Saturday, August 24, 2019

God's Who's Who

The other day I was listening to a sermon by Pastor J. D. Greear and he was preaching about Ehud from the book of Judges. It was excellent, and I want to quote something he said about how God uses weak and ordinary people to accomplish His purposes. This quote is from his sermon “Southpaw Savior, Part 2". Pastor J. D. says: 
“You may not feel like you have much to offer. God doesn’t need the much that you have to offer. All God needs is availability. God can use you. You say, ‘But I don’t have much talent. I don’t have a right hand of strength.’ It’s never been about the right hand of strength! Not with Ehud, not with the apostles, not with you! I remember being on a pastor’s conference, where Adrian - an old southern Baptist preacher named Adrian Rogers looked out at this group of pastors, thousands of pastors. He said, ‘How many of you were valedictorian? Stand up!’ A handful of them - people in the audience - stood up, and some people started clapping. He said, ‘No, no. Don’t clap yet.’ He said, ‘How many of you--’ He said, ‘Remain standing. How many of you went to school, college, on an academic scholarship? An athletic scholarship? How many of you were on the homecoming court? How many of you….’ You know, he just went through all these honorifics. How many of you were in these categories? And at the end there was about thirty percent of the audience standing up. He said, ‘Well, there they are. Those standing are the Who’s Who. These are the ones that have something to brag about.’ He looks at that group standing up and he says this. He said, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news for those of you that are standing up.’ He said, ‘The good news is that God can use you, too. The bad news is that you’re not His first choice. His first choice are those that are seated beside you.’ Because God chooses the weak to shame the strong. And God wants to do things in the world in a way that the glory will not go to the strength of the man or the speed of the horse but will go to God who fights through the left hand of weakness. God doesn’t need your ability; He just wants your availability. Where has God told you to act that you’re not obeying Him? Maybe there is a ministry vision He’s put on your heart that you have yet to pursue. Maybe He has told you to start doing something but you’re not doing it. Maybe He’s told you about a person that you need to reach out to, but every time you’re like, ‘God, they’re going to ask me questions I don’t know. They might mock me. I don’t want to be in that situation.’ And what you’re saying is, ‘God, my arm’s not strong enough!’ And God’s like, ‘I don’t need…I don’t need your arm, all I need is for you to obey Me….’ God does His work in the world through ordinary people obeying Him in ordinary ways. And God takes those weak acts of obedience and infuses them with His power so that you in your life can say like Ehud and like Philip and like the little boy and Zechariah, ‘It is not by might nor by my power, it is by Your Spirit. And this is what the Lord has said.’ . . . You don’t serve God in your strength. Just as you didn’t save yourself by your strength, you don’t serve Him in your strength. You say, ‘Lord, here I am. I’m ready to follow and obey. You use me and You work in me.” (Time Stamp: 19:30 min. – 22:15 min.)