Most of us cannot imagine our possible usefulness for God. “After all,” we ask, “Why would God need me to do something, when there are so many more qualified people in the world?” Yet, when one considers the biblical witness from the Old through the New Testament, page after page, story after story, God always seems to choose the most unlikely people to serve him. People who in the eyes of the world are considered too young, too old, too weak, too sinful, too poor, too uneducated, too “whatever” to make any difference. God loves to surprise us by choosing the most unlikely people.
Who would choose an elderly couple to father a nation? Who would choose a murderer with a speech impediment to proclaim salvation from captivity? Who would choose a small, unlikely shepherd boy to be the greatest king of all time? Who would choose a young, teenage girl to stop a pogrom and save the lives of thousands? Who would choose an uneducated virgin to give birth to the Savior of the world? Who would choose tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, and common laborers to be his key followers? Who would choose the greatest sinner, an enemy of the faith, to become Christianity’s greatest defender? Only God.
If God can choose all of these unlikely people, why wouldn’t God choose you and me?
In my early 20s, I sensed God calling me to work in some form of Christian ministry. I immediately thought of hundreds of people from my high school and college that were far better choices. “Not me, Lord!” I protested. I listed my objections to God’s choice of me. I penciled a long list of reasons why I was an unlikely candidate for God’s work in the world. God was persistent. God never let me go. God kept nudging me, urging me and tugging at my soul until eventually I surrendered my life completely to God to follow Jesus wherever he led. At every stage of my journey, I felt ill-equipped, ill-prepared and certainly the unlikeliest of choices.
What I have learned over decades of following Jesus, is that I can do absolutely nothing without him. I am unlikely. I am ordinary, spiritually weak, and beset with human frailty. However, when surrendered completely to Christ and relying utterly on the power of the Holy Spirit (instead of my own power), God somehow makes me strong, extraordinary, and equipped for every good work.
We are all unlikely. We are all improbable choices. The key to life with God is surrender –offer all you have to the One who loves you –your time, your money, your possessions, your energy, your gifts, your skills. God will perfectly fit you to your purpose – unlikely or not.
Join us for our new sermon series, Unlikely Heroes, beginning Sunday, July 23.
-Dr. Jan Davis
Central’s Senior Pastor