hiding.
Moses was a fugitive on the run from the Egyptian authorities. He was living in seclusion and tending a flock of sheep when he had his encounter with God.
He was told by God to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage from Egypt.
Moses’ first response was doubt. He doubted his status and ability to influence the Egyptian leadership and he doubted his ability to speak and act as a leader before his own people.
God reassured Moses and told him that He would provide the ways and means to accomplish the tasks ahead.
Moses stepped out in faith, put his own fears and sense of inadequacy aside, obeyed God and became the greatest man to ever lead Israel. Over the course of his life, Moses developed a close relationship with God and had several supernatural encounters with Him.
Where was Moses when he was called? He was hiding as a fugitive…a man who was wanted murder…ashamed of his past…tending a lowly flock of animals in the wilderness.
In the book of Judges chapter six, we are introduced to a man named Gideon, long after Moses was gone and Israel had returned to the promised land
Gideon, was called by God to raise and lead an army of soldiers and take that same army and engage the enemy forces that occupied Israel.
Gideon’s response to God was one of hesitation and self-doubt. Gideon said that he was too insignificant and unimportant; in fact, he said “I am the least in my family and my family is the least in our tribe” (Judges chapter 6, verse 15).
Regardless how Gideon saw himself, God chose him to lead, train and equip an army of 300 special operations warriors against an entire army. Throughout the story we can read how Gideon was stretched beyond his comfort zone and how God developed him as a leader. Ultimately, Gideon was successful in his operations against the adversary and he went on to be one of Israel’s great leaders.
Where was Gideon when he was called? Managing and organizing a large grain supply…doing back breaking manual labor…preparing food storage for his family.
In 1 Samuel chapter 16 we read that, many years later after Israel had been established as a nation, the time came for a new king to be appointed and anointed by God. The current king, who was named Saul, had become corrupt and wicked in his heart. He had allowed arrogance and pride to take hold, which caused him to turn away from God.
God told his prophet Samuel that the time had come for a new king to be chosen and replace Saul. In the countryside was little farming town called Bethlehem where a young shepherd boy named David, lived.
One day, while David was out tending his father flock, God told the prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem and visit a man named Jesse. Samuel spoke with Jesse and asked to be introduced to each of his sons.
One by one, Samuel reviewed and spoke with the young men, but each time he thought that one of them might be the chosen-one, God told Samuel, “No”. After meeting all the young men, Samuel asked Jesse if he had any other boys. Jesse replied that he did have a youngest son named David, but he was out tending to the flock. Samuel demanded that the young man be summoned at once.
As David was approaching, God told Samuel that David was indeed the chosen-one and to anoint him as king immediately.
Reading on in later chapters, we can follow all the amazing deeds David did, including the slaying of the giant Goliath; in fact, David rose to become the greatest king in the history of Israel.
Where was David when he was called? Doing his work…minding his tasks…being faithful with what he was trusted.
PETER & MATTHEW
Fast forwarding to the New Testament (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-34; Luke 5:1-11) we can read about how Jesus called His disciples.
Men like Peter, who was a rough blue-collar fisherman, going about his daily routine of manning his boat, working the rigging and nets in and around the docks; or Matthew who was working as a tax-collector; a profession made infamous for swindling citizens and being the despised repo-men for the Roman Empire.
These men are just two of the 12 who Jesus called; each of them were in the middle of their work. They were going about their daily routine; the hustle and grind of their everyday lives in their local community.
Suddenly in the middle of what these 12 men were doing, eternity steps into time. Jesus approaches and says “Follow-me” …and as the saying goes, ‘The rest is history’.
Where were Jesus’ disciples when He called them? They were living their lives in Roman occupied territory under the tyranny of foreign rule, during a dark and seemingly hopeless time in Israel’s history; nor were they necessarily prominent or well educated.
DON’T UNDER ESTAMATE
All the examples I’ve given; Moses, Gideon, David, Peter, Matthew, are just a few in a whole list of men and women that God had called in the middle of their routine. They were people who didn’t fit the profile of a champion, per human standards. In fact, most of the people God has used, are the under-dogs; people who are the most unlikely of heroes.
It is the journey of fulfilling a God given purpose and destiny that ordinary men and women are stretched beyond what they thought they could give, run further than they have ever imagined and gone higher than they had ever dreamed. God uses ordinary to turn the world upside town.
On the journey, there will be voices, inside and out, that say you’re not qualified, worthy or equipped. These voices may say that you’re not big or strong enough; or perhaps that you’re not from the right family or the right part of the family. The voices will try to bring up past mistakes or failures. The voices will try to get you to give up before you’ve even started.
Some simple advice: DON’T LISTEN! Press into the calling and purpose that God has laid on your heart. Not sure how you’ll get to your destiny? That’s ok…neither was Moses, but he obeyed any ways. If God has called you to do something, then He will provide a way for you to accomplish that purpose. Your job is to trust…and obey.
Where ever you’re at right now, if you have a dream in your heart and it’s been something that you KNOW you’ve been called to do, take courage and don’t listen to the voices that say you’re not big enough, good enough or smart enough. The calling from God on your life is not dependent on your wealth, status, level of education, fame, place in society or family history…God simply requires you step out in obedience and faith…He will take care of the rest.
So, if you feel like you’re a nobody simply going through life doing a dirty job, don’t be discouraged…you’re in good company.