walk in the word
God Can Use You
“ We have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7
Have you noticed that contemporary culture teaches us to disrespect things that are ordinary? If it’s not special, if it’s not superior, if it’s not flashy, then we think that it doesn’t matter. You know I wonder, is that what God really wants for our life? Does God want us to be prominent people? Does God want us to spend our days exerting ourselves to get our heads above the crowd, to get our fifteen minutes of fame? Is there anything wrong with being an ordinary person living a faithful life? Much of the aberrant teaching within Christianity reinforces this notion that somehow we’ve got to do something big, we’ve got to do something special, we’ve got to get our name in lights in order to make our life count.
This week on the broadcast we’re starting a new series on the life of King David called “Ordinary You, Extraordinary God.” I know some of you are thinking, ‘David—ordinary? What are you talking about?—he was amazing.’ Think again. David wasn’t exceptional. Whenever he did something that was interesting or unusual, it was always because he was doing something else that was pretty ordinary. The whole Goliath thing happened when he was taking his brothers their lunch. When those exciting things happened with lions and bears, he was out being a shepherd on a hillside. Even when he sat on the throne of Israel, he was dealing with a rebellious son and his own failure. David was an ordinary person. If there was anything that was noteworthy in his life, it wasn’t about David at all—it was God.
So you’re thinking to yourself, ‘That’s it? We’re all just ordinary? I’m not extraordinary?’ I’ve got good news: You’re not—but God is.
That’s the bigger message of David’s life. When Samuel got the word from God that David was His man for the throne, “… Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. The Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. ” God was the one who carried David into extraordinary events. Every time you go Wow!, or Whoa! or Way to go! when you read the amazing things David experienced—just remember, it’s God working in David. That’s the thing that was exceptional about him.
Just so you don’t think I’m picking on David, this is true through all the Scriptures:
Why did Pharaoh take a foreign criminal and make him number two over all of Egypt in Joseph? Can we find such a man as this, in whom the Spirit of the LORD is? (Genesis 41:38).
How did lowly Gideon do his mighty deeds defeating armies that massively out numbered his? But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon (Judges 6:34).
How did Moses cope with the massive demands of leading the children of Israel? “The LORD came down in a cloud and took the Spirit upon Moses and placed it upon the seventy elders, and they prophesied” (Numbers 11:25).
Samson’s life story is defined by this phrase, “the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him” (Judges 14:19). Samson was weak and worthless, but when the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, he did awesome things for God.
The same can be said of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and David, for sure.
Look at the New Testament. What was the last thing that Jesus said to the disciples? After His great commission to go to all the world and make disciples of every nation, the last thing Jesus said to them was like, ‘Get up to a room and don’t do anything until you receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.’ They’re like, ‘Can’t we just do a neighborhood survey or work on some brochures?” And He’s like, ‘No. Just wait. Because ‘you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me, in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and the outer most parts of the earth.’ Even those apostles who hung out with Jesus couldn’t do anything extraordinary on their own.
Here’s the key. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). If God uses us, it’s not about what we bring to the table at all, the extraordinary thing is always, always, always God.
Ordinary you; extraordinary God. Happiness comes from accepting number one and exploring number two. Yes, get an education. Go ahead and make a difference in this world; do something that matters with your life as you’re able to do that. But no matter where you go, what you do or what you become, just remember: it doesn’t matter if you get in all the papers, it doesn’t matter if people know your name or think highly of you or ask for your autograph. Don’t let pop culture fool you; none of that matters. You’re still just ordinary. The good news is this: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
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