From the Pastor – Why Would God Use Us?
As we look to celebrate the ordination of a new deacon this Sunday (Jim) during worship, I’ve been thinking about why God would use you, me, and Tower View as He does. Is it something we “brought to the table”? Is it because we are more qualified or “cooler” than the next? Why are we so privileged to be used of God?
It reminded me that when God called Moses to mandate the release of the Israelites from Egyptian captivity, Moses felt insufficient and ill-equipped. He asked, “Who am I to do such a thing?”
Now, when I ask this question to the Lord, I usually ask in false humility. Honestly, I want God to remind me of my credentials and giftedness. Really, I want God to lift up my self-esteem.
“Please tell me again how amazing I am so that I’ll be self-assured enough to do this,” I ask God. And I anticipate God to respond, “Darin, you’re up-to-snuff enough, clever enough, and, come on, you’re just the best.”
This isn’t what God actually said to Moses. In fact, He really didn’t even answer the question “Who is Moses?” The answer came from the question “Who is God?”
The truth, of course, as to why God would use TVBC or anyone else, well, God Himself. But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”— Exodus 3:11-12
Or, in today’s terms, it might have been said:
Moses: “Who am I?”
God: “Never mind who you are, Moses. You’re right! You’re a nobody. But you are called by Me. I’ll be with you. And the sign of your success won’t be super human-inspired reward…but worship of me.”
Moses’ “oh” consisted of more questions.
Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” — Exodus 4:10-12
You’ve likely heard the short one-liner popular in churches: “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”
This is why God has used throughout history shepherds, fig-farmers, youngest sons, prostitutes, widows, etc.
Church, this is why He uses sinners like us at TVBC even today. Not so that we will realize our potential. Not so we will finally see how naturally remarkable we are. But so that God alone gets the glory, praise, and honor. And so that He gets the glory in the rich, echoing imagery of turning ashes to beauty.
God made man out of dirt. We—you and I—are dirt.
Take a small moment to read Philippians 3. There you’ll see that God cares very about our resume or achievement list. And Paul actually had them!
The Gospel isn’t the power to save because of our techniques, our knowledge, our inventions, our preaching style, our music style, our originality, our hard work, our degrees, our evaluations and efficiency, or ourselves. None of those things is bad, but we make all of them idols so easily. They take so much effort, and yet we make them idols so effortlessly.
Rather, the Gospel is the power to save because of Jesus’ work. Because God is with the gospel.
As we serve the Lord this week in all of our ministries, let’s take ego out to the woodshed every day. And let’s not don’t just whup it—let’s get rid of it before the Lord.